Bishop Agustin Verot

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Material Information

Title:
Bishop Agustin Verot First Bishop of St. Augustine
Series Title:
Tolomato Cemetery
Physical Description:
Mixed Material
Creator:
Coomes, Charles S
Publisher:
Mission Press
Physical Location:
Box: 1SW6
Divider: Cemeteries + Burials
Folder: Cemeteries + Burials

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Saint Augustine (Fla.)
14 Cordova Street (Saint Augustine, Fla.)
Tolomato Cemetery, (Saint Augustine, Fla.)
Spatial Coverage:
North America -- United States of America -- Florida -- Saint Johns -- Saint Augustine

Notes

General Note:
Section on Tolomato Cemetery starts on page 5 and includes map

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
System ID:
USACH00002:00007

Full Text




























BISHOP AGUSTIN VEROT
First Bishop of St. Augustine

Jean-Pierre Augustin Marcellin Verot was born in Le Puy, France,
on May 23, 1805. Following his ordination on September 20, 1828, he
joined the Order of San Sulpice and in 1830 was assigned to the
United States, to teach at the Sulpician College of St. Mary's at
Baltimore. When the college closed, in 1852, he asked for and was
given pastoral duties in Ellicott City near Baltimore.
Happy and content as a pastor, he was thunder-struck on receipt of
a letter dated February 1, 1858, from Archbishop Francis Patrick
Kendrick of Baltimore, appointing him to the new Vicariate of
Florida. Father Verot was reluctant to accept the honor, but his
superiors prevailed. He was consecrated bishop on April 25, 1858, at
the Baltimore Cathedral. and left that city for Florida on May 22.
Arriving at St. Augustine on June 1, he was greeted enthusiastically,
with the ringing of church bells and general rejoining, by most of the
city's 952 white and 376 Negro Catholics.
Taking stock of his new Vicariate, he found that "the country is
poor...over an immense region...we have but three clergymen...to
act as the co-operators of our ministry. How strange! How desolating
is this statement for such a country as Florida...which [once]
abounded with devoted and self-denying missionaries..."
A trip around the State showed Verot how poor Florida really was.
Grieving that he could not provide a resident pastor at many places






that begged for one, such as Key West, Tampa and Tallahassee, he
went to France on May 14, 1858, and obtained seven priests,
including Father Henry Peter Clavreul of sainted memory. In the
same year he got five sisters of the Order of Mercy from Connecticut
for a new academy for girls in St. Augustine, and three Christian
Brothers from Canada for a boy's day school.
The clouds of war were forming, in early 1861, when Bishop Verot
delivered a sermon in St. Augustine vigorously defending the rights
of the south. His strong support of the Confederate cause marked the
first time that an American bishop entered national politics on an
issue that did not directly affect Catholicism. In the North, Augustin
Verot was disdainfully known as the "Rebel Bishop."
On July 22, 1861, Pope Pius IX named Augustin Verot to be the
Third Bishop of Savannah, while retaining his duties in Florida. He
took possession of the see on September 1. Within two months Union
troops had landed at Port Royal, North Carolina, causing panic in
Savannah. They took Fernandina on March 2, 1862, St. Augustine on
March 11, and Jacksonville on March 12. Bishop Verot was greatly
saddened when news of the capture of St. Augustine reached him. In
October 1864 he asked his people to pray for peace with honor, peace
that guaranteed Southern independence, but that was not to be. On
the morning of December 21, 1864, while saying Mass in Savannah,
the Bishop heard the shouts of General Sherman's troops as they
completed their march from Atlanta to the sea.
By war's end, on April 9, 1865, the Southland was a wretched
wasteland-Verot called it a "Heap of smoking ruins," and the
Church in Florida shared in the devastation and poverty. The
churches at Mayport, Fernandina and Jacksonville had been sacked
and burned, and the Catholic people were poverty-stricken and
demoralized. Bishop Verot appealed for help both here and abroad;
meanwhile, he was hard at work recruiting sisters and priests to
minister to the spiritual needs of his people. In 1865 the Sisters of
Mercy reopened St. Mary's Academy in St. Augustine; in June of the
same year the bishop sailed for Europe to ask for eight nuns from the
Sisters of St. Joseph at Le Puy, France. Sixty volunteered, from
whom he chose eight: Sisters Marie Sidonie Rascle, Marie Julie
Roussel, Josdphine Ddldage, Saint Pierre Borie, Clemence
Freycenon, Marie-Joseph Cortial, Marie Celdnie Joubert, and Julie
Clotilde Arsac.
The Sisters arrived at St. Augustine in September 1866; in
February 1867, only five months later, they opened a school for Negro
children in a small building that stood on the east side of St. George
street near the present gate of St. Joseph's Academy. At about the
same time they moved their residence to the former house of Father
Michael O'Reilly on Aviles Street. Less than seven years later, on
January 15, 1874, Bishop Verot would lay the cornerstone for the
present convent.
Between 1865 and 1870 more priests and nuns arrived from France,
Italy and Canada. By the year 1869 the Vicariate of Florida could
count nineteen churches and chapels, seven schools, twelve priests,
and about 10,000 Catholics-a remarkable re-birth from the "heap of
smoking ruins" left by the Civil War.






