Croatians will celebrate Velika Gospa – The Assumption of the Virgin Mary – on Monday with pilgrims to over 20 Marian shrines across Croatia.
The 15th of August is one of the biggest days on the religious calendar. The Assumption of the Virgin Mary, according to the beliefs, is the bodily taking up of Mary, the mother of Jesus, into Heaven at the end of her earthly life.
Traditionally, tens of thousands of Croatians mark the occasion by descending on the town of Sinj, located in the continental part of Split-Dalmatia County, for a procession through the streets and to kneel in front of the world-famous shrine, the Miraculous Madonna of Sinj today.
The shrine of Our Lady of Sinj has been present from around 1771. Four chapels were built on the lateral sides of the church which are connected to the shrine via three doors, where believers make confessions. Next to the shrine, there is a 43.5 metre-high steeple, built between 1896 and 1927.
There will be large crowds also converging to the shrines in Marija Bistrica in the Krapina-Zagorje County in central Croatia, Krasno in Split, Trsat in Rijeka, Pleternica in Slavonia, and Aljmaš also in eastern Croatia.
Croatians have maintained a special love and devotion to the Great Lady Mary for over 200 years.