Gospin otok, according to some sources, was the first settlement of Croats in this area. In the 10th century, on the site of today’s church, the Croatian queen Jelena has built two churches: that of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Stephen’s within which ruins the sepulchral slab of queen Jelena and of Jelena’s sarcophagus were found. There were many elm-trees on the Island so people called this church Gospa u Bristima (brist = oak tree, Gospa = Our Lady) while the well situated to the west of the church, whose water remained clear even after great rains, was called Gospin bunarić (Our Lady’s well).
Both of Jelena’s churches belong to the order of so-called double churches. According to the medieval habit, kings were buried in the church in which they were crowned so it is supposed that the church of Our Lady of the Island (Gospe od Otoka) was the coronation basilica. Today’s church was built on the same site , of approximately the same dimensions, where the fesitval of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin are celebrated In 1998, Pope John Paul the II visited this sanctuary and held a mass for the young people of Our Lady’s Island (Gospin otok).