Sunday, August 28, 2011

Saragossa, Spain

Legend has it that St. James the Apostle went to Spain shortly after the death of Jesus to spread the Good News. Before setting out on his mission, he had spoken to the Blessed Virgin, who promised that he would do good work in Spain.

His first efforts were unsuccessful, and in a vision, Our Lady came to offer him encouragement. When she appeared to St. James, she was standing on a pillar of jasper; which became the precious relic for the country of Spain. This pillar eventually became the real treasure of the Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar. The oldest basilica outside of Rome, it was built on a spot that was the center of Christian activity as early as the third century.

It was after praying often at this shrine that Father Chaminade conceived the idea of founding a religious congregation, the Society of Mary, the Marianists. When in 1908 the Marianists built Chaminade College, the families in the neighborhood attended services in the chapel that was appropriately named after "Our Lady of the Pillar."

May the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit be glorified in all places through the Immaculate Virgin Mary.