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MARIAN SANCTUARIES ON THE IBERIAN PENINSULA:
Fatima, Lourdes, El Pilar, Guadalupe, Montserrat, Covadonga.
The Virgin of the Pilar—Saragossa (La Virgen del Pilar—Zaragoza)
From the first Appearance of the Virgin Mary before the Apostle St. James during his return trip from the Iberian Peninsula to Palestine, the Marian tradition has been an integral part of Spanish spirituality and daily life. Above all, we wish to highlight the historical importance of the Virgin of the Pilar in Saragossa: The extraordinary appearance of the Virgin before St. James during her mortal life—she did not travel outside her native Palestine; and her presenting the column (pilar) that she brought with her to build the the First Marian Temple of Christianity, and the association of the Virgin of the Pilar with St. James have been fundamental in Spain’s Christian heritage.
Other Marian Sactuaries of great historical and spiritual importance that go back to the Middle Ages are Covadonga (Asturias), Guadalupe (Caceres) y Montserrat (Barcelona).
The Virgin of Lourdes-France (La Virgen de Lourdes-Francia)
The successive appearances of the Virgin on the northern side of the Pyrenees Mountains near Lourdes during the middle of the 19th century—where She appeared before Bernardette and numerous witnesses, with messages of peace, prayer and instructions to build a shine in Her honour—have made Lourdes one of the principal centers of Marian worship, daily drawing thousands of pilgrims from around the world. Following the Via Crucis, visiting the Basilica and the Grotto of the Virgin, but above all assisting in the nightly candle procession with its Rosary prayer, are unique and unforgettable experiences.
The Virgin of Fatima (La Virgen de Fátima-Portugal)
In the year 1917, while half of Europe suffered through a devastating war and the other half suffered its repercussions, the Virgin Mary reappeared in Fatima before Lucia and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco on various occasions and then before numerous witnesses, with similar messages. Since then, Fatima has grown to become the principal Marian sanctuary of Portugal, with thousands of pilgrams visiting it every year.
(*)We offer different routes that permit the combining of visits to the principal Marian sanctuaries with stop-overs at other places of great religious, historical and cultural interest such as St. James of Compostela (Santiago de Compostela) and its Way (Camino); or Salmanca, Avila and Segovia, following in the footsteps of St. Teresa and St. John of the Cross; or the Basque Country and Navarre,where the presence of St. Ignacius Loyola and St. Francis Javier is manifest; and some of the principal sites associated with St. Domingo and the Dominicans, among others.
Please don’t hesítate to contact us concerning whatever particular interest you might have, indicating the time you have available for your pilgrimage, and we will be delighted to send you our proposal.