Pope John Paul II visited Croatia three times and Bosnia and Herzegovina two times. Out of 11 Croatians declared saints and blessed, he declared four of them: he canonised Leopold Mandic in 1983, and he beatified the Cardinal Stepinac (1998), Mary of Jesus Crucified and Ivan Merz (2003). Let us not forget Mother Teresa who is an Albanian from Macedonia, but who received the faith through Croatian missionaries in Skopje, and for whom the Croatian language was the language of her catholic faith.
The Vatican is the first country that recognised the independence of Croatia (on January 13, 1992) and established with Croatia diplomatic relationships. The Croatian Prime minister Ivo Sanader was the last statesman received in official audience by John Paul II. It was on February 22, 2005.
(See also: Croatian Saints and Blessed - St. Nicholas Tavelich, St. Leopold Mandich, St. Mark of Krizevci, The Blessed Augustin Kazotic, The Blessed Ozana Kotorska, The Blessed Jakov Zadranin, The Blessed Gratia of Mul/Muo, The Blessed Julijan (Julian) of Bale, The Blessed Alojzije Stepinac, The Venerable Mary of Jesus Crucified, The Venerable Ivan Merz.)