Marian shrines in Croatia

In the Croatian religious tradition, as in the religious traditions of many other nations, the veneration of saints is present. For example, St. Jerome from Dalmatia who translated the Bible into Latin (Vulgata) or the patron saint of the Croatian people St. Joseph, but for Croats, the Blessed Virgin Mary has always had a special place among the saints. Numerous Marian sanctuaries in Croatia testify to her popularity among Croatian believers.

Marija Bistrica is a national Marian shrine located in Croatian Zagorje. There is a statue of the Mother of God of Bistrica, which dates back to the 15th century. Every year, the faithful from Zagreb go on a pilgrimage of the city of Zagreb to Marija Bistrica, and many walk to Marija Bistrica (over 20 km). On October 3 1998 in Marija Bistrica, Pope John Paul II. declared Alojzije Stepinac blessed.

Trsat is the oldest Croatian Marian shrine located in Rijeka. On May 10, 1291, Mary's native house from Nazareth appeared there and stayed there for 3 years, after which it moved to the Italian city of Loreto in the same miraculous way. In the sanctuary there is also a miraculous image of Our Lady of Trsat, and Pope John Paul II. also visited this shrine. The largest Marian shrine in Dalmatia is located in Sinj, which was under a long-term Turkish siege in 1715. The people of Sinj managed to defeat the Turks, and it is believed that the victory was due to the intercession of Our Lady of Sinj. In the sanctuary there is her picture, to which a golden crown and a cross were added as a sign of gratitude to Mary. The Zagreb Marian Shrine is located in Remete in the Maksimir district. In 1288, a church was built there, along with a monastery where the administrators of the sanctuary live. Our Lady of Remete holds the title of Advocate of Croatia, and numerous Croatian great men prayed to her. The Mother of God of the Stone Gate (Kamenita vrata in Croatian) is also worshiped in Zagreb after the image of Mary miraculously remained undamaged in a great fire on May 31, 1731. The Mother of God of the Stone Gate was named the patron saint of Zagreb, and May 31st is marked as Zagreb City Day. There are numerous other Marian shrines in Croatia, such as Aljmaš in the east of Croatia, the shrine in Solin, Pleternica, Dragotin, Molve, etc.

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