Many miraculous healings have been attributed to the statue of the Mother of God, and in the surrounding churches one can see hundreds of marble plaques with words of gratitude engraved into the stone as a living testimony to the importance and strength of the Mother of God. The statue of the Bistrica Mother of God dates back to the 15th century. When you enter Marija Bistrica, it is impossible not to feel the divine energy that attracts over 800,000 pilgrims each year. A tumultuous history and Turkish invasions forced the church leaders in the Bistrica region at the time to preserve the statue of the Mother of God and hide it from the ‘sick men from Bosporus’, which is what the people called the Otoman army. The statue was finally placed in the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the late 17th century and the miracles, documented and thoroughly explored, have been taking place ever since.