Skip to comments.A dramatic encounter with my mother that saved the life of Pope John Paul II (Catholic Caucus)
Posted on 07/01/2009 7:43:09 AM PDT by NYer
We never know how God will use us in His divine providence to accomplish His will, but we do know His providence in how things unfold. God used my mother to save the life of Pope John Paul II through a series of events that led up to the day he was shot.
My Mother, Claire LeBlanc, (photo top right), led pilgrimages to Rome for over 20 years. In advance of her trips, Cardinal Medeiros of Boston would write to the Vatican to arrange for a group pass to the Papal audience that would be waiting for her upon her arrival.
In all the years she went to Rome she never took her copy of the Cardinal's letter, except for her last trip before she died. As the car began to leave for the airport she had them stop. Something impelled her to get out of the car and get her copy of the Cardinal's letter. In light of the events that took place while she was in Rome, we asked her what impelled her to get her copy of the Cardinal's letter after she returned from her pilgrimage. She could not explain it, except to say that she knew she needed to bring her copy of the letter. Divine Providence would make it crystal clear why she needed her copy the day the Pope was shot.
When she arrived in Rome she was surprised to learn the original letter from Cardinal Medeiros had never arrived at the Vatican. And in like manner, this was the first and only time the Cardinal's letter had never arrived to arrange for her group pass in all the years she went. Fortunately, she had her copy which was acknowledged by Vatican personnel, and they decided to give my mother and her group a place along the fence where the Pope would be driving by. This would provide the possibility of getting to touch the Popes hand when he passed by in the car. And in fact, my mother and some in her group did get to touch his hand. But something happened before the Pope arrived at the place where they were standing.
When my mother and her group went in to take their place, a man had snuck in with her group. This man made his way to the fence and stood next to my mother, and, as one might expect, the people in her group became upset. My mother turned and looked this man in the eye, and rather than letting the situation get out of hand, she leaned over to my Aunt who was on the other side of him and said, "Louise, get rid of him". My aunt, a retired nurse, had cared for and handled men that suffered emotional trauma during WWII. She obliged my mother's request without hesitation by giving him a smack in the chest that was accompanied with a tapestry of things she said to him in Italian. After he had gone back into the crowd the Holy Father had arrived where my mother was standing, and the man my mother had just sent back into the crowd pulled out a gun from where he stood and shot the Pope as he went by. It was Ali Agca, the man who shot the Pope.
When Agca took his shots, a little nun standing next to him went for his legs to make a tackle, and he went down when the crowds moved in on him. He could have shot her, but he messed with the Pope and he was going down. From what I was told they practically had to tear her off of him. He was not getting a second chance. The next day the Vatican cited the little Nun for bravery.
If my mother's pilgrimage did not unfold as it did, beginning with her need to get her copy of the Cardinal's letter when she went to Rome, only God knows how the events of the day would have unfolded. But, in the plan of divine providence, we do know how and why they unfolded as they did. Ali Agca had snuck in with my mother's group, she had him pushed back, and she got to touch the Popes hand as he drove by. If Ali Agca had remained standing next to my mother, he would have had point blank range on the Pope, and instead of touching the Popes hand he would have unloaded his clip on the Pope, and it would have been over right then and there. Had the Pope died that day, history would be very different.
When my mother returned to Boston, various news media came to interview her and ran the story about what happened with my mother and Ali Agca. I was there when Tom Ellis, a News Anchor from WCVB Channel 5 in Boston, came to interview my mother at her home. Anyone who wishes to confirm these events can contact WCVB Channel 5 in Boston. You would need to contact the archives at WCVB and request that it be drawn up from the archives. Other media ran the story as well.
Years later I was thinking of what happened that day in Rome, and I thought back on what Our Lady of Fatima had said to the children of Fatima, namely, that the Pope would suffer. The Pope they prayed for would bring to Fatima one of the bullets that struck him, and he had it placed in Mary's crown. And I'm stunned to realize that Our Lady who spoke to the children of Fatima so long ago about this event would use my mother in such a momentus display of providence that would save the life of the Pope the day he was shot. It's been said the path of the bullet miraculously changed after it struck the Pope, and this would be known by the angle of trajectory from where Agca was forced to shoot after my mother had him sent back into the crowd. This dramatic encounter brings home the realization that God can and does use all things that may seem innocuous to us in the moment, but serve His purpose, even if we don't see them unfold as it did for my mother that day in Rome.
So, as I look back on that event, I see the attack on Pope John Paul II as an attack not only against his very person as the Vicar of Christ, but as an attack on the Catholic Church and all of her doctrines. And there are many in this world who attack Catholic beliefs and authority for any number of reasons.
A truly remarkable story!
i left evangelicalism only to find catholics sounding more and more like them all the time.
**God can and does use all things that may seem innocuous to us in the moment, but serve His purpose, even if we don’t see them unfold**
Amen. Just like my tagline says and will always say, “With God all things are possible.”
Thank you for this wonderful story.
Divine Providence is a Catholic belief.
I enjoyed this. Thank you.
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