10 Things to Know About Our Lady of the Pillar

A Rare Find - A Statue of Our Lady of the Pillar
Our Lady of the Pillar Church - Corpus Christi, TX

Like the statue at the Basilica in Spain,
the pillar is ornately decorated.

This past summer while on vacation, I visited a treasure—a treasure in my eyes, anyways!  I have a special devotion to Our Lady of the Pillar (Nuestra SeƱora del Pilar) … because she was so good and encouraging to St. James the Greater … who is my son’s patron saint. It’s rare to find a church named in honor of this Marian devotion, but I actually stumbled upon one in Corpus Christi while doing research.  So, already having had summer plans to go to Padre Island off the coast of Corpus Christi, I decided to tag on a side trip to visit this church.  Before hitting the beach, I plugged the address into my GPS and found this lovely, somewhat-hidden, special church. 

A few things to know about this often-overlooked Marian devotion …

~1~   St. James the Greater in Spain
After the Ascension of Jesus, it is believed that the Apostle, St. James the Greater went to Hispania (modern Spain) to proclaim the Gospel of Christ.

~2~   Discouraging Times the Apostle
While in Zaragoza, along the banks of the Ebro River, St. James felt discouraged.  He had but a few disciples, and there was great resistance to his preaching.

~3~   Prayers & a Miraculous Visit
In A.D. 40 (some say January 2, other report October 12), James was praying for his mission when suddenly, Mary appeared!  She was atop a pillar of jasper and flanked by angels.  October 12 ultimately became the official feast day to honor Mary of the Pillar.

~4~   Hope Restored & The Gift of the Pillar and Statue
Mary’s presence and words gave St. James the inspiration and encouragement he needed, and the Catholic Faith now has deep and rich roots in Spain and the Spanish World.  Mary also presented St. James with the pillar she arrived with and a small statue of herself for the top.  She also requested that a chapel be built at the spot of the visit … the first church built in honor of Mary.

~5~   The First Marian Apparition
This wonderful event is the first Marian apparition in a series of many, many over the course of 2,000 years!

~6~   The Only Marian Bilocation
This apparition could also be considered the only known bilocation of Mary, for she was still alive when she appeared to St. James.

~7~     Mary & The Zebedee Brothers
This miraculous visitation occurred while Mary was living with the brother of St. James the Greater:  St. John the Evangelist (John 19:26-27), possibly in Jerusalem or Ephesus.  These two Apostle brothers were the sons of St. Salome and Zebedee the fisherman.  It's fascinating how she was living with one brother while appearing to another!

~8~    Our Lady of the Pillar & the Discovery of America

~9~   Hispanic World
Our Lady of the Pillar has been named as the patroness of the Hispanic World.

~10~   Saint Pope John Paul II & Our Lady of the Pillar
In 1984, St. Pope John Paul II made a pilgrimage to Zaragoza, Spain in honor of Mary under the title of Our Lady of the Pillar.

A Mini-Pilgrimage in Corpus Christi
If you happen to have plans to be near Corpus Christi, consider punching in the address of this sweet church and make a mini-pilgrimage in honor of the Marian Apparition of encouragement – Our Lady of the Pillar.

Our Lady of the Pillar Church
1101 Bloomington Street
Corpus Christi, TX  78416

Underneath the decorative skirting, on the pillar, is a Cross of St. James.

The Church is not very traditional-looking, but I do like the "pillars" in front.

By The Way ... My visit to this church was just a few weeks before Hurricane Harvey whipped by Corpus Christi.  I called the parish and learned that the church suffered no damage whatsoever!  In the parish office, only one small window had broken!

Prayer to Our Lady of the Pillar

Most Holy Virgin of the Pillar,
to your care do we confide the needs of our families,
the joys of children,
the dreams of youth,
the anxieties of adults,
the sufferings of the sick,
and our preparation for life’s end.
To you do we entrust the perseverance
of our priests and religious.
Ever increase our Faith,
give assurance to our Hope
and enliven our Charity.

~  ~  ~

An Our Lady of the Pillar One-Decade Rosary

Our Lady of the Pillar Medal