The Pope Travels to Zagreb, Croatia

The Pope Travels to Zagreb, Croatia

The decision to postpone John Paul II’s visit to Sarajevo was made on September 7. Sarajevo was under seige by the Serbs and therefore there was no possibility of guaranteeing the Pope’s safety and those traveling with him. Deeply disappointed, he still desired to get as close as he could to those suffering in the war to show his solidarity with them. It was decided that he would fly to Zagreb in Croatia, September 10 and 11. This would be his first apostolic visit to Croatia. John Paul II had been the first to recognize Croatia as an independent state in 1991, when they first declared their independence on June 25, 1991. There was a large group from Medjugorje that gathered close to the altar. Visionary Marija was among them. A group of young people were carrying a large “Medjugorje” banner with them and the Holy Father looked lovingly at them and blessed them. John Paul II gave a nod to Medjugorje when he prayed, “Mary, Queen of Peace, Pray for us,” the title that Our Lady wished to be known by in Her Medjugorje apparitions. Our Lady first called herself the Queen of Peace on August 6, 1981, which was on the feast of the Transfiguration. He did not forget about Sarajevo. He had said when he cancelled his pilgrimage to Sarajevo in 1994:

“I will come as soon as possible. I will not leave you alone.”

He eventually made good on his promise to go there, three years later, in September, 1997.

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