Recognition of this accomplishment came during the Tenth
Provincial Council of Baltimore in 1869: by unanimous vote the
assembled bishops favored the erection of a new diocese in Florida.
The Holy See approved the recommendation on February 25, 1870,
and formally erected the Diocese of St. Augustine on March 11, 1870.
At his own request, Augustin Verot was transferred from Savannah to
St. Augustine because, as he said, "he had first been sent to St.
Augustine and Florida, and also because in Florida there is more holy
poverty as well as more good to be done in building churches and
founding schools."
In October, 1869, Verot sailed for Rome to attend the First Vatican
Council. He addressed the assembled bishops with vigor and logic,
but his views were unpopular. Some were greeted with scorn and
derision, but they would have fitted well with the Vatican II of Pope
John XXIII. Returning from the Council by way of Le Puy, he
recruited a young Jesuit, Stephen Langlade, who is fondly
remembered by many of the older parishoners of St. Augustine and
Moccasin Branch.
The new Bishop of St. Augustine entered his episcopal see on
October 22, 1870. By 1872 he had repaired and restored the
Cathedral. He also undertook the restoration of the little chapel that
once stood at the site north of the old City Gate, variously known as
"Nombre de Dios" and "Nuestra Sefnora de la Leche," where
Mendndez de Avilds, founder of the City, landed on September 9,
1565 and where Mass was first offered in the continental United
States on the same date.
His interest in history whetted, and noting that the parish did not
have any records of its earlier years, Verot sailed to Havana in 1871 to
look for them. His search was rewarded; elated, he reported: "I
found the old records of St. Augustine for three-hundred years." The
first of 1340 pages recorded a baptism of June 25, 1594. These are the
oldest written records of American origin preserved in the United
States, and are in the Archives of the Diocese of St. Augustine.
Bishop Verot's missionary duties required a great deal of travel
throughout the State on extremely primitive roads to visit the
scattered churches and missions, and sometimes single Catholic
families far from any church. Following one such trip, in the spring
of 1876, the Bishop suffered what he called a "mild indisposition."
Father Clavreul, pastor of the Cathedral and companion on many of
his travels, wrote that this last trip consisted of sleepless nights,
protracted fasts, exposure, long and interminable rides through
almost impassible roads, in wretched and incommodious stage-
coaches. Returning to St. Augustine on June 6, the "mild
indisposition" proved fatal on June 10. A requiem Mass was offered
on June 12, and he was buried in a mortuary chapel vault in Tolomato
Cemetery.
On Friday, June 16, Father Clavreul delivered a beautiful tribute to
his old friend. The eulogy lasted almost an hour; he spoke of Verot as
a man of God whose life was a means of teaching virtue, a life that
was the Gospel in practice. Father Clavreul concluded by saying that
he seemed to hear the saintly Bishop addressing his flock in the
words of St. Paul: "Be ye, therefore, my imitators, as I am of Christ."




























