"a building was erected in St. Augustine in 1588 to act as a friary for the Franciscan missionaries who came to Florida with the intention of Christianizing the native people.“For 175 years, this was the headquarters for the Franciscan mission system. They effectively Christianized an estimated 40,000 natives,” St. Francis Barracks historian Alison Simpson said.
During their stay in Florida, the Franciscans built some of the first churches and made the first dictionaries based on Indian languages.
Franciscans pledged themselves to poverty and remnants of the friar cells can still be found at the barracks today."
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