A group of Croatian pilgrims who were visiting Rome attended an audience with Pope Benedict XVI. They were greeted by the Holy Father who said:
“I greet all Croatian pilgrims, and especially those from the parish of St. James, Medjugorje! Your pilgrimage to Rome is part of the way of preparation for the coming of the Lord. Therefore, in hope, be evangelizers of God’s love in your nation. Praised be Jesus and Mary!”
A cheer immediately erupted from that section of the audience and the Holy Father looked up from his notes and smiled. The end of his greeting, “Praised be Jesus and Mary,” is a common Croatian greeting in Medjugorje among the villagers and pilgrims and the Pope’s use of it was with special intent to recognize these pilgrims from the Holy Village of Medjugorje.