It was May 13th, 1981. John Paul II was shot in St. Peter's Square before thousands of horrified pilgrims. He was rushed to the hospital to undergo emergency surgery...and survived. Last year, one of his doctors spoke to the press about just how serious the Pope's condition was.
John Paul II's Doctor (April 2014)
"How did he survive the shooting? Was it because of us, or perhaps something else? This, I'll never know. What I do know is that he recuperated almost perfectly. He would always tell me, 'I trust your competence, but I also trust the Divine Providence' meaning he trusted us doctors, but it wasn't all up to us.”
He was shot on the feast day of Our Lady of Fatima. John Paul II credited Our Lady with saving his life. So much so that exactly one year later, on May 13th, 1982, he placed the bullet that almost ended his life, on the crown of Our Lady.
Even the shooter, Mehmet Ali Agca, reportedly said he didn't understand how the Pope survived the attack. When John Paul II told him it was because of Our Lady of Fatima, he was intrigued and confused.
It was back on May 13th, 1917, when three children, say they witnessed the apparition of Our Lady, in the area of Fatima, about 75 miles from Lisbon, Portugal.
One of those kids was Lucia dos Santos who was 10 years old at the time. She eventually became a Carmelite nun. She was convinced Our Lady revealed a series of prophecies that came true.
In fact, Pope John Paul II believed one of the predictions was connected to his shooting in St. Peter's Square, which only intensified the devotion he felt towards Our Lady.