Our Lady of the Pillar (Spanish: Nuestra Señora del Pilar) is the name given to the Blessed Virgin Mary for her miraculous appearance in Zaragoza, Spain at the time of the emergence of Christianity. She is the Patroness of Spain, the Spanish Civil Guard and the Hispanic world. Her shrine is the Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar situated by the Ebro river.
According to ancient Spanish tradition, on January 2, 40 AD, in the early days of Christianity, James the Greater, one of the original Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ, was preaching the Gospel in what was then the pagan land of Caesaraugusta (now Zaragoza), in the Roman province of Hispania. He was disheartened with his mission, having made only a few converts. While he was praying by the banks of the Ebro River with some of his disciples, Mary miraculously appeared before him atop a pillar accompanied by angels. Mary assured James that the people would eventually be converted and their faith would be as strong as the pillar she was standing on. She gave him the pillar as a symbol and a wooden image of herself. James was also instructed to build a chapel on the spot where she left the pillar.
It is generally believed that Mary appeared to James through bilocation, as she was still living either in Ephesus or Jerusalem at the time of this event.She is believed to have died three to fifteen years after Jesus ascended to Heaven.After establishing the church, James returned to Jerusalem with some of his disciples where he became a martyr, beheaded in 44 AD under Herod Agrippa.His disciples allegedly returned his body to Spain and in that spot,the Church of Santiago De Compostela was built.
The apparition of Our Lady of the Pillar is a widely accepted sacred tradition.Popes from earliest times issued Papal Bulls attesting to the authenticity of the shrine and the appearance of the Virgin Mary.Pope Calixtus III issued a bull in 1456 encouraging pilgrimage to the Lady of the Pillar. It acknowledged the miracle of its foundation and the miracles that had taken place in the Spanish shrine. It was also through this bull that the name Lady of the Pillar was confirmed.
So many contradictions had arisen concerning the miraculous origin of the church that during the reign of Pope Innocent XIII Spain appealed to the Holy See to settle the controversy. After careful investigation, the twelve cardinals, in whose hands the affair rested, adopted the following account, which was approved by the Sacred Congregation of Rites on August 7, 1723, and has since been inserted in the lessons of the office of the feast of our Lady of the Pillar, celebrated on October 12:
"Of all the places that Spain offers for the veneration of the devout, the most illustrious is doubtless the sanctuary consecrated to God under the invocation of the Blessed Virgin, under the title of our Lady of the Pillar, at Saragossa."
"According to ancient and pious tradition, St. James the Greater, led by Providence into Spain, spent some time at Saragossa. He there received a signal favor from the Blessed Virgin. As he was praying with his disciples one night, upon the banks of the Ebro, as the same tradition informs us, the Mother of God, who still lived, appeared to him, and commanded him to erect an oratory in that place. The apostle delayed not to obey this injunction, and with the assistance of his disciples soon constructed a small chapel. In the course of time a larger church was built and dedicated, which, with the dedication of Holy Savior is kept as a festival in the city and Diocese of Saragossa on the 4th of October."
Pope Clement XII allowed the celebration of the feast of Our Lady of the Pillar all over the Spanish Empire in 1730. As the date coincides with the discovery of the Americas, the lady was later named as Patroness of the Hispanic World
HER PRESENCE IN THE PHILIPPINES
In the predominantly Catholic country of the Philippines, ruled by Spain for over three hundred years, Our Lady of the Pillar is honored as the patroness of a number parishes and municipalities; seven are named Pilar in her honor. There are towns named Pilar in the provinces of Abra, Bataan, Bohol, Capiz, Cebu, Surigao del Norte and Sorsogon. As in Spain, her feast day is celebrated every October 12.
Our Lady of the Pillar is also the patroness of Santa Cruz parish church in the district of the same name, in the city of Manila. The Jesuits brought the patroness when they administered the church during the Spanish era in the year 1768. Her feast day is also celebrated every 12 October in the district. However, the church has its Marian procession in the 3rd week of October.The image of Del Pilar is now under the care of the Order of the Blessed Sacrament (founded by Saint Peter Julian Eymard) or so called as Sacramentinos.
