The presence of Mary, Mother of Christ, is close to us. I entrust each one of you to this Mother. Because she is the source of our consolation and therefore of our hopes. Because the Mother of Christ, and our Mother, can give you the love of God as a gift. I want to entrust you to this Mother and I want this Mother to be among you as a sweet, utterly sweet presence.
Today I have been able to meet with my attempted assassin and repeat my forgiveness of him, as I did immediately, as soon as I was able. We meet as men and brothers, and all the experiences of our lives lead to this brotherhood.
Pope John Paul II, Meeting with Inmates of Rebibbia Prison, Rome, Italy
December 27, 1983.
CNS file photo/Arturo Mari
Pope John Paul II visits with Mehmet Ali Agca in a Rome prison Dec. 27, 1983. Their meeting came two years after Agca was arrested for shooting the pontiff in St. Peter's Square. The pope publicly forgave his assailant. In 2000 Italy pardoned Agca and returned him to his homeland, Turkey.