Croatian History


First contact of Croats with the Holy See AD641

Pope John IV. (640-624), a Dalmatian, in 641 sends Abbot Martin on a mission to redeem slaves from the newly arrived Croats and to collect the relics of the martyrs, for whom he built an oratory with the famous mosaic in the Lateran. In particular, the contents of the said mosaic are described and it is proved that Abbot Martin took with him only relics of the martyr's.


The non-aggression treaty between Pope Agathon and the Croats AD679.

Pope Agathon. (678-681), As Pope at the head of the Church, he occupied the chair of Peter from 678 to 681, in truth a brief period of time, but for us Croats it was of the utmost importance.


Croatia Recognised as Independent State - Pope John VIII and Prince Branimir - AD879

The Letter was sent during the time of the Nin Bishop Theodosius, announcing that he had served Holy Mass for him and the Croatian people on the feast of the Ascension of the Lord (May 21, 879), at the grave of St Peter and blessed the entire Croatian people and prince Branimir. As the ruler, who renewed the alliance with the Church of Rome, recognizing his princely authority and Croatia as an independent state.


King Dmitar Zvonimir Crowned King of Croatia

October 8, 1075, Croatian King Zvonimir was crowned at the hands of Pope’s envoy Gebizona. On receiving the sword, sceptre, crown and flag as a sign of faithfulness and submission to the Pope, he also made a promise, which he affirmed with his oath: “I, Dmitar Zvonimir, with the help of God and the gift of the apostolic chair, will always be faithful to St. Peter ... and I will receive and treat the Pope's envoy’s honourably and honestly. I will cultivate justice, defend the churches, protect the poor, widows and orphans. I will prevent illicit marriages and oppose the slavery. So help me God!"


Gvozdansko – A Shining Pearl in the Crown of Croatia's Glorious Military History

November 3, 1577, under the command of Ferhat Pasha, over 10,000 Turks surrounded Gvozdansko with heavy artillery. Among them were Turkish mercenaries made up of Orthodox Vlachs who also attacked their Christian brothers. Gvozdansko itself was defended by merely 50 soldiers from the Zrinski group, together with another 250 Croatian miners and peasants, along with women and children.


St. Joseph Declared Patron Saint of Croatia

In 1687 the Croatian parliament (Sabor) officially declared St Joseph as the patron saint of Croatia.


Sinj – Our Lady's intercession and Victory

In August 1715, in a Croatian town called Sinj, seven hundred Catholic warriors miraculously repelled and ultimately defeated tens of thousands of invading Ottoman Turks (led by Mehmed Pasa). It was reported that during the 1715 siege Our Lady appeared in white walking on the fortress walls of Sinj. The defeat of the invading Ottomans was directly attributed to the supernatural intercession of Our Lady. 


Gospin Pralik Discovered

The guardian of our ancient heritage and the founder of Croatian national archaeology, the Franciscan Lujo Marun found the stone Romanesque gable of the altar partition from the cathedral of St. Marija in Biskupija near Knin, at the Crkvina site on May 14, 1892, he had no idea that his discovery would become the main symbol of the Marian renewal and national consciousness of the Croatian people.


Consecration of 160,000 Croatian Youth to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Pope Leo XIII, together with all the Bishop’s of the world in 1899, consecrated the whole human race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This event was inspirational and in Croatia, the following year, 1900, an initiative was launched for Croatian youth to consecrate themselves, personally to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.


Year of renewal of the Consecration

This renewal of consecration, confirmed ties to the representative of Christ in Rome. The central committee sent St. Pope Pius X a special letter informing him of the renewal of the consecration on behalf of the Croatian youth reaffirming their faithfulness to Jesus Christ and his Sacred Heart, and requested the Holy Father’s Apostolic Blessing.


Church of the Great Croatian Baptismal Covenant Consecrated - Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac AD1938

Ivan Meštrović built the votive church of Our Lady in the immediate vicinity in 1938, popularly known as the Church of the Croatian Baptismal Covenant, and during the consecration of the church in September 1938, Blessed Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac gave a significant prophetic speech which was published in the ‘Novo Doba’ newspaper “



“Thirteen Centuries of Christianity in Croats” and of the awakening of national consciousness. All started at the solemn end of Jelena’s year, September 12, 1976, when more than a hundred thousand Croatian pilgrims gathered on Our Lady’s Island in Solin, when Cardinal Franjo Šeper blessed Our Lady’s Pralik at a celebration commemorating the 1000th anniversary of the great Croatian queen Jelena.



The 1100th anniversary of the exchange of letters AD879 between Prince Branimir and Pope John VIII. And the renewal of the alliance of the Croatian people with the Holy See. The great public celebration of Branimir’s year was held on September 2, 1979, in the area of Grgur, near Nin, the Croatian royal city  from the time of the Croatian “national rulers” (9th-11th centuries).


National Eucharistic Congress in Marija Bistrica

The highpoint of the “Thirteen Centuries of Christianity in Croats” was at the Eucharistic Congress in Marija Bistrica in (AD 1984), were over half a million people gathered. The whole 9 year program, was instrumental in the political emancipation of the Croatian people, and ended with the National Eucharistic Congress (NEK), in Zagreb and in Marija Bistrica, on September 8 and 9, 1984.