The Confraternity of Our Lady of La Leche was officially reinstated with a Mass Thursday, Aug. 22, concelebrated by Bishop Felipe Estévez and Archbishop Albert LeGatt of the Archdiocese of St. Boniface in Manitoba, Canada.
The Confraternity of Our Lady of La Leche, which was originally founded 452 years ago, is a public association for the faithful members to help spread the devotion to the nursing Mother of God.
Soon after the Spanish explorers landed on the shores of St. Augustine, they began a special devotion to Nuestra Señora de la Leche y Buen Parto – Our Lady of the Milk and Happy Delivery.
In his homily, Bishop Estévez spoke of the power of the Diocese of St. Augustine’s devotion to Our Lady of La Leche.
“The Confraternity is just formalizing [a devotion] that’s already there. This group of people feels a great love for the shrine,” he said.
After the Mass, Dr. Mary Soha, vice postulator for the cause for the Canonization of the Florida Martyrs, gave a brief talk on the history of the devotion to Our Lady of La Leche, followed by a reception where attendees could learn more about joining the Confraternity.
Leigh Barber, a Ponte Vedra resident who volunteers at Mission Nombre de Dios, said she has always been drawn to the shrine.
“I just feel a spiritual connection to [the shrine]. And I love the history of this place. It’s amazing that we’re bringing something back from so long ago,” she said.
Martha Fernandez-Sardina, who moved to St. Augustine recently but has visited the mission grounds many times over the years, said she comes to the shrine every day for Mass.
“I want to be part of many people who have come here with a simple, quiet intention and have seen God deliver on that promise,” she said. “I want to be part of that army of believers.”
To learn more about the Confraternity of Our Lady of La Leche and becoming a member, visit https://missionandshrine.org/confraternity-membership/.Print