The mortuary chapel vault in Tolomato Cemetery, in which Bishop
Verot was interred, already contained the remains of a Cuban
patriot-priest, Felix Francisco Josd Maria de la Concepcion Varela. In
order to make a place for Verot's body the bones of Varela were put
into a pillow and moved to one end of the vault.
Father Varela was born in Havana in 1788. After ordination he
lectured and wrote on economics and philosophy. In 1821 he was
elected to the Spanish Cortes, or parliament. His advocacy of Cuban
rights so angered Spain that he was forced to go into exile. He fled to
New York, and became pastor of the Church of the Transfiguration
and vicar-general of the diocese. Attracted by the Spanish
atmosphere of St. Augustine, he visited the city on several occasions.
On his last visit in 1853 he died and was buried at Tolomato.
Two years later Cuban admirers exhumed his body and placed it in
the mortuary chapel vault. In 1911 Varela's bones were removed to
Cuba, to be enshrined in a monument erected to him as a national
hero.


Acknowledgment is gratefully made to Dr. Michael V. Gannon for
the use of material in Rebel Bishop (Bruce Publishing company,
Milwaukee, 1964), and The Cross in the Sand (University of Florida
Press, Gainesville, 1965).






OLD TOLOMATO CEMETERY


For some years during the First Spanish Period (1565-1763) this
was the site of an Indian settlement. A "Map of the City of Saint
Augustine and its Environs" by Don Antonio de Arrendondo and
dated May 15, 1737 describes the site as the Church and Village of
Tolomato where 14 men and 33 women and children were served and
protected by the Franciscan Missionaries. With the arrival of the
British, in 1763, the Indians abandoned the area.

It appears that the church itself was made of wood, and the stone
bell tower or steeple was constructed of coquina. The church fell into
disrepair during the British Period (1763-1784), and the lumber was
used for firewood, but the steeple survived until the late 1790's when,
it is traditionally believed, the stones were used in the construction of
the present St. Augustine Cathedral.
The earliest use of this land as a cemetery for the citizens of St.
Augustine was in the year 1777. This date is established in a written
statement made by Don Miguel O'Reilly, parish priest, in the year
1799. On May 28 Don Miguel Ysnardy, owner of adjoining land,
petitioned Governor Don Enrique White to give the cemetery land to
him, suggesting that the cemetery itself could be moved, and
claiming that the Church did not have proper title, anyway. Governor
White asked Father O'Reilly for his comments.
Father O'Reilly replied on June 8, 1779. First, he says, Don Miguel
Ysnardy is not entirely truthful. Over a period of twenty-two years
[since 1777] no individual has claimed ownership of the land in
question. Further, the Church has been burying parishioners in this
cemetery "since time immemorial. In old Spanish times it was used
to bury the Christian Indians of the Town of Tolomato...This usage
continued until the British occupied this Province...Later, when the
Menorcans from Mosqito (New Smyrna) were transferred to this town
[in 1777] Lorenzo Capd, the Sexton, by commission from Dr. Pedro
Camps, petitioned the British Governor, Patrick Tonyn, for the use of
this land, which Tonyn allowed without remuneration. Since that
time, it has been used without interruption as a public cemetery for
the catholics..."
Father O'Reilly pointed out that the land has been regarded as
sacred since remote times, and that there were a large number of
interments there, including the parents, wives and other relatives of
many then living, and "two venerable priests who in other times
inspired respect."
One of the venerable priests, no doubt, was Father Narciso Font
who died on January 13, 1793. The other was Pedro Camps, the
beloved Minorcan Parish Priest and Missionary Apostolic, who died
May 19, 1790 and was buried in Tolomato Cemetery on May 20.
When the new church was built (the present Cathedral of St.
Augustine) the remains of both priests were removed to vaults in the
church; Father Camps on May 20, 1800 and Father Font a week later.
The last recorded burial in Tolomato Cemetery was that of Robert
P. Sabate, who died January 11, 1892.









TOL MATO CEMETERY
THREE MICKLER m BISHOP FERNANDA NENA
BABIES I AUGUSTIN OLIVEPOS OLIVEROS
SABATL VEROT June 4 Hn PAPY
METE 188 June 10, 1858 F 8/26/1861
MARCELLA 188 18 76 1
ROBERT P 19*| JOS POMAR
7/10/1867
FRANCES A. SOLANO 1865 CATALINA m
MARIA SOLANO HARTZ 1867 H. BENET JAMES HERNANDEZ
EUSEBIA FONTANE SOLANA 1871 Nov. 19, Feb. 27, 1860
MATTHEW SOLANA 1871 IT 1816
ANN ND F.MARY CARMEK BENET
ANN M. HEGRNADEZ EAYA, Dec 27 1868
HEFNANDEZ GIBBS and Four Babies
June 23, Feb. 7,
1849 1836 ALE PEDRO EENET
5/7/1876 May 5, 1870
5/7/1876 6 May 5' 87


