This has been a week of pilgrimage for me. I recently traveled to Fort Caroline and to the site of the Matanzas massacre while on a jaunt through Florida, and I was greatly sobered by both visits. As references to the Huguenots and their sacrifices are few in St. Augustine --- and usually biased --- I was ready for a positive experience.
|Memorial Presbyterian Church in St. Augustine, Florida|
Then I visited the Memorial Presbyterian Church. Located at 32 Sevilla Street in the "Victorian" section of St. Augustine, it was a testament to the Protestant faith and how, even with such a horrid beginning in this New World, it refused to die. This church, darkened handsomely by mahogany pews and lightened beautifully by blue-domed ceilings and a variety of stained glass windows, was begun in the 1880s by St. Augustine's Henry Flagler, the "Grandfather of Modern Tourism."
|Inside Memorial Presbyterian Church|
But what touched me was not even the fact that there was a church in St. Augustine that held very similar beliefs to the Huguenots', that this was their triumph in a deeply spiritual way. I looked up, and there on a banner was the Huguenot Cross. Beautiful. Vibrant. Bold. Just as "the body they may kill, but the truth abideth still," as A Mighty Fortress is Our God proudly states, the Huguenot spirit was brutally crushed but still lives eternal.
Pilgrimages are full of profound sadnesses and beauties of every caliber.
|Stained glass beauty|
|The Huguenot Cross, a symbol of triumph in a New World where Protestantism once warranted death|
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