Bosnian Widows Meet the Pope

<i> Reuters</i>

War widows from Bosnia-Herzegovina, rosary beads twisted around their fingers, wept Saturday at an emotional meeting with Pope John Paul II.

About 200 ethnic Croat Roman Catholics--widows and mothers mourning children killed in the Bosnian conflict--crowded into the choir seats of the basilica in this town on the Adriatic coast to hear the Pope and to tell him about their lives.

“So many of us have lost our brothers and fathers, we have the need to be with our one, common father,” said Luca Marjanovic.


Marjanovic, 63, said her husband and only son were rounded up and killed by Muslims.

Croats and Muslims in Bosnia began the war as allies against the Serbs in April, 1992, before turning their guns on each other. They are now united again.

Speaking in Croatian, the pontiff told the women: “I will continue to pray for you, for your suffering, your families and your country.”