about this pope, it is his narrow escape from an assassin's bullet. The event was kept alive by both John Paul II and the media who followed his story. The pope stressed a sacred interpretation, suggesting that his life may have been spared by God so as to continue the work of evangelization. The media focused on the possibility that the assassin was part of an international communist-led plot. Both interpretations, the sacred and the secular, enhanced each other's narrative. In this sense, the historical rhetorical persona of John Paul II presented a consistent foundation for his rhetorical strategy.