On October 12, people worldwide celebrate the feast of Our Lady of the Pillar, Patroness of Zaragoza, of Spain and the Spanish Civil Guard.
Spain – Zaragoza (12/10/2021 9:20 PM, Gaudium Press) Celebrated on October 12, the feast of Our Lady of the Pillar is one of the oldest feasts dedicated to Mary Most Holy. Each year the celebration gathers thousands of people in Zaragoza.
The origins of this devotion can be traced back to apostolic times, when the Apostle Saint James preached the Good News of the Gospel in the region of Zaragoza, Spain.
Dissatisfied with the results of his evangelization, however, the Apostle was discouraged. One day, St. James heard the Angels singing and saw Our Lady herself standing on a pillar.
Besides bringing comfort to St. James, the Blessed Virgin asked the Apostle to build a shrine in her honour. She promised to remain in the shrine until the end of time. The devotion to Our Lady of the Pillar spread to the rest of Spain and several Latin-American countries.
Why is the Virgin of the Pilar the Patroness of the Civil Guard?
The week preceding October 12 marks a series of celebrations devoted to the Institution of the Spanish Civil Guard for the Virgin of the Pillar is also the Patroness of the Spanish Civil Guard. The tradition dates back to 1864.
Back then, Fr. Miguel Moreno was a military chaplain posted to the Colegio de Valdemoro, a police academy.
Soon after his arrival, the priest enthroned the image of Our Lady of the Pillar in the Academy’s chapel.
Since then, devotion to the Blessed Virgin spread among the young soldiers and increased more and more to the point that in 1913, the Director-General of the Military Corps proclaimed the Virgin of the Pillar as Patroness of the entire Spanish Civil Guard. (FM)
Compiled by Gustavo Kralj