At the Catholic University of Lublin, Poland, the Personal Secretary to Pope John Paul II gave an unprecedented first-person account May 13 of the day the Holy Father was shot.

“Neither we, nor, especially, this university, which boasts the prestige of having had Pope John Paul II as a professor, can be left indifferent by the date of 13 May,” said Bishop Stanislaw Dziwisz in introducing his remarks.

“May this ceremony therefore be an opportunity to relive the event we witnessed. In this context it seems right to fit today's meeting into the twofold dimension of ‘gift and mystery,’ before which we must bow our heads and respect their deep value. The gift is the Holy Father's life, which continues to bear fruit for the Church and the world; the mystery is the attempt on his life, which we are trying to see in the perspective of divine Providence's saving design, despite the drama we lived through.”

The second part of his remarks follow. The final installment comes next week.