CROATIA
   
Marija Bistricaas a populated placewas mentioned at the beginning of the thirteenth century. A gothic black statue, representing Mother of Goodness with the baby Jesus, made at the beginning of the sixteenth century was found in the church. The statue was removed because of fear of the Turks. After the statue was found again, many odd things began to take place such as recoveries; many prayers have been granted which contributed a speedy development of the place.

In December 1923, Pope Pius XI designated the church as Basilica minor. The Episcopal Conference in 1971 assigned Marija Bistrica as the National Sanctuary of the people of Croatia.

 
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