The sanctuary of the Mother of God ‘Bistrica’ is one of the most popular and most visited Marian pilgirmage places in Croatia.
The statue of the Mother of God of ‘Bistrica’ originates in the 15th century and it was in the church of ‘Vinski Vrh’. Due to the danger coming from the Otoman Empire, the statue of Our Lady was moved to the parish church in Marija Bistrica, and in 1650 it was buried in one the windows. With the efforts of the bishop of Zagreb, Martina Borkovic, the statue was found in 1684 and was placed in an special place. Since then numerous pilgrimages have begun.
The Croatian Parliament in 1715 donated the main altar to the honor of the Bistrica Lady in 1715. Pope Benedict XIV. shared the forgiveness to pilgrims who confessed their sins. In 1880, the fire damaged the entire church except the main altar with the statue of Mother of God of Bistrica, which remained completely undamaged. Architect Hermann Bolle renewed it and expanded the church. Moreover, he built a casket around the shrine. Pope Pius XI. proclaimed the church of the Mother of God of Bistrica as a small basilica (basilica minor). Zagreb Archbishop Dr. Antun Bauer crowned the miraculous statue of Mary and Little Jesus in gold in 1935 and proclaimed Mary as the Queen of all Croats. At that time Archbishop was Alojzije Stepinac. The Bishop’s Conference proclaimed in 1971 a bistric sanctuary as the National Shrine of the entire Croatian nation. In 1984, the National Eucharistic Congress was held in Marija Bistrica.
The paintings were painted by Ferdo Quiqerez, and renowed by an academic painter Vladimir Pavlek from the period 1982 to 1984. Pope John Paul II. was in Croatia and declared our Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac as blessed on 3 October 1998 in Marija Bistrica.
Cost of the trip inclues:
- - transport from Zagreb to Bistrica and back to Zagreb
- - guide on english language
- - visit to Marija Bistrica site
- - lunch