The National Shrine Mary Help of Christians at Brezje
The Basilica of St. Mary Help of Christians of Brezje is a Slovenian National Marian Shrine. Thousands of pilgrims are mysteriously united to Mary and all those who turn to her are brought by her to God. The pilgrim feels welcomed by our Lady. May Mary grant that the visit to her altar become a real encounter between her and her people! Welcome!
Behind the church there is a Nativity Museum, which is open daily, with the exception of Mondays. The museum’s collection was put together by dedicated individuals who belong to the Association of Nativity Lovers and continue this rich Slovenian heritage. ‘God is coming to us!’ is the message of the Advent and Christmas, but none less beautiful and alive throughout the rest of the year. We invite you to take a look at the numerous representations of the Nativity sets and admire their beauty. There are also a number of votive tablets, whose images represent only a fraction of the entire spiritual and cultural heritage offered To Our Lady by generations of pilgrims.
How to get there?
Brezje is easily and directly accessible by bus from Ljubljana bus station. Bus departs every 30 minutes between 5:30 and 21:00 on Monday – Saturday. 20 departures between 6:00 and 21:00 on Sundays.
Bus stops at Črnivec pri Radovljici – a kilometer walk from the Basilica.
Check out the exact departures and purchase your bus tickets through the timetable. Input “Črnivec pri Radovljici” as your destination.
Rediscovering the traditional ways of pilgrimage
Numerous pilgrims are rediscovering the traditional ways of making a pilgrimage and they come to Brezje on foot. A pilgrim sets off on a sacred path in endeavors and sacrifice to reach his destination and meet Mary, Mother of Hope and Consolation. A pilgrimage to Brezje is very important to the Slovenians and many continue to vow to reach Brezje on foot. But Mary Help of Christians has a place in the hearts of many other European nations, too – the Croats, Austrians, Italians and Hungarians. An important decision in any pilgrim’s life is to come to Brezje on foot.
Many groups conclude their pilgrimage here. Parish groups journeying on a pilgrimage have a unique opportunity to strengthen their ties, spiritually enrich each individual and the community.
The miracle of conversion
Numerous pilgrims share with us the outstanding happenings that have occured to them at Brezje or after praying to Mary Help of Christians. The first miraculous healings took place 50 years after establishing the pilgrimage and have continued with testimonies ever since. Every day the miracle of conversion takes place in Brezje’s confessionals, with many people seeking and receiving God’s peace into their hearts.
The procession of candles
As a sign of our gratitude and devotion to Mary Help of Christians we take part in a procession of candles on Saturdays after the Mass (from White Sunday to All Saints’ Day). We start an hour earlier by worshipping the Holiest and praying the Seraphic Rosary. Slovenian parishes coshape the evening procession. We carry the candles that are hand-made by a Carthusian monk, which creates a special connection.
The square in front of the Basilica continues into the Park of Peace with a statue of the Holy Family and the Holy Cross, and offers a beautiful view of the Julian Alps and its highest peak Triglav. The park occasionally hosts exhibitions while the whole place offers peace to contemplate the Creator’s wonderful works.
The Monastery’s gallery hosts the Via Crucis by the painter Nikolaj Mašukov. The exhibition may serve as a prayer for all in need: for the ones who seek shelter, for all who are grateful and for those who are ignorant of showing their gratitude.