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Photo: AP, July 16, 2000
Pope John Paul II is surrounded by nuns after the Angelus prayer at noon in Les Combes during his 13-day vacation in the Italian Alps near France. According to a Vatican spokesman, the Pontiff personally intervened with Italian authorities to gain the release and pardon of Mehmet Ali Agca, the Turk who sought to kill him in 1981. The Pontiff, speaking to children at a Rome parish on Oct. 10, 1999, said the teachings of Christ instructed him to forgive Agca.