"Saint James the Greater heard the voices of angels who sang: ‘Hail Mary, full of grace ...' He knelt down at once, saw the Virgin Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ between two choirs of a thousand angels standing on a marble pillar [...]. Then, the Blessed Virgin Mary called Blessed James the Apostle very softly to come to her, and said: ‘You should place the altar of the chapel near this [...] the power of the Most High will do miracles and wonders to those who call to me in need. This pillar will remain in place until the end of the world and there will always be someone in this town to venerate the name of Jesus Christ my Son.' "
In 1434, a devastating fire forced the Church authorities to destroy the church and to rebuild a Romanesque Gothic-Mudejar building, completed in 1515. The building consisted of a single nave, cloisters and a chapel housing the Pillar.
When Spain was unified, the devotion of Our Lady del Pilar spread throughout Spain. Christopher Columbus discovered America on October 12, Feast of Our Lady of the Pillar! A simple coincidence?
For us Our Lady of the Pilar is the place where Blessed Chaminade had a close experience with Our Lady and was inspired to found the Society of Mary.