Croatia to Donate Vatican Christmas Tree

ZAGREB, Croatia, OCT. 22, 2002 ( The Christmas tree in St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican this year will be the gift of Croatia.

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Croatian President Stipe Mesic will travel to the Vatican before Christmas to present the tree to the Pope, sources in the presidential office reported Monday.

The tree will be chosen this Wednesday by representatives of the Croatian Church in Croatia and the country’s political authorities, in the Delnice forests some 140 kilometers (85 miles) southwest of Zagreb, the Hina agency reported.

John Paul II has twice visited Croatia, since the former Yugoslavian republic gained independence in June 1991. The Pope might visit the country again in 2003. About 88% of Croatia’s 4.5 million inhabitants are Catholic.

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