Votive Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Chapel

According to legend, in 1722 a fisherman named John Bogavčić-Tuburko, working in the area of the Cape Gradina, saw a strange light. When he approached the rock from which the light was emanating, he found a picture of Our Lady resting on it, a depiction of Mary visiting her cousin Elizabeth. He took the picture home and stored it in a trunk, but it mysteriously returned to the same place on the rock. This repeated three times. Soon the villagers and their priest decided to build a chapel on the site, and a ceremony that continues today was established in 1776.
The miraculous image was destroyed in a fire in the parish church, and a second one, made in Vienna in 1888, was stolen in the 1960s. Next to the original small chapel, a bigger one was built in the period of 1907-1909.
The ceremony is held on July 2nd on Petrovčica, where the painting of Our Lady is transported by a ship accompanied to the coast of Rogoznica by priests and young girls dressed in white robes. The painting is welcomed by the Bishop of Šibenik, priests, and thousands of believers, then borne to the parish church in a solemn procession along the coast.
Our Lady’s image remains in the parish church until the first Sunday after the celebration of Our Lady of Carmela, when during a solemn pilgrimage by sea and land it returns to its sanctuary on the tip of the peninsula of Gradina. This procession includes hundreds of boats and thousands of believers on foot, many of them barefoot for close to 2.5 km. In the past, Our Lady’s boat was followed only by boys, but today girls participate, too.
In 1887, an epidemic of “black measles” ravaged Rogoznica, killing 40 victims a day. The pastor, Don Tode Pavlović, gathered his flock and they went barefoot in the sanctuary of Our Lady, praying for mercy. From January 24th on, people stopped dying, the sick were healed, and on that day, Holy Day, a Mass is held in the chapel.
Our Lady, the miraculous protector of Rogoznica, kept her people and port safe from disease and suffering for almost three centuries.