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Our Lady of La Leche

Our Lady of La Leche


History does not document the origin of “Our Lady of La Leche,” but it is likely linked to Spanish devotion of Mary nursing Jesus. In 1565, Spanish explorers arrived in Florida and brought their devotion to Nuestra Señora de La Leche y Buen Parto (English “Our Lady of the Milk and Good Delivery”).

Fr. Francisco López de Mendoza Grajales conducted a Catholic Mass as local Native Americans joined them. Eventually, the settlers established the city of St. Augustine, the first Catholic American parish, and the first Marian shrine in what would become the United States.


The shrine stands in a small chapel at the Nombre de Dios Mission. Devotion to La Leche has spread far beyond the original modest pilgrimage site. Devotees pray to her for fertility, healthy pregnancies, the safe delivery of their babies, and their children’s health. In 2012, the Vatican approved October 11 as La Leche’s feast day. This feast is officially recognized and celebrated within the Diocese of St. Augustine.

In 2018, through the generous support of the Whittenberger family, The Basilica Shrine of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal completed the installation of Our Lady of La Leche Shrine. This shrine is open to the public daily.

Click here for more information about the Our Lady of La Leche Shrine at The Basilica Shrine.

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