Saturday, May 13
25 Years Ago
25 years ago today, on the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, Pope John Paul II was shot.
Our Lady, at Fatima, between May 13 and October 13 of 1917, had predicted that unless penance was done, Russia would spread its errors throughout the world. She had predicted, we know now, that unless penance was done, the Pope himself would be shot and killed.
25 years ago today, the Pope acknowledged by all as precipitating the end of Russian Communism was shot. He was, however, not killed: just as the gun fired, the Pope had suddenly leaned forward to look at a girl holding an image of Our Lady of Fatima. Because of that sudden movement, the bullet missed its exact target, and the Pope's life was saved; his mission to the world continued another 24 years, witnessing indeed the end of viable Communism and fighting in many ways the other materialist errors Russia had spread throughout the first world.
Attributing his deliverance from the attempt on his life to Our Lady of Fatima, he had the bullet shot by the assassin inserted into the crown of the statue of Our Lady at Fatima itself. Today, that statue made a pilgrammage to the exact spot where the Holy Father was shot, and the above plaque was place at that same spot by order of Pope Benedict XVI.
It is Benedict XVI, in fact, who officially interpretted the famous Third Secret of Fatima when it was released by John Paul II a few years ago. The contents of this secret, and Benedict's commentary on the secret, have precipitated John Paul's widespread acknowledgement as "the Fatima Pope," the pope through whom Our Lady's intercession before Christ the King won the epic battle for humanity that was the 20th Century. Though society and the Church continue to recover from the deep wounds of that century, with each passing day there is less and less doubt that recovery is precisely what we are witnessing today.