Gunshots thundered through St. Peter’s Square on May 13, 1981. Four bullets struck Pope John Paul II in the abdomen, barely missing his heart. He fell to the ground as the crowd scattered in panic. The man who fired the gun, Mehmet Ali Agca, was quickly arrested and later sentenced to life in prison by an Italian court. Agca had attempted to kill a man he had never met but, instead of condemning his actions, the pope visited Agca’s dusty prison cell and forgave him.

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