Pope John Paul II Shot But Lives

John Paul II

On May 13, 1981, Pope John Paul II took an open-air car through St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican. Just after entering the square, an assassin shot him, but he survived.

The assassin, Mehmet Ali Agca, escaped prison from his home country of Turkey and traveled to the Vatican. There, standing among the crowd, he fired four shots. Two shots hit the Pope. Immediately, an ambulance rushed Pope John Paul II to the hospital, where he recovered. In the meanwhile, authorities arrested Agca and sent him to prison.

Agca gave three different and conflicting reasons for his actions. At first, he confessed, saying he did it alone. Next, he said that a group of Soviet and Bulgarian secret services planned the attack. Finally, Agca claimed he was Jesus Christ and that God told him to assassinate the Pope. Regardless of the reasons, the Pope immediately forgave Agca. He even convinced the Vatican authorities to release Agca in the year 2000. Meanwhile, Pope John Paul II went on to serve for many more years.


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