Saint of the Day ~ October 12

Patroness of Spain and all Hispanic peoples

Today, the Church honors our Blessed Mother under the title of Our Lady of the Pillar, or as she is known in Spain – Nuestra Señora del Pilar.

Tradition tells us that the first Marian apparition in history appeared to Saint James the Apostle, the brother of Saint John the Evangelist, on the bank of the river Ebro in Zaragoza, Spain. Unlike every other recorded apparition, this one took place during the earthly life of the Mother of God, and probably appeared to Saint James in the form of a “bilocation”.

According to tradition, She had promised Saint James that when he felt in most need of help in his difficult mission to the pagans in the territory of Spain, she would appear to him in order to encourage him in his missionary endeavors.

In the year 40 A.D., while he was praying one night, the Virgin appeared with the Child Jesus standing on a pillar and asked Saint James and his eight disciples to build a church on the site of the apparition, promising that …it will stand from that moment until the end of time in order that God may work miracles and wonders through my intercession for all those who place themselves under my patronage.” And our Blessed Mother informed Saint James that, after the church was built, he was to return to Jerusalem, where he would receive the martyr’s crown.

The church of Our Lady of the Pillar in Zaragoza, Spain, is the first church dedicated to Mary in history and it remains standing to this day, having survived invasions and wars. In the Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939, it was reported that three bombs were dropped on the church and none of them exploded.

Nuestra Señora del Pilar is the Patroness of Spain and all Hispanic peoples. We commemorate this special feastday of our Blessed Mother on October 12.

(From,, and



(The following prayer is from the Roman Breviary from the Commons for the Blessed Virgin Mary)

“Lord God, give to Your people the joy of continual health in mind and body. With the prayers of the Virgin Mary to help us, guide us through the sorrows of this life to eternal happiness in the life to come.

“Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”

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