Pope thanks Fatima Virgin for saving his life

by Michael H. Brown

      As the bishops of the world joined in, Pope John Paul II prayed on Saturday before a statue of the Madonna of Fatima, who he believes saved his life during a 1981 assassination attempt. 

         Appearing in good form, the Pope appeared with the statue in St. Peter's Square, scene of the 1981 event in which Turkish gunman Mehmet Ali shot him. Doctor's said the bullet took a miraculous path away from vital organs and blood vessels and the Pope recovered despite losing three-quarters of his blood.

       The shooting occurred on May 13 -- anniversary of the first Fatima apparition -- and during his recovery the Pope saw a miracle in the sun, as was also reported in the last Fatima apparition on October 13, 1917.

       Earlier this year the Vatican released contents of the famous Fatima third secret and in it was the prophecy of a "bishop in white" (the Pope is bishop of Rome) who would be felled by a bullet.

          The 80-year-old Pope had the statue brought to Rome from Fatima for a Holy Year celebration attended by some 1,500 of the world's 4,430 Roman Catholic bishops. The lone surviving Fatima seer, Lucia Dos Santos, 93, led part of the praying via a live television link with the convent where she lives in Portugal. 

       In a sign of gratitude a year after the assassination attempt, the Pope had one of the 9 mm bullets which Agca fired at him placed in the crown of the three-foot statue. 

`       `One hand fired the bullet and another guided it,'' the Pope once said of Agca's attempt to kill him. 

       Today  the Pope will preside at a ceremony entrusting the world to the Madonna. 

      The act in Rome comes at a dramatic time when the Shroud of Turin is also on display and prophecies are rife concerning coming "chastisements."

           Click here for an explanation of the                       Entrustment.           

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