The Story of Our Lady of the Pillar
It began back in 1797, after the French Revolution, when William Joseph Chaminade, an exile in Spain, took refuge in the city of Saragossa.
Legend has it that St. James the Apostle went to Spain shortly after the death of Jesus to spread the Good News. Before setting out on his mission, he had spoken to the Blessed Virgin, who promised that he would do good work in Spain.
His first efforts were unsuccessful, and in a vision, Our Lady came to offer him encouragement. When she appeared to St. James, she was standing on a pillar of jasper; which became the precious relic for the country of Spain. This pillar eventually became the real treasure of the Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar. The oldest basilica outside of Rome, it was built on a spot that was the center of Christian activity as early as the third century.