Vatican City, May 18, 2011 / 15:05 pm
Blessed Pope John Paul II was born on May 18, 1920. Today, one of his closest colleagues revealed the true story behind the mosaic of Our Lady the late Pope had installed in St. Peter’s Square.
“After the assassination attempt on May 13, 1981, Vatican officials were evaluating the possibility of placing a plaque, or some visible sign, in St. Peter’s Square in the area where the Pope had been shot, in remembrance of a painful page in the history of the Church but also as testimony of divine protection,” Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re wrote in the May 18 edition of the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano.
Cardinal Re was a senior figure in the Congregation for Bishops and the Vatican Secretariat of State during the pontificate of Pope John Paul.
“John Paul II, convinced that the Virgin Mary had protected him on that day, immediately expressed the desire that an image of the Madonna be placed in the square.” Cardinal Re added that Pope John Paul had also become aware that there was something “missing” from the St. Peter’s Square up until that time – an image of Our Lady.