.- Officials in the Spanish town of Zaragoza confirmed this week that Monday’s celebration of the feast of Our Lady of the Pillar was the largest in history, with some 450,000 faithful passing before the venerated statue that represents the country’s most popular Marian devotion.
The Spanish newspaper La Razon quoted city official Jeronimo Blasco, who said, “The traditional flower offerings to Our Lady of the Pillar were the longest and largest in history: they lasted eleven hours, from seven-thirty in the morning to six-thirty at night, with some 450,000 who came to place flowers before the monument.”
Good weather and the long weekend made the large numbers possible, the newspaper reported, adding that many immigrant groups, from Africans to Japanese, also came to express devotion to the Blessed Mother.
“More than 400 groups took part in the procession, with some 25,000 people moving through the line per hour, leaving more than seven million flowers at the feet of the patroness of Spain. Even the heavens rained down flowers as two planes from the Royal Air Club of Zaragoza dropped petals from the sky,” La Razon said. Two F-18s from the Spanish military performed a fly-over as well.
A special Mass was celebrated at the Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar by Cardinal Nicolas de Jesus Lopez, Archbishop of Santo Domingo.