May 13, 1981: Gregorio Galaska, Polish photographer and a great friend of Wojtyla, was far from Rome, in Poland, on the day of the attack in St. Peter’s Square. “I was doing military service – he tells Adnkronos Galaska -. When the news came, I rushed in front of that one small black and white television that produced dramatic images. I was petrified for minutes and minutes, fearing the worst. And then I began to pray a lot. Then the wonderful news that he was alive and the great hope ”. The day after tomorrow, together with the Polish ambassador, Galaska will return to St. Peter’s Square to recall the attack: “We will pray together at 17.17 at the point where Alì Agca fired. And on May 18, the day of Wojtyla’s birth, we will go to pray at the tomb. ”Gregorio Galaska recalls an anecdote that returns some of the great humor of the Polish Pope. In 1993 Galaska went to Lithuania and was hit by a car there. He returned to Rome and was also hospitalized at Gemelli. “When I was convalescing – he recalls – a pilgrimage for Polish friends was organized in Castelgandolfo. I also went on crutches. When the Pope saw me like this he asked me what had happened and I dwelt, perhaps a little, in the account of the accident. Wojtyla smiled and cheered me up by cutting it short with a Polish saying: ‘If a kid doesn’t jump, the leg won’t break’. We burst into a liberating laugh. ”Gregorio Galaska thinks of the forty years that have passed since the attack, still shrouded in mystery:“ Things will never clear up. I think, however, that Agca only knew he had to kill Wojtyla but if he had succeeded, I believe that another killer would have waited for him to eliminate him. Our Lady was stronger than any killer ”.
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