The first temple dedicated to Our Lady in the world
As it appears in a twelfth-century document preserved in the Cathedral of Saragossa, it dates back to the immediate epoch after the crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus, when his apostles, fortified by the Holy Spirit, began to spread the message that he left - his Gospel - throughout Israel and, shortly thereafter, by the Roman Empire. This first temple is not so far from Garabandal.
The documents relate, verbatim, that one of these apostles, James (the "Major"), son of Zebedee and brother of St. John, would have traveled west to Saragossa, northeast of Spain (through Asturias and Cantabria) to a territory called Celtibéria, where the city of Saragossa was located on the banks of the river Ebro).
On January 2 of the year 40, St. James was meeting with his disciples on the banks of the Ebro River, all immersed in deep prayer, when they heard angelic voices singing "Hail Mary, full of grace" and saw the Holy Mother of Jesus on a marble pillar. The Blessed Virgin, who was still living on earth at that time (Lived in Ephesus), gave St. James a small statue representing himself, carved in wood on a column of wood and jasper, and instructed him to erect a church in his honor:
"This place shall be my house, and this image and this pillar shall be the name and altar of the temple which you shall build."
She promised that this place would persist until the end of time and that the virtue of God would perform wonders through her intercession for those who would seek their protection in times of distress.
About a year after the apparition, James decided to build a small chapel in honor of Mary - the first church dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
After his return to Jerusalem, the young saint was executed under Herod Agrippa, about AD 44. He was the first apostle to witness his faith with martyrdom. Some of his disciples recovered the body, taking it to be buried in Spain. The local queen, noting the innumerable miracles performed by the disciples of James, converted to Christianity and allowed his body to be buried in a local camp. Eight centuries later, a cathedral was erected on its tomb. (it was rediscovered by a hermit who had found the tomb after noticing an unusual star formation in the sky). The site of the cathedral was called Compostella (field of stars) and is a place of pilgrimage very honored until the present day. The column and the statue can still be seen, on special occasions, in a church that has them in their care.