Closer to home for me is one of the epicenters of Catholic Eye Candy in Florida, St. Augustine. Founded in 1565 under Pedro Menendes de Aviles. Very early on, the settlers built the town cathedral there, only for it to be burnt to the ground by Sir Francis Drake in 1586. So after they rebuilt the cathedral a second time, it burned down yet again in 1599 by accident. The industrious St. Augustinians rebuilt it a third time in 1605. We can thank the Protestant Brits again for burning the cathedral down a third time (they were, if nothing else, persistent) in 1702. Finally in 1793, the cathedral which stands today was begun.
The Cathedral and Interior
Sir Francis Drake attacks St. Augustine (Dramatization)
Mission Nombre De Dios
The Timucua Natives
Florida was the land of the some of the first martyrs in the Americas, beginning with the first mission of Ponce de Leon in 1513. Not only did they have to brave the threats of the Timucua, but I’m sure they had to watch out for these guys every few steps!
Here is the resting site of Augustin Verot, former priest of the Archdiocese of Paris, later professor of the seminary in Baltimore, and first bishop of St. Augustine. Ask me some time about when his corpse exploded all over the mourners at his own funeral! (True story)