Marija Bistrica is a little town and municipality located in Krapina – Zagorje Region
40km from the capital city of Zagreb. In Marija Bistrica there is an old Marian shrine of the Black Madonna visited by hundreds of thousands of pilgrims every year. In 1545 a local priest hid the wonder- working statue of the Virgin Mary with the Infant Jesus from the Turks in a secret location. In 1588 bright light shone from the place where it was buried and, according to the records, it was discovered again. On 3 October 1998, the Pope John Paul II (1920 – 2005) visited Marija Bistrica and beatified Croatian Cardinal Aloysius Stepinac (1898 – 1960).