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Our Lady of the Pillar

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Holy icons

Our Lady of the Pillar (SpanishNuestra Señora del Pilar) is the name given to the Blessed Virgin Mary in the context of the traditional belief that Mary, while living in Jerusalem, supernaturally appeared to the Apostle St. James the Greater in AD 40 while he was preaching in what is now Spain. Those who adhere to this belief consider this appearance to be the only recorded instance of Mary exhibiting the mystical phenomenon of bilocation.[2] Among Catholics, it is also considered the first Marian apparition, although it is unique in this regard because it is the only one to have occurred while Mary was still alive on earth.[3]

This title is also given to a wooden image, commemorating the apparition, which is enshrined at the Cathedral-Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar in ZaragozaAragonSpainPope Callixtus III granted indulgences for those visiting her shrine in 1456. Since 1730, Pope Innocent XIII mandated her veneration throughout the Spanish Empire. On 20 May 1905, Pope Pius X granted the image a canonical coronation.

Our Lady of the Pillar is considered the Patroness of Aragon and its capital Zaragoza, and of the Spanish Civil Guard. Her feast day is 12 October, which coincides with Columbus Day, the national holiday of Spain.

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