National shrine of Saint Mary of Marija Bistrica


Among the green hills of Hrvatsko zagorje lies the national shrine of Saint Mary of Marija Bistrica, the most famous and visited Croatia’s sanctuary of the Virgin Mary. A great number of believers from Croatia and abroad have been coming for a pilgrimage at Marija Bistrica for centuries, seeking and finding spiritual peace.
The shrine in Marija Bistrica became a national shrine as early as in 1715, when the Croatian Parliament erected a great votive altar.
Pope Pius XI. (1922 – 1939) on December 4, 1923, assigned the shrine of Saint Mary of Marija Bistrica the title of Minor basilica. The landmark event in the history of the Church is certainly a visit of Pope John Paul II., when he declared Archbishop of Zagreb Aloysius Viktor Stepinac a martyr and beatified him on October 3, 1998.