Sunday, May 13, 2012
Mehmet Ali Agca greeted the Pope by bowing deeply -- in a manner nearly resembling a genuflection-- before John Paul II. The Pope offered his right hand; Ali Agca took it and bent over to kiss it. Then, in an Islamic gesture signifying respect and trust, Ali Agca pressed his forehead against the back of the Pope's hand. During the brief meeting the two men sat closely together. At the beginning of the vist, John Paul lightly tapped Ali Agca's knee with his right hand and nodded as if to say: "Now let's talk." The guard left them alone for twenty minutes, signaling the visit's end. When journalists later questioned him about the meeting, the Pope replied: "What we spoke about is a secret between us. I spoke to him as I would to a brother whom I have pardoned and who enjoys my trust." Luigi Accattoli, John Paul II: Man of the Millennium, p. 98
Blessed John Paul II credits the mercy of God and the Blessed Virgin Mary for his life:
"My personal experiences this year, together with the events on May 13, make me cry out: We owe it to the mercy of God that we are not dead."
and "When I was wounded by gunshots fired in St Peter's Square, at first I did not pay attention to the fact that the assassination attempt had occurred on the exact anniversary of the day Mary appeared to the three children at Fatima . . . and spoke to them words that now, at the end of the century, seem to be close to their fulfillment." Ibid. p. 99