The most glorious day in the history of Marija Bistrica was 03 October 1998 when Pope John Paul II visited Marija Bistrica and proclaimed the deceased Zagreb Archbishop and pilgrim to Marija Bistrica, Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac as blessed.

From the early hours in the evening of the 02 October thousands of pilgrims were taking part in various religious ceremonies thus preparing themselves religiously for the meeting with the Holy Father and beatification of the Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac. The Holy Father set forth from the nunciature on the 03 October around 8 a.m. in his personal car along the road over Sljeme, through Stubičke Toplice to Marija Bistrica. A few kilometers before the entrance into Marija Bistrica he switched to "popemobile" and continued to the Church in the open. When hundreds of thousands of pilgrims noticed the "popemobile" a loud applause was heard. The Holy Father held a service concelebrating with seven cardinals, seventy bishops and more than one thousand priests.

In a holy service in Rome on 27 April 2014 Pope Francis proclaimed the Pope John Paul II as blessed who thus became the thirty-first Pole the saint within the Catholic Church.