TODAY IN HISTORY: Pope John Paul The Second Shot In Vatican City

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On May 13, 1981, during his weekly audience in Rome’s St. Peter’s Square, Pope John Paul II was shot. During that shocking attack, he sustained severe injuries from gunshots fired by 23-year-old Mehmet Ali Agca, an escaped Turkish convict.

The assailant discharged four shots, one striking the pontiff in the abdomen and narrowly avoiding vital organs, while another hit the Pope’s left hand. Additionally, one bullet wounded 60-year-old American Ann Odre in the chest and another one injured 21-year-old Jamaican Rose Hill in the arm.

The day Pope John Paul II was shot in St Peter's Square

Agca’s gun was knocked out of his hand by bystanders, leading to his subsequent arrest by the police. The Pope underwent extensive surgery at Rome’s Gemelli Hospital, remaining in critical but stable condition for over five hours.

John Paul II, revered by nearly 600 million Roman Catholics globally, was ordained Pope in 1978 as the first Polish and non-Italian pope in over four centuries. Proficient in seven languages and Latin, he was renowned for his fearless public engagements and extensive travels.

Notably, just four days after the attempt on his life, he extended forgiveness to his would-be assassin from his hospital bed. After three weeks of recovery, the Pontiff came out fully healed from his wounds.

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The motives driving Mehmet Ali Agca’s attempt on the life of the Roman Catholic Church’s leader remained unclear and have remained a mystery to this day. Despite the trauma, in 1983, Pope John Paul II visited Agca in prison, extending a gesture of forgiveness to him. He also pleaded with the authorities to pardon Agca.

Five other key events on this day

(1). Helicopter made its first cross-country flight – 1942.

(2). The Virgin Mary first appeared to three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal – 1917.

(3). U.S. Congress declared war on Mexico – 1846.

(4). The motorcade carrying US Vice President Richard Nixon was attacked in Caracas, Venezuela – 1958.

(5). ⁠Manchester City won the English Premier League for the first time in 44 years – 2012….S££ MOR£

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