|Pope Francis, as a cardinal of Buenos Aires, encountered Croatians in Argentina in various occasions. He concelebrated during a mass dedicated to blessed Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac (1898-1960). His personal confessor was Croatian Franciscan Berislav Ostojić. We express our gratitude to Carmen Verlichak, Croatian-Argentinean writer living in Buenos Aires, for providing us with interesting photos.|
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NEW POPE APPROVED OF MEDJUGORJE VISITS
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.
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:
“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. 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.
“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.”Source www.medjugorjetoday.tv
Formated for CROWN by Darko Žubrinić
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