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Pensacola Beach, Florida: Indestructible Cross: First Catholic Mass

10-foot-high cross atop a sand dune marks spot of first Catholic Mass in the U.S., in 1559. Hurricanes have never toppled it. "There is no scientific explanation as to why the dune and the cross have been spared so many times."

495 Fort Pickens Rd, Pensacola Beach, FL
On the south side of Fort Pickens Rd, 1.2 miles west of its intersection with Hwy 399. The cross has its own tiny parking lot.
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Cross and marker.

Indestructible Cross: First Catholic Mass

We stopped at the cross on our way to Fort Pickens. The dune is blocked off, so no one can climb it. We pulled off to the side of the road and crossed for a better picture. It is visible from the road. Amazing that it has withstood all the weather.

[EC, 02/09/2024]


Indestructible Cross: First Catholic Mass

The cross is about 10 feet tall and sits high on a dune overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, out on Pensacola Beach Island. In the 1950s the cross was placed on the island to commemorate the location of the first Catholic Mass in the United States. Pensacola Beach was the site of that Mass over 450 years ago. It has survived every hurricane since it was erected.

The cross is fenced off to prevent erosion.

[Vicki Stevison, 11/13/2011]

The Mass occurred in 1559, and the concrete Island Cross was erected in 1959. Feb. 2018: Photo added.

Nearby Offbeat Places

Surfer Dude StatueSurfer Dude Statue, Gulf Breeze, FL - 1 mi.
Futuro - UFO HouseFuturo - UFO House, Pensacola Beach, FL - 3 mi.
Graffiti BridgeGraffiti Bridge, Pensacola, FL - 7 mi.
In the region:
National Memorial To Missing Children, Pensacola, FL - 6 mi.

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