Last October 12, the seminary celebrated the memorial of the Virgin of Pilar, Patroness of Spain and of the Hispanic nations. This advocation of Mary, although one of the many attributed to her, holds a special place in Christianity. It was the first apparition of the Mother of God to St. James the Apostle, while she was still alive on earth. She appeared to him in Zaragoza, Spain, on a pillar in order to encourage him to continue his mission of evangelization. The first Apostle to sow the faith in Spain, which germinated and grew to an entire Christian civilization, would providentially do likewise to many other nations. This long and arduous toil of evangelization not only brought the faith to the peripheries of the world, but also lead to the eradication of many demonic rituals and cults prevalent in countries of Latin America, and to building of Christian civilizations, ruled and governed by the Gospel. This colossal mission all began on the same day of the feast of Our Lady of Pilar, October 12, when Christopher Columbus first discovered the Americas in 1492, commonly known as the ‘Día de la Hispanidad’. Spain was a beacon of inculturation and many Hispanic countries owe their faith and cultures to this nation.
It is only fitting then that the Institute of the Incarnate Word whose very end is to evangelize the culture, by permeating the Gospels in it, to celebrate this day in thanksgiving to Our Lady of Pilar and the rich catholic heritage that we have today in the Philippines (which was part of the Hispanic nations), due to her maternal intercession. We began the day with the celebration of the Holy Mass and ended it with a dinner and a conference given on the historic battles of the Dutch invasions, won miraculously due to the intercession of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary (later known as La Naval) who gave the victory to the Spanish-Filipino troops.
We commend our specific end and our missionary endeavors to the intercession of Our Lady of Pilar that she may grant us the grace to be faithful to our faith and bring the light of the faith to others.