A Letter From Pope John Paul II to Fr. Jozo Zovko
Saturday Evening, August 24, 2002
The cover photo was taken when the Holy Father welcomed Fr. Jozo in 1992, in the midst of the Bosnian war. At that time the Pope told him: "I am with you, protect Medjugorje! Protect Our Lady's messages!"
Web site for "The Vercernji List"
The article in the paper shows Fr. Jozo at his desk, reading the Pope's letter, with a caption to the left of the picture: "The Pope has signed a thank you note to Fr. Jozo Zovko." A translation of the article from Croatian reads:
Siroki Brijeg - The world renowned Franciscan, Fr. Jozo Zovko, was more than surprised when yesterday Polish pilgrims came to thank him for twenty-one years of testifying to the Medjugorje apparitions, and especially when they handed him a thank you note personally signed by the shaky hand of their best known compatriate, John Paul II. Actually, after coming back from Poland the Pope wrote from the Vatican to personally thank and send his apostolic blessing to Fr. Jozo Zovko.
'Our Poland is grateful for your every word, for every thing that you have done for us', said the Pope's collaborator, Krystyna Gregorezyk, who personally handed the thank you note to Fr. Jozo in the Siroki Brijeg church.
'So far I have received hundreds of gifts and thank you notes but none can compare with this one. I am most pleasantly surprised,' a visibly shakened Fr. Jozo said for our paper.
Fr. Jozo Zovko is a member of the Hercegovinian Franciscan Province. As a witness to the Medjugorje apparitions, he has become one of the best known priests in the world. Many tribes have made him their chief and he is connected with many miraculous healings. According to a poll conducted by "The Daily Catholic", Fr. Jozo has been elected among twenty-nine Catholics of the century." (J.P.)
By Denis and Cathly Nolan:
Now, according to what Krystyna Gregorezyk reported when she presented the message, the letter was written this month in Rome right after the Pope's return from Poland. Krystyna, who works as a collaborator of the Holy Father in the Vatican, had breakfast with him and several other Polish people before they left for Medjugorje. The Pope signed the letter in front of Mrs. Gregorezyk.
It seems therefore that the words reported in the Newspaper, Vercernji List, are real. In a verbal message to Fr. Jozo, conveyed by Krystyna, the Pope also said that he is thankful for his apostolate for Medjugorje, for what Fr. Jozo is doing and has done so far. The pope said he was happy to give him a sign of support.
What did Fr.Jozo do for the Polish people if not spread the Medjugorje messages to them?
Krystyna said that the Pope was very joyful during this breakfast and asked many questions about Medjugorje. He was also happy to hear the testimonies about Medjugorje that the Polish pilgrims reported to him.
Of course, more enquiry should be made about this incredible event. However, today it seems that this is the first written personal word of encouragement, from the Pope, made public by the media, to a witness of Medjugorje. This simple letter stands as a tangible and visible document in support of the Holy Father's heartfelt thanks and encouragement that he sent to Fr. Jozo through Krystyna.
All are encouraged to spread this news - that the Holy Father has sent such a heartfelt blessing to this champion for Medjguorje and Our Lady's apparitions!
Denis and Cathy Nolan