St. Photios Shrine Celebrating 250th Anniversary of 1st Permanent Greek Settlement in America

St. Photios National Shrine in St. Augustine, FL.

AUGUSTINE, FL – The St. Photios Foundation, Inc. invites the public to participate in activitiesMay 15-19celebrating the 250th anniversary of the first permanent settlement of Greeks in America. The St. Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine, an institution of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, is dedicated to the first colony of Greek people who came to America in 1768.

The Shrine consists of exhibits depicting the life of early Greeks in America and the development of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, and the St. Photios Chapel which features exquisite Byzantine-style frescoes of many apostles and saints of the Christian church. Called “The Jewel of St. George Street,” the St. Photios Chapel should not be missed by any visitor. The St. Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine is located in historic St. Augustine, Florida, on St. George Street between Orange and Cuna Streets.

Activities begin at 6 PM on Tuesday, May 15 with a lecture entitled Greek Music in America, presented by Dr. Tina Bucuvales, in the Flagler Room at Flagler College, 74 King Street in St. Augustine.

The Glendi at the Colonial Oak Music Park, 33 St. George Street in St. Augustine, takes place on Wednesday, May 16, 6-10 PM featuring Ellada Band and Anthea Sidiropoulos. There is a $10 cover charge and food and drinks are available for purchase. Reservations are required: 904-829-8205.

The Turnbull-Duncan Papers and the New Smyrna Colony lecture will be presented by Dr. Dan Schafer on Thursday, May 17, 6 PM at the St. Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine.

St. Photios National Shrine in St. Augustine, FL. Photo by Jim Golding

Dr. Ann Browning Masters will speak at the Greek Week Celebration of the 250th anniversary of Greeks arriving in America on Friday, May 18 at 6:30 PM. Her talk, entitled Sharing Memories of Our Heritage, will be held at the St. Photios National Shrine.  A wine and cheese reception at 6 PM will precede the program which is free and open to the public.

A St. Augustine native, Masters is a 12th generation Floridian. She is also a Floridana, a descendant of the Spanish settlers who came to Florida during the First Spanish Period, and a Menorcan, a descendant of settlers from the Mediterranean basin who came to St. Augustine during Florida’s British Period. Her Floridano heritage began with the 1602 marriage of Elena Gonzalez and Diego Alvarez in St. Augustine. Her Menorcan heritage includes the Greek, Italian, and Menorcan family names of Cercopoly, Mabrumati, Pacetti, Canova, Rogero, and Pellicer. As part of her talk, Masters will read from her book Floridanos, Menorcans, Cattle-Whip Crackers: Poetry of St. Augustine, now in its second printing.

The 250th anniversary celebration concludes on Saturday, May 19, 6 PM, with a Walk with Reenactors from the Shrine to La Plaza de la Constitucion.

St. Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine is located at 41 St. George Street in St. Augustine. For reservations, call Shrine Manager, Gina Bingman, at 904-829-8205.

More information is available online at: www.stphotios.org.

St. Photios National Shrine in St. Augustine, FL.
St. Photios National Shrine in St. Augustine, FL.