ROME, APRIL 6, 2006 (Zenit.org).- A new book on John Paul II, by Italian journalist Renzo Allegri, looks at a Marian angle of his life.
“Il papa di Fatima” (The Fatima Pope) was recently published in Italy by Mondadori.
Allegri’s research reveals that Karol Wojtyla’s life and pontificate seem to have been inscribed in a divine plan that makes of John Paul II that “bishop clothed in white” mentioned in the third part of the secret of Fatima. The Pope himself became aware of that possibility after the 1981 attempt on his life.
The attack took place on May 13, the same date of the first apparition of Fatima in 1917, and the doctors acknowledged that the bullet, shot from close range, followed a strange zigzagging trajectory, avoiding vital organs.
John Paul II interpreted this scientifically inexplicable fact as if a mysterious hand — Mary’s maternal hand — had diverted the bullet’s path, preventing the shot from being fatal.
In the third part of the secret, revealed to the three little shepherds in 1917 and made public in May 2000, mention is made of the persecutions that the Church would suffer in the 20th century.
Also mentioned is a mysterious attack against a man “clothed in white” who “will fall to the ground as though dead from gunshots.”
For this and other reasons reconstructed by the author, Fatima and the attack become central episodes for understanding John Paul II’s life, especially his devotion to Mary and the role of the Pope as a decisive figure in the fall of the Communist regimes.
Allegri reconstructs Karol Wojtyla’s path of life and deciphers the apparent signs of predestination from his childhood, including three years before he was born, in that third secret.
The author presents a relationship between historical events and supernatural plans. One of the key moments of the book is Russia’s consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, carried out by John Paul II in 1984, as requested by Mary in 1929. The text relates this fact with the unforeseen fall of the Communist regimes.
The book states that John Paul II, after he realized that he was the man mentioned in the message of Fatima, was determined to visit all Marian shrines and renew in each of them the rite of consecration of Russia to Mary’s Immaculate Heart.
According to Allegri, to achieve this objective John Paul II challenged the forces of evil and because of this, more than once his vocation ran the risk of being truncated. At least four times, Karol Wojtyla suffered serious accidents from which he was “miraculously” saved, Allegri contends.
Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz of Krakow, who had been John Paul II’s longtime secretary, wrote to the author in connection with the book’s thesis: “You have a good intuition in regard to the nexus that unites the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima and the attack on John Paul II, and especially the third secret, which continues to be a mystery of Divine Mercy.”
Archbishop Mario Rizzi of Bagnoregio, a former apostolic nuncio, wrote to Allegri: “I think I can say that your book on John Paul II is, to my knowledge, the most beautiful and sincere.
“It is a well-documented book, with unknown details, which reveals a Pope theologian who has as possible competitors Leo and Gregory the Great. In addition to the theological dimension, an enchanting and captivating human dimension emerges.”