When Ponce de León arrived on Florida's shores in 1513, he named the land La Florida, or "flowery," in honor of the Easter season. He initiated centuries of Spanish exploration, settlement, and religious instruction among the Native Americans that forever changed the people and history of Florida. The Florida Catholic Heritage Monument commemorates Florida's Catholic cultural heritage and symbolizes the rich diversity of our state's communities past and present. The baptismal font and rosary are based on artifacts recovered at Mission San Luis in Tallahassee.
To commemorate the new home of the Florida Catholic Conference in Tallahassee, an advisory committee envisioned artwork that would depict the heritage of the Catholic faith in Florida, while making a lasting aesthetic contribution to the community. Drawing upon Catholic life in the early Spanish missions, a design was developed incorporating elements of Florida's rich natural and cultural history.
The outline of the design is a cross measuring 7.5 feet wide by 12 feet tall. It depicts a friar, Spanish father, Indian mother and baby symbolizing the blended families of Spanish Florida and the beginnings of Hispanic-American culture in our state. The baptismal font and rosary are based on artifacts recovered at Mission San Luis in Tallahassee. Plants of La Florida are integrated as decorative elements throughout the sculpture.
On November 8, 2004, Bishop John H. Ricard, SSJ, Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee, joined committee members, donors and Florida Catholic Conference staff to bless and dedicate the monument.
We welcome your support of this beautiful expression of the early roots of the Catholic Church in Florida. All donations are tax deductible. Checks should be made out to the Florida Catholic Conference, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Donations may be made in remembrance of loved ones and names of donors or those remembered will be recognized.
Mailing Address: Florida Catholic Conference, 201 W. Park Ave., Tallahassee, FL 32301-7760