May 12, 2011. (Romereports.com)
Wednesday, May 13, 1981. John Paul II comes to St. Peter's Square in the Popemobile. Among the thousands, one hand holds a 9 caliber hand gun. Three shots are fired.
After a moment of confusion, John Paul II collapses. His white cassock is stained with blood. A bullet hit him directly in the abdomen.
The security system is activated. His doctor orders he be taken to Gemelli hospital immediately.
During a five hour emergency operation the bullet is extracted. The pope's first words came five days later, on the Angelus radio broadcast. He said he forgave the man who tried to kill him.
It took him many years to speak publicly about what happened. In his book "Memory and Identity," which was published two months before his death, he said the attacker, Ali Agca aimed correctly, but chose the wrong day. May 13 is the feast day of Our Lady of Fatima. He also said the attack "was not Agca's initiative, but someone elses.”
In 1982, John Paul II placed the bullet that hit him in the crown of the Virgin of Fatima. In the year 2000, he revealed that the Third Secret of Fatima makes reference to his attack. He recalled how three shepherd children had seen a "bishop dressed in white walking tiredly toward the cross when he falls dead to the ground."
At Christmas, 1983 John Paul II visited Ali Agca in prison and forgave him directly. Although according to Joaquin Navarro-Valls, spokesman for the Vatican under John Paul II, the Turkish attacker never asked for forgiveness.Joaquin Navarro-Valls
Ex Vatican spokesman
22 FEBRUARY 2005"In his book, the pope writes about that meeting with Ali Agca. It had been several years after the attack. He had hoped for some sign of repentance on his part, a "sorry" ... But the only thing that Ali Agca was interested in knowing, was why he wasn't able to kill the Pope. He also wanted to know about the secret of Fatima. "
Card. Joseph Ratzinger
22 FEBRUARY 2005"Ali Agca was only concerned about the technicalities of the incident and not the morality of it all. He kept on questioning, how he, an expert shooter could have missed. He also sent me several letters from prison. He would ask me 'tell me something about this mystery of Fatima, because if I understand it correctly, I can find out why I wasn't able to kill the pope.”
May 13, 2011 marks the 30th anniversary of the assassination attempt.
John Paul II is now a blessed. Ali Agca was released from prison in January of 2010 after serving a 29 year sentence. But the question remains, why did he try to kill Pope John Paul II and who ordered it?