Saint of the day:
Our Lady of La Leche
(Our Lady of the Milk and The Nursing Mother of God)
Patron Saint of Nursing Mothers, Motherhood
The Annunciation: March 25, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” (Luke 1:28) (She said yes to him.)
Our Lady of Guadalupe: December 12, in Mexico (1531) is the Patron Saint of the Americas and Mexico. (She carried him.)
Christmas: December 25, commemorates the manifestation of Jesus as the Savior of the entire world. (She gave birth to him.)
Our Lady of La Leche: October 11, in St. Augustine, Florida (1577). (She nursed him.)
Childermas: December 28, The Flight into Egypt (Matthew 2). (She protected him.)
The Most Holy Name of Jesus: January 3, Circumcision of Jesus (She prepaid him for his journey.)
The Epiphany: January 6, Magis paying tribute to Jesus and brings him gifts (She was proud of him.)
The Feast of Candlemas: February 2, his light shined and he became the light of the world. (She presented him to the temple.)
Finding Jesus in the Temple: Passover, Luke 2:41–52. (She worried for his safety.)
The Wedding at Cana: January 15, Jesus' first miracle. (She encouraged him.)
Mary's Sorrow's: April, followed Jesus on the Via Dolorosa, The Crucifixion, Jesus is Taken Down from the Cross. The Burial of Jesus. (She cried for him.)
Easter: April, the celebration of Christ's resurrection. (She stood with him, she never left him.)
Pentecost: May, commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the followers of Jesus. (She was devoted to him even after his death.)
Christ was always with her and she was always devoted to him.
Our Lady of La Leche (USA)
The devotion to Our Lady of La Leche in St. Augustine, Florida dates back to 1577. It is the oldest devotion to Mary as the “Nursing Mother” in the United States. For more than 400 years, Our Lady of La Leche has drawn pilgrims and visitors to this beautiful shrine where they have sought her intercession for a safe pregnancy and delivery, for the gift of fertility, for healing, for families as well as in thanksgiving for prayers answered.
From the time that Spanish explorers established the town of St. Augustine, they brought with them a particular devotion to the Blessed Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ. On September 8, 1565, on the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the first Mass was celebrated on these shores. Later, a special devotion to Nuestra Señora de la Leche y Buen Parto, Our Lady of the Milk and Happy Delivery began. This helped to spread the Catholic faith among the native population.
It is said that seeing Mary as a mother nursing the Child Jesus had a great appeal to the Mocama Indians who inhabited northern Florida when the Spanish arrived. More than 200 additional missions were founded through Mission Nombre de Dios and the devotion was spread to other native tribes as well. It was noted, “Wherever the Faith was brought, the Our Lady of La Leche devotion was what helped tie the many mission communities together.”
Since the 17th century, this particular devotion to Our Lady of La Leche, has been kept alive by countless people of faith, especially as they seek our Blessed Lady’s intercession for the blessing of their marriage, the gift of children, a safe delivery and motherhood.
Miracles have been noted
Father Erlin is from Colombia. In 1995, he entered the Immaculate Conception Religious Community, which was founded in 1984 and is headquartered in Colombia. He was ordained a priest in 2007, and came to the U.S. in 2010. He was assigned as rector of the shrine a year ago. Bishop Estévez gave care of the shrine to his community, Fr. Erlin said, because it was a Marian community and the bishop believed in its motto: “to receive Jesus, to live Jesus and to give Jesus to the world.”
Since his arrival at the shrine, Father Erlin has heard of many wonders worked through the intercession of Our Lady of La Leche. He recalled the case of one woman who had had 18 miscarriages and despaired of her ability to deliver a child. Father continued, “But she heard about the devotion, came to the shrine and prayed, and not long after returned with a healthy baby in her arms.”
National Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche at Mission Nombre de Dios
101 San Marco Ave, St. Augustine, FL 32084
*A 4-min walk from the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park