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Votive chapel of gifts at Mary's Trsat sanctuary near Rijeka
By Prof.Dr. Darko Zubrinic | Published  11/4/2009 | Croatian spirituality , Culture And Arts | Unrated
Gifts from Croatian seamen Mary's Trsat, part1

Trsat fortress with the nearby Franciscan sanctuary dedicated to St. Mary


The most significant sanctuary in Kvarner dedicated to Mary, and the oldest in Croatia, bases its history on the transfer of the Nazareth House from the Holy Land on 10 May 1291 to Trsat, in the Trsat Plains, and from here to Loreto, Italy, on 10 December 1294.
Mary’s Trsat has become, at the international level, the most recognized Croatian sanctuary in the triangle Nazareth-Trsat-Loreto. 

At the place where the Nazareth House existed, and later disappeared, the Frankopan princes of Krk erected the church, which became the oldest Frankopan endowment and pilgrimage location...

In 1367, Pope Blessed Urban V gave the inconsolable Croatian pilgrims a painting of the Mother of God with baby Jesus.

In the presence of a delegation of the Croatian Parliament, and based on a decision made by the Vatican Chapter, the painting was crowned with two crowns in 1715; the first such example recorded outside of Italy. In 1930, Pope Pius XI honoured the Trsat Church with the title of small basilica (basilica minor). In its more than 700 year long history, the sanctuary has received numerous letters and indulgences from various Popes; recently, Pope John Paul II made his pilgrimage to the sanctuary.


Pope John Paul II visited the Trsat sanctuary in 2003.

Croatian Nazareth
Queen of the Adriatic

It is primarily a family sanctuary, known as the Croatian Nazareth. Everyday visitors are individuals, married couples, parents with children, and young couples. They come to Our Lady of Trsat in search of grace, perseverance, faith, and conciliation in hope and in prayer for the resolution of problems, for the forgiveness of sins, and for the realization of desires and expectations. Pope John Paul II also visited the Trsat sanctuary in 2003 in celebration and honour of the sacredness of family, under the motto “Family - the path of the Church and the people”.

Trsat is also a sanctuary dedicated to Mary by seamen, the sanctuary of the Queen of the Adriatic - Star of the Sea. It is a destination for many seamen and their families, where they give thanks to Our Lady for "protecting, defending and bringing them home" in their inscriptions and prayers and thanks.

Mary's Trsat is visited by followers from all parts of Croatia, particularly residents of the coastal areas, mountains, foothills, islands – boduli, Lika, Istria... they come individually or in pilgrimage groups. Other visitors to the sanctuary include pilgrims from Slovenia, the Italian province Friuli- Giulia, and many foreigners and Croats from Europe, America, Australia...


In 2003 late Pope Paul II knelt and prayed in front of the Mother Mary of Trsat.

A detail from the Franciscan monastery at Trsat.

Chapel of  Votive Gifts, Trsat

A place for prayer.

An excerpt from the Holy Mass in Croatian on the left, and in Croatian Church Slavonic, using Croatian Glagolitic Script.

Mother of Letnica from Kosovo, a gift by descendants of Dubrovnik merchants.

Please to the next page below.

  • Comment #1 (Posted by Charles R. Butler Jr., Msgt, USAF, (Ret.))

    I find this information to be very informative; and the older I become 75years now, the more I am interested in learning more about the people in our Catholic faith who sacrificed much to pave the way for us.

    May the Peace of Christ and the love of His Most Blessed Mother reign within your hearts and soul for all eternity. Amen.
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