Thursday, November 27, 2014

The First Thanksgiving in North America

Happy Thanksgiving!  May we praise God for all of His blessings!  Deo gratias!

I wanted to share this story about the first thanksgiving in the New World.

History books consistently portray America's first Thanksgiving taking place in Plymouth, Massachusetts.  It is illustrated as a gathering of Pilgrims, dressed in black and white, sharing turkey and other foods of the harvest with Native Americans. However, contrary to this common story, the research of Michael Gannon, an expert on Florida colonial history and a professor of history at the University of Florida, revealed that St. Augustine, America's oldest city, was actually the site of the first Thanksgiving in the New World.

This first Thanksgiving was a Traditional Latin Mass of Thanksgiving in St. Augustine.  It took place in 1565, fifty years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth, when the Spanish founder of St. Augustine, Pedro Menindez de Avilis, and 800 Spanish settlers shared in a Mass of Thanksgiving. Following the Mass, Menindez ordered a meal to be shared by the Spaniards and the Seloy Indians who occupied the territory. That meal would have consisted of the rations the Spaniards had on board their ships and whatever foods the Indians contributed.

Thus as we gather around our Thanksgiving table this year, thanking God for all of His amazing blessings, especially our most holy Faith, may we remember the celebration of this first Thanksgiving, the Holy Mass, and share its story with our children or anyone else present.  May we remember, in awe of God, that this celebration was (and continues to be) much greater than any we can organize.  After all this Thanksgiving celebration, celebrated by the traditional Roman Catholics, did not have as its centerpiece an autumn bouquet or a turkey, but the Traditional Latin Mass and the Most Blessed Sacrament.

Deo gratias!

Happy Thanksgiving, and God bless!



  1. Thank you. I hope you and your family have a blessed Thanksgiving too!


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