Saturday, May 3, 2014

Star (Cemetery) Log Date, Saturday, 3 May 2014

The Catholic Diocese of St. Augustine was established on March 11, 1870; the Diocese includes such iconic places as the chapel of Our Lady of la Leche and the grounds of Mission Nombre de Dios Our Lady was reconstructed twice--shortly after the Diocese' inception in 1875 by the first Bishop of the Diocese, Augustin Verot (1870-1877), and then again in 1915 after a hurricane destroyed most of the holy building. The Prince of Peace Votive Church was constructed in 1965 at Nombre de Dios. 

I provide this brief context because St. Augustine's San Lorenzo Cemetery is an important part of Catholic heritage in St. Augustine and throughout Northeast Florida. In fact, it's the oldest cemetery in the city owned and operated by the Diocese! San Lorenzo was opened in 1892 by Bishop John Moore, beginning a construction wave of Catholic cemeteries throughout the region (St. Mary Cemetery in Korona, FL is another example). A Catholic woman, Mary Murray, was the first to be buried there on May 24, 1892. Perhaps the most iconic feature of the cemetery is the mortuary chapel. Constructed in 1924, it houses the remains of Bishops John Moore, William Kenny, and Archbishop Joseph Hurley.

The Mortuary Chapel 

East Entrance

WHO:  Owned and operated by the Catholic Diocese of St. Augustine. The St. Augustine genealogical society has conducted multiple surveys of the cemetery as well.

WHEN: Open from 8 am - 5 pm Monday-Friday and 9 am - 5 pm Saturday-Sunday

WHAT: First Catholic Cemetery established once the Diocese was brought to St. Augustine and the surrounding Northeast Florida region

WHERE: 1635 US 1 South St. Augustine, FL 32084


*The cemetery contains several important bishops, an archbishop, and numerous Diocesan priests

*Many of the Sisters of St. Joseph are buried there.

*San Lorenzo is home to over 600 Minorcan refugees

*After a yellow fever outbreak, family burials began here because there was concern that the expanding plots at  Nombre de Dios was too close to the intracoastal waterway.

*The cemetery is still active, and offers numerous services

*You can still attend a mass on the cemetery grounds

The main thoroughfare leads to the Mausoleum 

Visitation hours are clearly visible, great for any historic cemetery! 

Although San Lorenzo is not established until late in St. Augustine's history, it embodies the Catholic spirit of St. Augustine that began shortly after Menendez arrived in Florida, and is deeply connected with the missions throughout the region (both across space and over time!). Although Huguenot and Tolomato Cemeteries receive much attention, San Lorenzo is a must-see for any traveler, history or religion buff, or anyone interested in the Catholic roots of the area. Here is a neat old video if you cannot make the trip!

Text by Ryan Harke,  FPAN staff, full credit to and St. Augustine Genealogical Society for photgraphs.

Full Credit to the Diocese of St. Augustine, Cemetery Prints, FindAGrave, and NorthFLCemeteries for historical information and text.

To locate more Northeast Florida Cemetery posts, search "Cemetery a Day in May" or #CaDiM

2014 #CaDiM posts
Intro, May 1: Hilliard Community, May 2: Kingsley slave era cemetery

2013 #CaDiM posts
IntroMay 1: NationalMay 2: OakdaleMay 3: Murphy's CreekMay 4: Mt. OliveMay 5: Bosque BelloMay 6: Old CityMay 7: EspanolaMay 8: TolomatoMay 9: PacettiMay 10: West ViewMay 11: Magnolia Springs,  May 12: St. Peter'sMay 13: Gravely HillMay 14: Pilgrim's RestMay 15: God's Little AcreMay 16: Dummet's GraveMay 17: No NameMay 18: St. MonicaMay 19: St. Joseph'sMay 20:  Old St. Joseph's (Duval)May 21: SampsonMay 22: Fernandez ReserveMay 23: St. AmbroseMay 24: Sons of IsraelMay 25: SanksvilleMay 26: HuguenotMay 27: Nombre de DiosMay 28: BeresfordMay 29: JonesMay 30: San Sebastian/PinehurstMay 31: Oaklynn

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