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Pope Francis and his encounters with Croatians in Argentina and Brasil
By Darko Žubrinić | Published  08/10/2013 | People , Events , Education , Religion | Unrated
Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio concelebrated during a holy mass in Buenos Aires in honour of blessed dr. Alozije Stepinac

Pope Francis, then Jorge Bergoglio, the Cardinal of Buenos Aires, concelebrating in 1998 in the Cathedral of Argentiean capital,
during a Holy Mass in honour of 100th anniversary of blessed Alojzije Stepinac (1898-1960).
Next to him, from left to right, are fra Jozo Peranic,  fra Ivan Gavran and fra Berislav Ostojic, Fraciscans of the Croatian community in Argentina.
 On the left and right are Argentinean and Croatian national flags.

Jorge Bergoglio, cardinal of Buenos Aires (2nd from the left), with Croatian bishop dr. Mile Bogović next to him,
and with fra Berislav Ostojić on the right, his personal confessor.

Federico  Kisić and his son Fecundo in 2012, wearing Croatian national costume, and holding Croatian flag,
on Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires, on the occasion of commemoration of the Bleiburg tragedy.

Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio greeting Her Excellency Mrs. Neda Rosandić Šarić in Buenos Aires, ambassador
of the Republic of Croatia in Argentina. Behind them is a group of children in Croatian national costumes.

Many thanks to Mrs. Carmen Verlichak, Buenos Aires, for providing us with the photos.

Pope Francis greeting young people in Rio de Janeiro in 2013. On the right Croatian flag.

0:27 Croatian flag and yes, it's on 0:45

By Jakob Mershner, March 2013

As Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Pope Francis opened his diocese to Medjugorje priests, and asked Fr. Jozo Zovko to bless him. And shortly before he left for the papal conclave in Rome, he approved of visionary Ivan Dragicevic’s public apparition arrangements that drew 10,000 people.

pope francis cardinal archbishop jorge mario bergoglio welcomed approved medjugorje visits visitors guests buenos aires argentina jozo zovko ivan dragicevic

Pope Francis

Medjugorje is far from unknown to Pope Francis.

In the recent newsletter of the organization Children of Medjugorje, Sr. Emmanuel Maillard summarizes three occasions when the new Pope, as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, approved of public talks from prominent Medjugorje visitors in his diocese.

The most recent of these approvals was given just a few weeks ago:

medjugorje visionary seer veggente ivan dragicevic apparition apparicion apparizione luna park buenos aires argentina march marzo 8 2013 cardinal archbishop jorge mario bergoglio pope francis approved approval

Part of the audience present at visionary Ivan Dragicevic’s public apparition on March 6 at Luna Park, Buenos Aires, an arrangement approved of by then-Cardinal Bergoglio

“He welcomed Fr. Jozo Zovko while on his mission in Argentina. He welcomed Fr. Danko last year, for his mission through Argentina. And Cardinal Bergoglio allowed (visionary) Ivan to spread his witness in Buenos Aires early this March. Only a few days before leaving for Rome to join the conclave, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio gave his approval for Ivan to receive the apparition at Luna Park” Sr. Emmanuel informs.

Ivan further visited the Malvinas Microstadium where he drew about 5,500 people on March 4, a slightly higher number than at Luna Park two days later.

fr fra father jozo zovko medjugorje buenos aires argentina meeting pope francis cardinal archbishop jorge mario bergoglio 1990s late blessing

Fr. Jozo Zovko

Fr. Jozo Zovko, parish priest in Medjugorje by the time the apparitions began, tells the Croatian newspaper Slobodna Dalmacija that he spent a long time with then-Archbishop Bergoglio during his visit to Argentina in the late 1990s.

“We spent a long time together and talked about everything in Buenos Aires. And he was interested. We prayed together and at the end he asked me for a blessing. I touched one fine and good man. He is a good choice for a Church that is getting better, and there is no better person than Francis to rebuild the Church. Pope Francis’s gift to the Church is a fruit of the grace at this time. He dares to talk about our failures” Fr. Jozo tells Slobodna Dalmacija.

Pope Francis with flowers to Mary

Francis with flowers to Mary

“He called for prayer, and his first move (as Pope) was going to Our Lady with a bouquet of flowers. There is a man who, like Mary at Cana, sees and feels and knows where to go.”

“We need such people deeply rooted in prayer. He holds a Rosary in his hand, and draws on the Gospel. It is the key that opens all closed doors, and the Pope is showing us the way.”


Formated for CROWN by Darko Žubrinić
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