Did you know that the devotion to Our Lady of Bistrica dates back to the 13th century? After the Croatians fled from the Turks and settled in the village of Bistrica, the church there which housed the statue became a revered place of pilgrimage. Today the faithful continue to look to Our Lady of Bistrica for grace and assistance, seeking healing and refuge from sin.
Here at the Basilica, the devotion to Our Lady of Bistrica is honored in a chapel to the right of the narthex in the Crypt Church. As we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Bistrica on July 13, we invite you to learn more about the chapel at the Basilica and reflect on a prayer to the Blessed Mother under this title.
About the Chapel
The Chapel of Our Lady of Bistrica at the Basilica features a Vermont Marble statue of the Virgin and Child standing on the head of Satan, Maria Bistrica, Queen of Croatia. Arching the statue in mosaic are seven rondels featuring popular Croatian saints and Marian devotions, including: (L-R) Saint Nicholas Tavelic and Blessed Ozana Kotorka; Baptism of a Croatian Peasant; Our Lady of Sinj; the Croatian Coat of Arms; Our Lady of Trsat (Grace), King Zvonimir; and Blessed Alojzije Cardinal Stepinac.
The inscription on the mensa (top) of the marble altar translates, “Maria Bistrica, pray for us.” The statue was created by Joseph Turkaly and the mosaics are designed by John de Rosen and manufactured by Venetian Art Mosaics Studios.
A Prayer to Our Lady of Bistrica
The Chapel of Our Lady of Bistrica is inscribed with the following prayer:
“Immaculate Mother of Jesus, we honor you as God’s chosen one— beautiful, beloved, and free from all sin. Keep watch over us, pray that we rise above our sins and failings and come to share the fullness of grace. Be a mother to us in the order of grace by assisting us to live your obedience, your faith, your hope, and your love. Mary of Bistrica, pray for us.”
Discover immersive 360° views of this chapel and take the virtual tour below!
The Basilica Guidebook, Dr. Geraldine Rohling
Light a Candle at the Basilica
In honor of Our Lady of Bistrica, we invite you to light a candle today at the National Shrine. Vigil candles burn in the chapels throughout the Great Upper Church and lower crypt level of the National Shrine. Each candle represents the faith of the supplicants and their fervent prayers entrusted to the loving intercession of the Blessed Mother.