Mrs. JANE
MASTERS
- Feb. ]7,
1855


Father BROTHER
EDWARD LOUIS
F MAYNE May 27,
Dec. 21 ]861
1834

Little KATE BRAVO- -
July 5, 1857 MARIA
HERNANDEZ

ELIZABETH
FORRESTER E
D ANTONIO Dec 20, ]798#

VIRGIIIA
WANTON -
Apr 3, 1834


MY MNUCY M. R. ANDREU
MARY MANUCYu [- and Wife
Sep. 3 1867
SANCHEZ
JAMES R
RAYNOND C
EUGENE E
JAMES P
ERNEST F
1878, 54
'L7 sa I-


JOHN & MARY
REYES, and
MARY PONCE Father
1875-76-83 MICHAEL
E O'REILLY
Sept. 13
Father 1812
MARY MICHAEL
CARMEN CROSBY
MICKLER June 1,
Mu 16 1822


1857


FERDINAND
ANDRES PAPY P APY
Dec 4, 1858 7/2/1855


Don JUAN McQUEEN, who died October 11,
1807, lies in this cemetery in an un-
known grave, as do hundreds of others.


Captai
DANIEL
HCRLBUF
5/23/18

I
PAUL &
AUGUSTENER
MASTERS
1863 &'81


*


ELLEN A.
PINKHAM
& Son
VEROT
May 28,
1879


ANTONIO &
m MATILDA
MASTERS
1862 & 69
SMajor
WILLIAM
TRAVERS
10/31/1840


LEONCIA SOLANA
Mar 8, 1874
MARY C. MASTERS MARY C. PACETTI
Sept. 9, 1858 August 8, 1874


Earliest Eurovean Burial, 1777


#Earliest Tombstone Date,
*Last Burial,


Funds for the restoration of Tolomato Cemetery were provided by
Most Reverend Paul M. Tanner, Bishop of the Diocese of St.
Augustine, and the Very Reverend Monsignor James J. Heslin,
Pastor, from the San Lorenzo Cemetery Fund.


A committee has been formed, from among the defendants of
former friends and parishioners of Bishop Verot, to create a Perpetual
Care Fund to maintain this Cemetery and Chapel as a Memorial to
the memory of Augustin Verot, First Bishop of St. Augustine.
Those wishing to participate may communicate with X. L. Pellicer,
Chairman of the committee.

Mission Press, St. Augustine, Florida. Compiled and edited by Charles S. Coomes. June 1976.


ANN
WILKINSON
May 20,
1829


Z 30 O


E




Full Text

























The mortuary chapel vault in Tolomato Cemetery, in which Bishop Verot was interred, already contained the remains of a Cuban patriot-priest, Fdlix Francisco Josd Maria de la Concepcion Varela. In order to make a place for Verot's body the bones of Varela were put into a pillow and moved to one end of the vault.
Father Varela was born in Havana in 1788. After ordination he lectured and wrote on economics and philosophy. In 1821 he was elected to the Spanish Cortes, or parliament. His advocacy of Cuban rights so angered Spain that he was forced to go into exile. He fled to New York, and became pastor of the Church of the Transfiguration and vicar-general of the diocese. Attracted by the Spanish atmosphere of St. Augustine, he visited the city on several occasions. On his last visit in 1853 he died and was buried at Tolomato.
Two years later Cuban admirers exhumed his body and placed it in the mortuary chapel vault. In 1911 Varela's bones were removed to Cuba, to be enshrined in a monument erected to him as a national hero.







Acknowledgment is gratefully made to Dr. Michael V. Gannon for the use of material in Rebel Bishop (Bruce Publishing company, Milwaukee, 1964), and The Cross in the Sand (University of Florida Press, Gainesville, 1965).

