ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – On July 25, St. Augustine will be dressed in splendor to launch the commemorative events of the Camino del Mestizaje.

Similar to the Camino de Santiago (known in English as the “Way of St. James”, leading to the shrine of Saint James the Great in Galicia, Spain), the Camino del Mestizaje will be a network of pilgrim paths in the Americas.

Recognizing St. Augustine’s legacy in establishing Catholicism in the U.S. as the country’s oldest continuously inhabited European settlement, the Cathedral Alliance has chosen the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine along with the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche at Mission Nombre de Dios as the first announced locations on the route and the cornerstone of the Camino del Mestizaje.


Procession of the Statue of St. James

The procession begins at 6 PM from the Castillo de San Marcos (1 S. Castillo Drive, St. Augustine) and ends at the Cathedral Basilica (38 Cathedral Place, St. Augustine). A solemn procession will accompany the statue of St. James through the streets of St. Augustine. The Historic Florida Militia and the Royal Family of St. Augustine will join representatives of the faith community, city officials, and historians in the procession. The public is invited to participate.

Private Reception at the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche

Following Mass, a private reception will be hosted by the National Shrine (101 San Marco Ave.) bringing together dignitaries and representatives of the Alliance of Cathedrals. During these events, attendees will have an opportunity to witness the presence of a notable sculpture of St. James the Apostle (Santiago) commissioned by Francisco S. Guitard, president of the Nauta Institute. This sculpture, blessed and dedicated last year during a special journey to Spain, holds a significant place in the celebration. It represents the unity and shared history between St. Augustine and the Camino del Mestizaje, emphasizing the cultural and spiritual connections rooted in this project.

In addition, pilgrims will be provided with an official credential, allowing them to explore the different points of the Camino in St. Augustine as part of their journey in the historic city. The miles covered in this stage will be equivalent to those in the Iberian Peninsula, meaning that those who complete 100 km can proceed directly to the Cathedral of Santiago, where they can have their credentials stamped and receive a mileage certificate.

The Camino del Mestizaje

The Camino del Mestizaje opens on July 25. Pilgrims will be able to purchase an official credential (passport) recognized by the Pilgrim’s Office in Spain. All kilometers walked on the officially established routes and documented using officially recognized stamps will count towards the 100 km minimum distance required to receive a Pilgrim’s Certificate in Santiago de Compostela. The first two locations issuing the stamps will be the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine and the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche at Mission Nombre de Dios in July. The Baby Steps Camino, presented annually by the Order of Malta, is a newly approved route of the Camino de Mestizaje whose mileage will now count towards the Camino in Spain.

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