Friday, May 13, 2011

30 years ago: Pope John Paul II is shot

On May 13, 1981 Pope John Paul II was shot four times by Mehmet Ali Agca as he rode in the "popemobile" through a crowd of 20,000 people in St. Peter’s Square in Rome. It was the 64th anniversary of the alleged appearance of the Virgin Mary at Fatima, Portugal, and the pope saw a little girl in the audience with a small picture of Mary pinned to her blouse. He bent down to take a closer look at the picture, and at that instant, the first two bullets from the would-be assassin’s gun whizzed past, right where John Paul’s head would have been if he hadn’t bent down. John Paul II believed that Mary saved his life on that day, and he became increasingly devoted to her. During his convalescence he received a vision, supposedly of future events. For more detail on this, see Malachi Martin’s book The Keys of This Blood (1990), pp. 625-634.

The shooting of the pope occurred just six weeks after the assassination attempt on U.S. President Ronald Reagan and four months after the murder of ex-Beatle John Lennon. In Edmonton, CFRN news director Bruce Hogle said in his television editorial that night, "The obvious question is, what can be done to prevent these things from happening? The answer is: nothing."

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