Our Lady of Pillar

James the Greater was one of Jesus’ closest friends, as were Peter and John. He spread the gospel, first over Israel and then over the Roman Empire. Later, he traveled from Jerusalem until he reached the village of Zaragossa, in Spain. The People in that area didn't pay much attention on his preaching & this caused him to be very sad & disappointed. One day, the Blessed Virgin together with the baby Jesus appeared to James in a vision. She was atop a pillar of jasper carried by angels and she was holding a small wooden statue of herself. She Said: "This place is to be my house, & this image & column shall be the title & altar of the temple that you shall build. " He built a small chapel in her honor, which later was replaced into a Basilica on the same spot. In the vision she also recalled him to Jerusalem. So after the chapel was completed, he returned to Jerusalem where he was martyred by King Herod Agrippa I, in 44 AD. His followers took his remains to Compostela, Spain for final burial. Since then, Santiago de Compostela has been the most frequently visited place of pilgrimage, after Rome and Jerusalem. During the reformation in the 16th century, interest diminished until Pope Leo declared it a shrine, which it still is today. In the 9th Century, a church was erected over his tomb & was called " Santiago de Compostella" (St. James of the Starry Field), because of a star formation above the burial Site of St. James.