Our Lady of the Pillar is the patroness of the City and Diocese of Imus, enshrined at the Imus Cathedral in Cavite province. The city celebrates its fiesta every October with the Karakol, a ritual dance-procession performed in fiestas around the province of Cavite,it was canonically crowned by Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle (former bishop of Imus,now an Archbishop of Manila) in the year 2012 in her Shrine at Imus Cathedral, the seat of Diocese of Imus.
Zamboanga City The Virgin of the Pillar has been venerated for almost four centuries as the patroness of the city and in the Archdiocese of Zamboanga. The bas relief of her atop the eastern gate of the 17th-century Spanish military fort dedicated to the Virgin, Fort Pilar (Full name: Royal Fort of our Virgin Lady of the Pillar of Zaragoza, El Fuerte Real de Nuestra Señora Virgen del Pilar de Zaragoza), is now an Outdoor Catholic Marian shrine. The city also has a street named after her - Pilar Street.
In Davao City, a Monument in honor of Nuestra Señora del Pilar in Magsaysay Park was built through the collaborative efforts of Circulo Zamboangueño de Davao, a local group of transposed from Zamboanga City.
ZARAGOZA'S VIRGIN OF THE PILLAR
IMUS' VIRGIN OF THE PILLAR
MANILA'S VIRGIN OF THE PILLAR
ZAMBOANGA'S VIRGIN OF THE PILLAR
Ang puso ko'y nagpupuri Nagpupuri sa Panginoon Nagagalak ang aking Espiritu Sa Aking Tagapagligtas
PRAYER OF RECONCILIATION
In the name of the Father,and of the Son,and of the Holy Spirit.Amen
O Heavenly Father,Through the intercession of Mary,Our Lady of the Pillar,Remove from our minds all thoughts of injustices and from our hearts all evil desires.In your great compassion,wipe out all our guilt.We acknowledge our sins which are always before us.With sincere and contrite hearts,we ask you to put a new spirit within us.Help us to look on our neighbor,with eyes of selfless love and respect.May the prayers of Mary bring us,to the salvation of Jesus and raise us up to eternal life.In union with the holy spirit.One God,Forever and ever.Amen
PRAYER OF PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING
Mary,Our Lady of the Pillar,we give you praise because you opened the door of the human race,to allow the coming of your son, our Lord and Redeemer,Jesus Christ.We give you thanks for through your response,born of a humble heart,you draw the spirit upon us.We acknowledge you as the ever Virgin,Mother of True God,who conceived without stain of original sin,assumed into heaven,body and soul and crowned as the Queen of the Universe.With joy and gratitude we likewise acclaim you as the Mother of the Church and Mother of all of us.Praised be your name forever.Amen
THE HOLY ROSARY
Leader: Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you.
People: Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Leader: Lord, open my lips (make a sign of the cross on the lips)
People: And my mouth shall declare your praise.
Leader: God, come to my assistance (make a sign of the cross the usual way)
People: Lord, make haste to help me.
Leader: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
People: As it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever, Amen.
THE MYSTERIES OF THE HOLY ROSARY
1.The Annunciation 2.The Visitation 3.The Birth of Our Lord 4.The Presentation 5.The finding of child Jesus at the temple
1.The Agony in the garden 2.The flagellation 3.The Crowning with thorns 4.The carrying of the cross 5.The death of Jesus on the Cross
1.The Resurrection 2.The Ascension 3.The Descent of the Holy Spirit 4.The Dormition and the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin 5.The Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
1.The Baptism of Our Lord 2.The Miracle at the Wedding at Cana 3.The Ministry of Jesus 4.The Transfiguration 5.The Institution of the Holy Eucharist
People: We fly to your patronage, O Holy Mother of God, despise not our prayers in our necessities but deliver us from all dangers, O ever glorious and blessed Virgin.
Leader: Queen of the Holy Rosary, pray for us People: That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray.
O God, whose only begotten Son, by his life, death and resurrection has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life; grant we beseech You, that through the meditation of these mysteries of the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise through Christ our Lord, Amen.
