Mehmet Ali Agca sent letter to Vatican requesting meeting with the Pope
Turk jailed for 19 years for attempted assassination of John Paul II in 1981
Also served ten years in Turkish prison for murdering prominent journalist
The Pope is set to visit Turkey this week for crisis talks regarding ISIS
During the shocking 1981 attack, Pope John Paul II suffered severe blood loss after being shot four times.
A SECOND OF SILENCE… FOLLOWED BY CRIES OF HORROR
On Wednesday May 13 1981 John Paul II was on his way to his regular weekly public audience – being driven in his white – and then unarmoured popemobile, through a crowd of 20,000 worshippers.
The Polish pontiff had been elected as Pope less than three years earlier.
At 5.17pm, shots rang out and John Paul II slumped back in his seat after being struck by four bullets – two of which hit him in the stomach.
After a second of silence, people in the square began to scream: ‘Hanno sparato il Papa! Hanno sparato il Papa!’ (They’ve shot the Pope).
A minute or so later, police grabbed a man running from the scene – Mehmet Ali Agca.
A letter found in Agca’s pocket read: ‘I, Agca, have killed the Pope so that the world may know of the thousands of victims of imperialism.’
Following a five-hour operation, John Paul II went on to make a full recovery.
Two bullets struck his left hand and right arm while another two lodged in his lower intestine, narrowly missing his heart and other vital organs. Two bystanders were also hit by stray bullets.
The motive for the attack remains a mystery but at the time the 23-year-old was a militant of the notorious far-right Grey Wolves movement.
When police seized him, they found a letter in his pocket which read: ‘I have killed the Pope so that the world may know of the thousands of victims of imperialism.’
A number of theories have been put forward about who was behind the assassination attempt.
An official inquiry blamed Soviet-sponsored assassins – who wanted the Pope dead because of his support for the democracy movement Solidarity.
But in 2011 Polish communist leader General Wojciech Jaruzelski, who died this year aged 90, claimed that Islamic fanatics sponsored the would-be assassination.
‘Radical Islam detested the pope and saw in him a leader of crusades,’ he told Poland’s ‘Jezus’ Catholic magazine.
In 1983, John Paul II famously pardoned Agca and even visited him in his cell in Rome.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2852301/Gunman-shot-John-Paul-II-asks-meeting-Francis-tour-Turkey-Pope-isn-t-keen.html#ixzz3N9dRfoLW
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