By Paul Kengor

EPA/ANSA
‘Mary, my mother; Mary, my mother.’ Bodyguards hold Pope John Paul II after he was shot May 13, 1981, in St. Peter’s Square by Turkish gunman Mehmet Ali Agca. After he was shot, the Pope appealed to the intercession of the Blessed Mother. Agca was jailed for 19 years in Italy for the attack on the Pope, which left the Holy Father seriously wounded. Agca was pardoned by the Italian president in June 2000 and extradited back to Turkey, where he was jailed for a 1979 murder.

COMMENTARY: The saint was convinced he was saved by the Blessed Mother’s intercession in 1981.

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