"With a laudable and pious zeal..."

"With a laudable and pious zeal..." (HMG1K)

Location: Coltons Point, MD 20626 St Mary's County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 12.504', W 76° 44.663'

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"for the propagation of the Christian faith"

A Catholic Mass, the first in English America, was celebrated here on March 25, 1634. It was a time of beginnings; the first day of the year on the old Julian Calendar and the Feast of the Annunciation.
Catholic leaders were determine to practice their religion as the planted their new Maryland Colony. They had left an England that was persecuting Catholics and a Europe racked by bloody religious wars.

Lord Baltimore, Cecil Calvert, instructed Catholic settlers to "treate the Protestants with as much mildness and favor as Justice will permitt." By 1649, the Maryland General Assembly made this policy official. The "Act Concerning Religion" declared that "no person or persons...professing beleeve in Jesus Christ...shall [be in] any waies troubled, molested or discountenance...in respect of his or her Religion." Seventeenth-century Maryland was a leader on the road to religious toleration.

[image of 1634 colonists on St. Clement's Island] "In this place on our b[lessed] ladies day in lent, we first offered [the sacrifice of the mass], erected a crosse, and with devotion took solemne possession of the Country." - Jesuit missionary and Maryland settler Father Andrew White, 1634.

A Homemade Symbol of Religious Toleration

In 1934, people gathered here on Maryland's 300th birthday to remember the first settlers and their quest for religious toleration. A 40-foot cross, pictured here from the island's lighthouse tower during the ceremonies, has been a landmark ever since. It was a home-grown monument, constructed during the Great Depression from 50-gallon oil barrels filled with cement and a plywood frame covered with stucco.

[photo of 1634 ceremonies]
HM NumberHMG1K
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, October 19th, 2014 at 3:47pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 347276 N 4230376
Decimal Degrees38.20840000, -76.74438333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 12.504', W 76° 44.663'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 12' 30.24" N, 76° 44' 39.78" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)301
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 20431 Colton Point Rd, Coltons Point MD 20626, US
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