Charlie A. Agatep

The Day the Pope Was Shot

By Charlie A. Agatep

Thirteen years ago on May 13, 1981, at 3:15pm GMT, I saw Pope John Paull II being shot as he was riding around St. Peter’s Square in his white, open jeep.

At the time of the shooting, which took place five days before the Pope’s 61st birthday anniversary, he was giving his blessing (Urbi et Orbi) and waving to a crowd of some 10,000 persons who had gathered in front of the Basilica of St. Peter’s since noon. He had just finished holding a boy in his arms inside the jeep when the shots rang out.