Imitating Apostle Peter - Pope John Paul II Returns from 100th Foreign Trip

Jun 17, 2003 05:42 PM EDT

VATICAN CITY — "Since the day I was elected bishop of Rome — Oct. 16, 1978 — the command of Jesus, 'Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation,' has resonated in my inmost self with particular intensity and urgency."

Announced Pope John Paul II this week to a special Vatican audience upon his return from his trip to Croatia.

"Thus, I feel the duty to imitate the Apostle Peter, who 'went here and there among all the believers' to confirm and consolidate the vitality of the church in faith."

Since the day of his election 25 years ago, the Pope took an average of four trips outside of Italy each year. His first trip was taken three months after his election to the Dominican Republic, Mexico and the Bahamas from Jan. 25 to Feb. 1, 1979. His recent trip to Croatia marked his 100th foreign trip.

By Pauline J.