Just six weeks apart in the spring of 1981, Pope John Paul II and President Ronald Reagan took bullets from would-be assassins. Few knew it at the time, but both men came close to dying. Surviving these near-death experiences created a singular bond between the pope and the president that historians have failed to appreciate. When John Paul II and Reagan met in the Vatican only a year later, they confided to each other a shared conviction: that God had spared their lives for a reason. That reason? To defeat communism. In private, Reagan had a name for this: the “DP”—the Divine Plan.