Landing re-enactment: celebration of mass

Spanish landing

The office of Paul Williamson in the Department of Public Affairs for the City of St. Augustine has reported to Historic City News that on Saturday, August 30th at 9:30 a.m. there will be a re-enactment of the landing by the city’s founder at the Mission of Nombre de Dios.

A full day of activities includes authentically clad figures for the reenactment of the landing by Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles, at the exact landing point of the Spanish colonists in 1565. The site of the landing is marked today with a 208 foot stainless steel cross erected in 1965 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the city’s founding.

Each year, a leading citizen is invited to portray Menendez by the organizers of the Founder’s Day Reenactment. This year the role of Menendez is portrayed by Andy Gessells, a local business leader who frequently portrays Menendez at the annual Noche de Gala Ball in February each year.

The landing reenactment will be followed, as it was 443 years ago, with a celebration of Mass at an outdoor wooden altar by the water’s edge at the Mission Nombres de Dios, located at 27 Ocean Ave. (off of San Marco). This year the celebrant for Mass is Father Tom Willis, Pastor of the Cathedral-Basilica of St. Augustine. The speaker is Dr. John Diviney, Director of Spanish-Latin American Studies at Flagler College.

Photo credit: City of St. Augustine contributed photograph

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