4






that begged for one, such as Key West, Tampa and Tallahassee, he went to France on May 14, 1858, and obtained seven priests, including Father Henry Peter Clavreul of sainted memory. In the same year he got five sisters of the Order of Mercy from Connecticut for a new academy for girls in St. Augustine, and three Christian Brothers from Canada for a boy's day school.
The clouds of war were forming, in early 1861, when Bishop Verot delivered a sermon in St. Augustine vigorously defending the rights of the south. His strong support of the Confederate cause marked the first time that an American bishop entered national politics on an issue that did not directly affect Catholicism. In the North, Augustin Verot was disdainfully known as the "Rebel Bishop."
On July 22, 1861, Pope Pius IX named Augustin Verot to be the Third Bishop of Savannah, while retaining his duties in Florida. He took possession of the see on September 1. Within two months Union troops had landed at Port Royal, North Carolina, causing panic in Savannah. They took Fernandina on March 2, 1862, St. Augustine on March 11, and Jacksonville on March 12. Bishop Verot was greatly saddened when news of the capture of St. Augustine reached him. In October 1864 he asked his people to pray for peace with honor, peace that guaranteed Southern independence, but that was not to be. On the morning of December 21, 1864, while saying Mass in Savannah, the Bishop heard the shouts of General Sherman's troops as they completed their march from Atlanta to the sea.
By war's end, on April 9, 1865, the Southland was a wretched wasteland-Verot called it a "Heap of smoking ruins," and the Church in Florida shared in the devastation and poverty. The churches at Mayport, Fernandina and Jacksonville had been sacked and burned, and the Catholic people were poverty-stricken and demoralized. Bishop Verot appealed for help both here and abroad; meanwhile, he was hard at work recruiting sisters and priests to minister to the spiritual needs of his people. In 1865 the Sisters of Mercy reopened St. Mary's Academy in St. Augustine; in June of the same year the bishop sailed for Europe to ask for eight nuns from the Sisters of St. Joseph at Le Puy, France. Sixty volunteered, from whom he chose eight: Sisters Marie Sidonie Rascle, Marie Julie Roussel, Josdphine DdIdage, Saint Pierre Borie, Cldmence Freycenon, Marie-Joseph Cortial, Marie Celdnie Joubert, and Julie Clotilde Arsac.
The Sisters arrived at St. Augustine in September 1866; in February 1867, only five months later, they opened a school for Negro children in a small building that stood on the east side of St. George street near the present gate of St. Joseph's Academy. At about the same time they moved their residence to the former house of Father Michael O'Reilly on Aviles Street. Less than seven years later, on January 15, 1874, Bishop Verot would lay the cornerstone for the present convent.
Between 1865 and 1870 more priests and nuns arrived from France, Italy and Canada. By the year 1869 the Vicariate of Florida could count nineteen churches and chapels, seven schools, twelve priests, and about 10,000 Catholics-a remarkable re-birth from the "heap of smoking ruins" left by the Civil War.

2
































BISHOP AGUSTIN VEROT
First Bishop of St. Augustine

Jean-Pierre Augustin Marcellin Verot was born in Le Puy, France, on May 23, 1805. Following his ordination on September 20, 1828, he joined the Order of San Sulpice and in 1830 was assigned to the United States, to teach at the Sulpician College of St. Mary's at Baltimore. When the college closed, in 1852, he asked for and was given pastoral duties in Ellicott City near Baltimore.
Happy and content as a pastor, he was thunder-struck on receipt of a letter dated February 1, 1858, from Archbishop Francis Patrick Kendrick of Baltimore, appointing him to the new Vicariate of Florida. Father Verot was reluctant to accept the honor, but his superiors prevailed. He was consecrated bishop on April 25, 1858, at the Baltimore Cathedral. and left that city for Florida on May 22. Arriving at St. Augustine on June 1, he was greeted enthusiastically, with the ringing of church bells and general rejoining, by most of the city's 952 white and 376 Negro Catholics.
Taking stock of his new Vicariate, he found that "the country is poor...over an immense region...we have but three clergymen...to act as the co-operators of our ministry. How strange! How desolating is this statement for such a country as Florida...which [once] abounded with devoted and self-denying missionaries..."
A trip around the State showed Verot how poor Florida really was. Grieving that he could not provide a resident pastor at many places






OLD TOLOMATO CEMETERY

For some years during the First Spanish Period (1565-1763) this was the site of an Indian settlement. A "Map of the City of Saint Augustine and its Environs" by Don Antonio de Arrendondo and dated May 15, 1737 describes the site as the Church and Village of Tolomato where 14 men and 33 women and children were served and protected by the Franciscan Missionaries. With the arrival of the British, in 1763, the Indians abandoned the area.