PETITIONS TO OUR LADY OF THE PILLAR
V: Mary,Mother of the Church,nourish the life of your son in all his followers,especially the youth R: OUR LADY OF THE PILLAR,BE OUR JOY AND STRENGTH,BY DAY AND BY NIGHT
V: Mary,Queen of the Apostles,animate the baptized as they fulfill their mission of evangelization and cathecesis R: OUR LADY OF THE PILLAR,BE OUR JOY AND STRENGTH,BY DAY AND BY NIGHT
V: Mary,Help of Christians,make us realize that the Eucharist is a powerful force of renewal for the church and the society R: OUR LADY OF THE PILLAR,BE OUR JOY AND STRENGTH,BY DAY AND BY NIGHT
V: Mary,Most Holy Virgin,watch over married couples,those preparing for marriage and those called to serve in single life.May they be pure and chaste,help them overcome the mortal threats against life and love R: OUR LADY OF THE PILLAR,BE OUR JOY AND STRENGTH,BY DAY AND BY NIGHT
V: Mary,Refuge of sinners.Give us the courage to admit our selfishness. Lead us to be reconciled with God and with one another R: OUR LADY OF THE PILLAR,BE OUR JOY AND STRENGTH,BY DAY AND BY NIGHT
V: Mary,Queen of Peace,Bring the people of all nations into one family.Keep them united in brotherly love R: OUR LADY OF THE PILLAR,BE OUR JOY AND STRENGTH,BY DAY AND BY NIGHT
PRAYER TO OUR LADY OF THE PILLAR
All: O Mary, Our Lady of the Pillar, be our joy and strength, by day and by night. As you encourage the early church, so now assist us in our every need. Keep us always united to your son Jesus,attentive to the will of God,and open to the Holy Spirit.Amen
ACT OF CONSECRATION TO OUR LADY OF THE PILLAR
O Mary, Our Lady of the Pillar, We consecrate to you, our country and its entire people, especially our families and our youth.We offer to you all that we have and all that we are, as we strive to accomplish what your son has told us to do.We entrust to your motherly care, our dreams, our goals, our efforts to find the meaning and fulfillment of life in Christ, your son.Amen
PRAYER FOR THE SICK
O Jesus,Son of Mary,we lift up to you all the sick people,you are the Risen Lord who saves the world.You continue to pray for us before the Father.As you strengthened your mother at the foot of the cross, so also give joy and strength to those who are suffering.Give life to those who walk in darkness, patience and courage to those in pain, hope and strength for the weak, comfort and peace to those in distress.Listen O Lord, to the prayer, which our mother offers for us sinners. Send your spirit to heal us and restore us all to the fullness of life.Amen
LET US RAISE OUR VOICE
Let us raise our voice to proclaim our faith Christ the Lord for us has died. Dying,He destroyed our death, Rising,He restored our life. O Lord Jesus, we await your last return in glory.
When we eat the bread and we drink the cup in the blessed Eucharist We meet You, our Risen Savior giving life to us anew. Through life’s journey, be with us, to strengthen us forever.
V: You have given them bread from heaven R: The source of all happiness
LET US PRAY
Lord God, by the paschal mystery of the death and resurrection of Your only Son, You accomplish the work of man’s redemption. Full of trust, we proclaim the paschal mystery in the sacramental signs of the Eucharist. Help us to see ever growing in us the fruits of Your saving work through Christ Our Lord.
(THE BLESSED SACRAMENT IS NOW RAISED THEN PRAY WITH FAITH: MY LORD AND MY GOD)
THE DIVINE PRAISES
Blessed be God. Blessed be His Holy Name. Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true Man. Blessed be the Name of Jesus. Blessed be His Most Sacred Heart. Blessed be His Most Precious Blood. Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. Blessed be the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete. Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary most holy. Blessed be her holy and Immaculate Conception. Blessed be the name of Mary, Virgin and Mother. Blessed be St. Joseph, her most chaste Spouse. Blessed be God in his angels and in his saints.
(THE HOST INSIDE THE MONSTRANCE IS PLACED INSIDE THE TABERNACLE)
O SACRAMENT MOST HOLY
O Sacrament Most Holy O Sacrament Divine All praise and all thanksgiving Be every moment thine Be every moment thine.