40th Anniversary of Assassination Attempt on Pope John Paul II - Church in Poland Thanks to Our Lady of Fatima and holds Celebration

On Wednesday, 13 May 1981, there was an attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II, in St. Peter's Square in Vatican City. The Pope was shot and wounded by Mehmet Ali Ağca as he was entering the square. The Pope was hit by four bullets and suffered severe blood loss. Ağca was apprehended immediately and later sentenced to life in prison by an Italian court. Afterwards, the Pope forgave Ağca for the assassination attempt. Ağca was pardoned by Italian president Carlo Azeglio Ciampi at the Pope's request and was deported to Turkey in June 2000. Pope John Paul II accredited his recovery to Our Lady of Fatima as it was on her feast that he was shot. He placed the bullet from the shooting in the crown of her statue at Fatima.

The head of the Catholic Bishops of Poland wrote, "We thank God and Our Lady of Fatima for saving the life of the Polish Pope and, consequently, his long pontificate, which marked the history of the universal Church and the world very strongly, said Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki, chairman of the Polish Episcopal Conference, on the occasion of May 13 this year. 40th anniversary of the assassination attempt on the life of the Holy Father John Paul II."
The President of the Episcopate invited everyone to join the main anniversary celebrations at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima in Polanica-Zdrój Sokołówka at 5.00 p.m. "We will be thanking together through the hands of Mary for the miracle of saving the Holy Father and for all the favors that God sent us through the person of our great and holy countryman" - he emphasized.

 The Church in Poland is holding large celebrations in honor of this anniversary according to the Bishops' Website:
"We would like to solemnly thank God on May 13 through + the hands of Mary + for the miracle of saving John Paul II. But we want to prepare ourselves spiritually for that day, so on this Friday, May 7 at 8 p.m. the Holy Mass will be celebrated, which will start the Jericho of the Rosary, that is, the continuous prayer of the Rosary day and night before the Blessed Sacrament, "said  Fr. Zdzisław Świniarski SSCC, the curator of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima in Polanica Zdrój-Sokołówka, the main initiator and organizer of the ceremony.
After the Holy Mass and the rosary prayer, the Extreme Fatima Night will begin, i.e. the prayer of the rosary on the way (approx. 33 km - each kilometer is a year of Jesus' earthly life). Pilgrims will stop at churches located in the Kłodzko Valley, among others in Stara Łomnica, in Starkowo, in Stary Wielisław and in Polanica Zdrój. In each of them, the description of the Revelation for that month will be read. “You can also join us spiritually and choose the right hour of prayer while staying at home,”  encourages Fr Świniarski SSCC.
 The prayer will continue at the statue of Our Lady of Fatima in the Sanctuary in Polanica Zdrój-Sokołówka. The statue was dedicated in Fatima in 2014, and on October 18 this year. began her pilgrimage through all parishes of the Świdnica diocese to prepare the faithful for the 100th anniversary of the Fatima Apparitions. “During prayer, we thank God for all favors. We will also thank and ask Mary for the most dear gift of faith. A gift that is all the more precious today because it is less cared for and less appreciated. It is a gift that, more than any other, will allow us to become like Mary, ”  said Fr Świniarski SSCC.
Throughout the day, the faithful will gather at the statue of Our Lady of Fatima, so that, like John Paul II, he would thank her for the gift of saving his life on May 13, 1982, and thank Mary for saving our great compatriot.
The organizers ask you to decorate the windows of houses and apartments with a picture with the image of Our Lady of Fatima, and during the "Barka" singing, to light candles in the windows of houses and apartments as a thank you to God for saving Pope John Paul II.