Our Lady of the Pillar, or Nuestra Senora del Pilar, is a highly venerated Catholic site and was built in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The location is considered the birthplace of Christianity in Spain and has been the destination of pilgrims for hundreds of years.
The Church of Our Lady of the Pillar is near the River Ebro in the province of Zaragoza, west of Barcelona on the coast of Spain.
According to tradition, James the Greater, son of Zebedee, was visited by an apparition of Mary atop a pillar made of jasper around 40 A.D. She instructed him to build a church on that spot. James had a small chapel built to honor Mary.
The present Baroque style church dates from the time of Charles II. Since 1753, the statue of Our Lady of the Pillar has been housed in a special chapel commissioned by King Ferdinand VI.
Through the years, many Popes and other important Catholic personages have given gifts in honor. Since 1977, sketches for the Basilica's construction and adornment as well as these gifts have been displayed in a museum attached to the Basilica.
The Feast Day for Our Lady of the Pillar is October 12, marked by a procession to the Basilica of hundreds of thousands of pilgrims who place flowers at the base of the statue.
Article Written By Sandra Petersen
For almost four years, Sandra Petersen has written fiction stories and non-fiction articles for sites like FaithWriters, Associated Content, Helium, Textbroker, and Triond as well as Demand Studios. Petersen attended the University of Wisconsin-Superior and earned her Bachelor's degree in elementary education with a minor in music education.