VATICAN CITY – Pope John Paul II whipped
himself with a belt, even on vacation, and slept on the floor as acts
of penitence and to bring him closer to Christian perfection, according
to a new book by the Polish prelate spearheading his sainthood case.
book “Why He’s a Saint” also includes previously unpublished speeches
and documents written by John Paul, including one 1989 signed memo in
which he said he would resign if he became incapacitated.
book also reported for the first time that John Paul forgave his
would-be assassin in the ambulance on the way to the hospital moments
after he was shot on May 13, 1981, in St. Peter’s Square. And it
reported that he initially thought his attacker was a member of the
Italian terrorist organization the Red Brigades.