top of page

About Our Lady of La Leche

To save us, "Jesus had to be made fully human in every way." (Hebrews 2:17) When Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary, He shared our common humanity to the fullest. For this reason, Christians have always reflected on the Incarnation by honoring this image of Our Lady of the Milk (La Leche).


The image of Our Lady of La Leche often speaks most powerfully to mothers and to those hoping to conceive a child, showing how Mary shares their hopes, aspirations, and struggles. But all Christians can marvel at this image of salvation: the Word become flesh for our salvation, in the loving arms of His and our Mother.

The earliest devotion to Our Lady of La Leche can be traced back to the Holy Land. It was in the Holy Land that Mary nourished Our Lord, strengthening him to shed his own blood for our salvation. By the Middle Ages, Christians throughout the world were meditating on the nursing Mother and taking her as a powerful intercessor on the path to salvation. 


In the 16th century, Spanish pilgrims brought the devotion of Our Lady of La Leche to Florida. Spanish and Native Americans living on the Florida missions were devoted to Mary under this powerful title. Ever since then, Catholics in Florida have been moved by this holy image.

In 2015, Bishop Felipe Estevez established this shrine as another home for Our Lady of La Leche, to complement her home in the famous chapel in St. Augustine. Our Lady of La Leche truly dwells wherever people devotedly invoke her intercession, as so many residents of the Santa Fe region of Florida have done since the 17th century.


In 2021, Pope Francis granted that Our Lady of La Leche should wear a golden crown: as it says in the psalm, "the Queen stands in the place of honor, crowned with gold." This devotional image took shape in our holy building, when Cardinal Osoro Sierra was delegated by the Holy Father to place a crown on the head of the image of Mary.

This shrine is consecrated to Our Lady of La Leche. You too can consecrate yourself to Our Lady (or use this shorter consecration). You can also ask for her intercession, especially around the time that we celebrate her feast day (October 11th).

bottom of page