OUR LADY OF THE PILLAR.
Patroness of the Hispanic people.
The tradition, as has emerged from some thirteenth-century documents preserved in the cathedral of Zaragoza, goes back immediately after the Ascension of Jesus Christ, when the apostles, strengthened by the Holy Spirit, preached the Gospel. It is said that, at that time (40 AD), St. James the Greater, the brother of John and son of Zebedee, preached in Spain. Those lands had not received the Gospel, for they were tied to paganism. St. James got the blessing of the Blessed Virgin for his mission.
- Mary consoled and comforted the Apostle James, already discouraged by the difficulties encountered in these Aragon lands at the beginning of the evangelization.
- The Blessed Virgin, who still lived in mortal flesh, asked the Apostle build there a church, the altar around the pillar where she stood and promised that “this site will remain until the end of time so that God’s power might work wonders through my intercession for those who implore my patronage in their needs. “
- This steadfastness and firmness of faith is what fueled the Spaniards to bring the faith in many places. “Through them… many Christians have embraced the faith in Christ, Son of God and Mary (Ibidem).”
- On the day when the feast of Our Lady of Pilar was celebrated in Spain in 1492, the voice of Rodrigo de Triana’s voice cried out: Land! Admiral Columbus heard his voice which put an end to despair and exhaustion of the journey by sea. It is she, Our Lady of the Pillar, who seemed to give to Her Son a new world through Columbus and his sailors aboard three ships, whose name and “captain” Santa Maria.
- In following Jesus, we will always find difficulties and discouragement. However, we should never forget that we have a very powerful intercessor and protectress: our Mother Mary. The Virgin Mary is the strong pillar, which supports the Church of Her Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ and which safeguards the authenticity of the Christian faith. Josemaria said: Love for our Lady is proof of good spirit, in organizations and in individuals. Distrust the undertaking that lacks this characteristic. (The Way, n.505)
- Today’s feast shows that Our Mother Mary cares a lot and helps us to be strong, firm and steadfast in our faith, and in following Jesus, in order to arrive at our heavenly port.
- SHE DOES NOT DENY ANYONE WHO ASKS FOR HER PROTECTION: “Love our Lady. And she will obtain for you abundant grace to conquer in your daily struggle. And the enemy will gain nothing by those foul things that continually seem to boil and rise within you, trying to engulf in their fragrant corruption the high ideals, the sublime determination that Christ himself has set in your heart. Serviam, I will serve! (The Way, n. 493) So your strength is fast failing you? Why don’t you say to your Mother, ‘comforter of the afflicted, help of Christians… our hope, queen of apostles’ ? (The Way, n. 515) Mother! Call her again and again. She is listening, she sees you in danger perhaps, and with her Son’s grace she, your holy Mother Mary, offers you the refuge of her arms, the tenderness of her embrace. Call her, and you will find yourself with added strength for the new struggle. (The Way, n. 516)”
(Saint John Paul II, op.cit).”
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