VATICAN CITY, MAY 9, 2003 ( On his third apostolic trip to Croatia, scheduled for June 5-9, John Paul II will beatify one of Croatians' most beloved religious, the Vatican press office said.

During his visit to this Balkan country the Pope will bypass Zagreb, the capital, which he visited in 1994 and 1998, and go to the cities of Rijeka, Dubrovnik, Osijek, Djakovo and Zadar.

John Paul II will arrive by ship at Rjeka, a city on the Adriatic, on June 5 in the afternoon, after having landed on the Island of Krk from Rome. He will meet the president of the Republic at Rjeka that same afternoon.

On June 6 the Pope will go to Dubrovnik, where he will celebrate Mass and beatify Sister Mary of Jesus Crucified Petkovic (1892-1966), founder of the Congregation of Daughters of Mercy.

The Holy Father will go to Osijek on June 7, where he will celebrate Mass and make a private visit to the Cathedral of Djakovo.

On Sunday morning, June 8, after celebrating Mass and praying the Angelus in the Rijeka Delta, the Pope will go to Zadar, where he will preside over the celebration of the Word. He will then go to the airport for the farewell ceremony before returning to Rome.

In April the Croatian episcopate announced that the main theme of the visit is "The Family: Way of the Church and of the People."

Croatia declared its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. It has a population of 4.6 million. Vatican data say 80.9% of the republic's inhabitants are Catholic.