It appears that the church itself was made of wood, and the stone bell tower or steeple was constructed of coquina. The church fell into disrepair during the British Period (1763-1784), and the lumber was used for firewood, but the steeple survived until the late 1790's when, it is traditionally believed, the stones were used in the construction of the present St. Augustine Cathedral.
The earliest use of this land as a cemetery for the citizens of St. Augustine was in the year 1777. This date is established in a written statement made by Don Miguel O'Reilly, parish priest, in the year 1799. On May 28 Don Miguel Ysnardy, owner of adjoining land, petitioned Governor Don Enrique White to give the cemetery land to him, suggesting that the cemetery itself could be moved, and claiming that the Church did not have proper title, anyway. Governor White asked Father O'Reilly for his comments.
Father O'Reilly replied on June 8, 1779. First, he says, Don Miguel Ysnardy is not entirely truthful. Over a period of twenty-two years [since 1777] no individual has claimed ownership of the land in question. Further, the Church has been burying parishioners in this cemetery "since time immemorial. In old Spanish times it was used to bury the Christian Indians of the Town of Tolomato...This usage continued until the British occupied this Province...Later, when the Menorcans from Mosqito (New Smyrna) were transferred to this town [in 1777] Lorenzo Capd, the Sexton, by commission from Dr. Pedro Camps, petitioned the British Governor, Patrick Tonyn, for the use of this land, which Tonyn allowed without remuneration. Since that time, it has been used without interruption as a public cemetery for the catholics..."
Father O'Reilly pointed out that the land has been regarded as sacred since remote times, and that there were a large number of interments there, including the parents, wives and other relatives of many then living, and "two venerable priests who in other times inspired respect."
One of the venerable priests, no doubt, was Father Narciso Font who died on January 13, 1793. The other was Pedro Camps, the beloved Minorcan Parish Priest and Missionary Apostolic, who died May 19, 1790 and was buried in Tolomato Cemetery on May 20. When the new church was built (the present Cathedral of St. Augustine) the remains of both priests were removed to vaults in the church; Father Camps on May 20, 1800 and Father Font a week later.
The last recorded burial in Tolomato Cemetery was that of Robert P. Sabate, who died January 11, 1892.

5









TOL4. ATO CEMETERY
THREE MICKLER m BISHOP FERNANDA NENA
ABIES I AUGUSTINI OLIVEPOS OLIVEROS
SABATL VEROT June 4 PAPY
METTTE 188 June 10, 1858 8/26/1861
MARCELIA 188 II 1876
ROBERT P 18942 1 JOS POMAR
7/10/1867
FRANCES A. SOLANO 1865 CATALINA / m
MARIA SOLANO HARTZ 1867 H. BENET JAMES HERNANDEZ EUSEBIA FONTANE SOLANA 1871 Nov. 19, Feb. 27, 1860
MATTHEW SOLANA 1871 1 ANITA 1816
SHERNDEZ MA.RY CARMEN BENET ANN M. HERNANDEZ AYA, Dec 27 1868 HERNANDEZ GIBBS and Four Babies June 23, 1836 FPAlCINA 1849 1836 FP.NCIEA PEDRO EENET 5/7/1876 May 5, 1870
Mrs. JANE
Mrs.TJE M. R. ANDREU ANN ASTERS MARY MANUCY and Wife
WILKINSON Feb. ]7, Sep. 3 1867 m
May 20, 1855 SANCHEZ
1829 JAMES R
m-m m RAYNOND C EUGENE E
Father BROTHER
EDWARD LOUIS JAMES P
F MAYNE May 27, ENEST F
S Dec. 21 ]861 71 18 '83 N O 1834 JOHN & MARY O U REYES, and R Little KATE BRAVO MARY ONCE Father T
July 5, 1857 MARIA 1875-76-'83 MICHAEL
OC'EILLY
HERNANDEZ Sept. 13
Father 1812
ELIZABETH 0 MARY MICHAEL FORRESTER CARMEN CROSBY ELLEN A. AYATONIO Dec 20, 1798 MICKLER une 1, PINKHAM May 16 1822 H & Son VIRGINIA 1857 VEROT
WANTON Captain 1879
Apr 3, 1834 DANIEL HURLBURT
ANDRES pAPY FERDINAND 5/23/1836
PAPY ANTONIO Dec 4, 858 7/2/1855 m MATILDA MASTERS
PAUL & 1862 & t9
AUGUSTENER
Don JUAN McQUEEN, who died October 11, MASTERS Major 1807, lies in this cemetery in an un- 1863 & '81 WILLIAM known grave, as do hundreds of others. TRAVERS 10/31/1840
LEONCIA SOLANA
Mar 8, 1874
MARY C. MASTERS - MARY C. PACETTI Sept. 9, 1858 August 8, 1874

