Touring the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine

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View of the altar from the second-floor choir loft.  The Basilica has special permission to depict the Risen Jesus, rather than the Crucified Jesus, above the altar.  The two smaller statues depict St. Peter and St. Augustine.

Back in May, I took my husband to St. Augustine, Florida, for his first visit.  This city is one of my favorite places in the world because of its Catholic history.  It’s the site of the very first Mass celebrated in North America, which is commemorated at the Mission Nombre de Dios.  Also in St. Augustine is the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine, “America’s First Parish.”  I have been often to the Basilica to pray, attend Mass, and listen to the organist play the pipe organ.

During this last trip, though, my husband and I enjoyed the Basilica’s new “Behind the Scenes Tour.”  For an hour and a half, our knowledgeable guide Michelle Reyna led our tour group throughout the Basilica and shared many fascinating stories and facts about its history, art, and architecture.  Until you can get there in person, check out the virtual tour of this lovely, sacred place on the Basilica’s website.

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View of the choir loft, mural, and replica of a baptismal font.  Behind the statue of Mary is one of many murals painted by artist Hugo Ohlms.  The font was a gift from the Spanish village of Santervas de Campos, the birthplace of Ponce de Leon.
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Stained glass window
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Blessed Sacrament Chapel, with Adoration on weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
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Reliquary of Saint Augustine of Hippo, which contains a fragment of the saint’s bone.  Other relics in the Cathedral include cloth that belonged to Saint Monica.
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Blessed Virgin Mary Shrine

The many more beautiful photos here are excellent examples of how art and architecture turn our minds and hearts to the Divine.

Christ’s Peace,

Ann Marie

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