Pope's frailty 'an instrument of his mission'
A weary Pope John Paul II ended his third trip to Croatia still determined to travel, according to Vatican spokesman Joaquín Navarro-Valls.
Navarro-Valls said the Holy Father's exhaustion "did not modify at all the program of the trip, despite the fact that the heat was greater than anticipated".
He told an Italian newspaper that the fact the Popehas to be taken to the altar in a wheelchair on these trips does not lessen his capacity to communicate.
"People have realised with what extraordinary human elegance the Pope has accepted his physical limitations. Today, more than an obstacle, they are an instrument of his mission," Navarro-Valls said.
The Holy Father will continue to travel, according to Navarro-Valls. On the weekend after next, he will visit Banja Luka, in Bosnia-Herzegovina. In September he is expected to travel to Slovenia. However the planned trip to Mongolia is on hold for the time being.
The Italian newspaper revealed talk of a papal visit next year to France, where the Pope might beatify Charles de Foucauld and the parents of St Thérèse of Lisieux.
Pope John Paul II: Travels
Pope holds up during grueling pilgrimage (10/6/03)
Papal Visit to Croatia (official site)
Indications continue that the passing of 'John Paul the Great' will spark events (Spirit Daily)
12 Jun 2003