On this day, May 13, in 1981, Pope John Paul II was shot and seriously wounded in St. Peter's Square by a Turkish assailant.

Mehmet Ali Agca, who had escaped from a Turkish prison where he was awaiting trial on murder charges in the killing of prominent journalist in 1979, fired at the pope as he was being driven across the square in his "Popemobile."

The pope was hit by three bullets, including one in his stomach.

Agca served 19 years in Italian prisons before he was deported to Turkey, where he served 10 years for the assassination of the newspaper editor.

Pope John Paul publicly forgave Agca and visited him in prison.

At his release in 2010, Agca proclaimed that the world would end this century and that he was the Messiah.

-- Scott McCabe