“Brother I forgive you”, The greatest Act of forgiveness in the 20th century.
Filed Under: Opinion, World | Posted: 11/29/2007 at 9:12PM
Comments | Region: Italy
The Pope who loved Prisoners.
On 27th December 1983 Pope John Paul II visited Rebibbia Prison in Rome. He went to the cell of Mehmet Ali Agca, the Turkish extremist, who attempted to assassinate him on 13th May 1981 at St. Peter’s Square, Vatican City. The Holy Father catching hold of Ali Agca’s hands said, “Brother I forgive you”.
Times magazine, placing the picture of Pope John Paul II and Mehmet Ali Agca on its front page, reported that this act of forgiveness is the greatest event took place in the twentieth century.
John Paul II was a pope who loved prisoners, who stood for their rights. Often he visited prisons in Rome such as Regina Caeli and Rebibbia. During the year 2000, which the Christians considered as the Jubilee Year, he not only celebrated with prisoners but also issued a message for them together with an appeal to governments. The initial lines for the message reveal how affectionately His holiness kept prisoners in his heart: “In the frame work of this Holy year of 2000 it was unthinkable that there should not a Day of Jubilee for Prisoners. Prison gate cannot exclude from the benefits of this great event those who find themselves spending part of their lives behind them. In remembering these brothers and sisters, I first wish to express the hope that the Risen Lord, who entered the Upper Room through the closed doors, will enter all the prisons of the world and find a welcome in the hearts of those within, bringing peace and serenity to everyone.”
In his Jubilee message he continues, “The Good Shepherd is always going in search of the lost sheep, and when he finds them he puts them on his shoulders and brings them back to the flock. Christ is in search of every human being, whatever the situation”.
On 2nd April 2005 after setting an excellent example for people of Third Millennium in caring for prisoners, His Holiness Pope John Paul II embraced the eternal life.