The Defence of Korcula

In 1571, Badija became a well-known place of pilgrimage for its marvellous icon of Our Lady of Mercy, which saved Korčula from the onslaught of the Turkish army. The Turkish navy and the large Turkish land force besieged Korčula. The Franciscans and around seventy believers prayed before the icon of the Our Lady, seeking protection from the enemy. On the day of the feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, on August 15 th , a hurricane- strength Bora wind stopped the Turkish galleys. The attack failed, and Korčula was saved. Out of revenge, the defeated Turkish army set the church and the monastery on fire, which were later rebuilt, but the important inventory of the church and monastery was only partially preserved.

Our Lady is a strong advocate and protector of the island. In honour of that event, every year on the 2 nd of August a procession is held with boats, carrying the image of Our Lady from Korčula’s Cathedral of St. Mark to the church on Badija.