Earliest Eurovean Burial. 1777 #Earliest Tombstone Date, 1798
*Last Burial, 1892

Funds for the restoration of Tolomato Cemetery were provided by
Most Reverend Paul M. Tanner, Bishop of the Diocese of St.
Augustine, and the Very Reverend Monsignor James J. Heslin,
Pastor, from the San Lorenzo Cemetery Fund.
********

A committee has been formed, from among the decendants of
former friends and parishioners of Bishop Verot, to create a Perpetual
Care Fund to maintain this Cemetery and Chapel as a Memorial to
the memory of Augustin Verot, First Bishop of St. Augustine.
Those wishing to participate may communicate with X. L. Pellicer,
Chairman of the committee.

Mission Press, St. Augustine, Florida. Compiled and edited by Charles S. Coomes. June 1976.


6






Recognition of this accomplishment came during the Tenth Provincial Council of Baltimore in 1869: by unanimous vote the assembled bishops favored the erection of a new diocese in Florida. The Holy See approved the recommendation on February 25, 1870, and formally erected the Diocese of St. Augustine on March 11, 1870. At his own request, Augustin Verot was transferred from Savannah to St. Augustine because, as he said, "he had first been sent to St. Augustine and Florida, and also because in Florida there is more holy poverty as well as more good to be done in building churches and founding schools."
In October, 1869, Verot sailed for Rome to attend the First Vatican Council. He addressed the assembled bishops with vigor and logic, but his views were unpopular. Some were greeted with scorn and derision, but they would have fitted well with the Vatican II of Pope John XXIII. Returning from the Council by way of Le Puy, he recruited a young Jesuit, Stephen Langlade, who is fondly remembered by many of the older parishoners of St. Augustine and Moccasin Branch.
The new Bishop of St. Augustine entered his episcopal see on October 22, 1870. By 1872 he had repaired and restored the Cathedral. He also undertook the restoration of the little chapel that once stood at the site north of the old City Gate, variously known as "Nombre de Dios" and "Nuestra Sehora de la Leche," where Mendndez de Avilds, founder of the City, landed on September 9, 1565 and where Mass was first offered in the continental United States on the same date.
His interest in history whetted, and noting that the parish did not have any records of its earlier years, Verot sailed to Havana in 1871 to look for them. His search was rewarded; elated, he reported: "I found the old records of St. Augustine for three-hundred years." The first of 1340 pages recorded a baptism of June 25, 1594. These are the oldest written records of American origin preserved in the United States, and are in the Archives of the Diocese of St. Augustine.
Bishop Verot's missionary duties required a great deal of travel throughout the State on extremely primitive roads to visit the scattered churches and missions, and sometimes single Catholic families far from any church. Following one such trip, in the spring of 1876, the Bishop suffered what he called a "mild indisposition." Father Clavreul, pastor of the Cathedral and companion on many of his travels, wrote that this last trip consisted of sleepless nights, protracted fasts, exposure, long and interminable rides through almost impassible roads, in wretched and incommodious stagecoaches. Returning to St. Augustine on June 6, the "mild indisposition" proved fatal on June 10. A requiem Mass was offered on June 12, and he was buried in a mortuary chapel vault in Tolomato Cemetery.
On Friday, June 16, Father Clavreul delivered a beautiful tribute to his old friend. The eulogy lasted almost an hour; he spoke of Verot as a man of God whose life was a means of teaching virtue, a life that was the Gospel in practice. Father Clavreul concluded by saying that he seemed to hear the saintly Bishop addressing his flock in the words of St. Paul: "Be ye, therefore, my imitators, as I am of Christ."

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