.- Thousands of Catholics yesterday participated in the traditional offering of flowers to Our Lady of the Pilar, Spain’s patroness, whose feast day was celebrated on October 12.
Volunteers in Zaragoza, where a miraculous image of the Blessed Virgin is revered in the city’s Basilica, said more than seven million flowers are to be incorporated into a mantel that will decorate the image.
The streets of Zaragoza have been filled with bright colors and decorations in honor of Spain’s patroness, as thousands of people dressed in traditional attire, await their turn to place flowers at the feet of the image.
The special Mass was celebrated at 12 noon by Cardinal Antonio Cañizares of Toledo, with Archbishop Manuel Urena of Zaragoza and Auxiliary Bishop Carmelo Borobia of Toledo concelebrating.
During his homily, Cardinal Cañizares noted the work of evangelization Spaniards have done in Latin America and he exhorted all Catholics to be more committed to living according to the Church’s teachings. Likewise he praised Christian tradition and cited the words of John Paul II, who asked Catholics in Spain not to lose their traditions. “Spain, be who you are,” the cardinal exclaimed in conclusion.