The development of the shrine
The antecedents of the development of the shrine include the spring found nearby the church in Csukma fields in the vineyard as it was attributed healing power as early as the 17th century. A proof of this is the fact that believers regularly visited the place where water shot out of the rock. During the wars of liberation, a beautiful maid appeared before a woman from Gyűd who had come to the spring during the night. Then, the girl went to the empty church. The well then became an important centre of the blossoming cult of the Virgin Mary. For instance, the inhabitants of Siklós went in groups on a pilgrimage to the spring on Sundays of the new moon during the plague epidemic between 1739 and 1741. The significance of the water survived because pilgrims heading for Gyűd stopped there even in the early 20th century.
The development of the shrine started after the expulsion of the Turks, at the end of the 1680s, with the Mary apparitions in succession. a witness from Bisse reported that on one occasion the following words were heard from the church: „Why don’t you free me from the captivity?” the figure of a Virgin was also seen in the church window but the apparition vanished when the story-teller approached. The imperial military commander, Gabriel Vecchi gave the empty church to the Catholics. The Franciscans from the province of St. Ladislaus who had settled in Siklós, pastored it.
The Franciscans of Siklós went at the development of the shrine in Gyűd hammer and tongs. They repaired the church which soon became the sacred centre of the Catholics living sporadically in the region. In order to further develop the undoubtedly present cult of the Virgin Mary, the superior in Siklós, Tamás Kraljević brought a wooden statue of Mary from Koprivnica in 1698, to which believers attributed healing powers.
The year 1704 brought immense suffering for the inhabitants of the region and as a result, the statue was removed from Gyűd. At the beginning of the year, the Franciscan friars took it to the church of Siklós away from the offensive kuruc troops, but the Orthodox Rascians found it a few months later. They wanted to ruin the statue but they were not successful as a result of various miracles. Thereupon the statue of the Virgin Mary was transported to Osijek which was considered safer and entrusted the Franciscans there to take care for it. Although the inhabitants of Gyűd asked the friars of Osijek to give back the statue, it is still in the Franciscan church in Osijek. The statue standing in the shrine in Gyűd and venerated by the pilgrims was donated by Ferenc Nesselrode, bishop of Pécs. However, the original statue of Mary has been brought here on important feast days in the past few years.
The statue of Mary has connected Koprivnica, Osijek and Gyűd for three hundred years and thus, it gives a sacred framework to the majority of the Zrínyi-Suleyman thematic route.