Skip to comments.Prophecy of St Malachy (with list of Popes)
Posted on 11/19/2003 10:42:24 PM PST by Salvation
When I read The Year of Three Popes by Peter Hebblethwaite (about the events of 1978 which saw the death of Paul VI, the election and death of John Paul I, and then the election of John Paul II) he mentions the spate of editorials in the Osservatore Romano and the spate of letters to the editor in the Times of London at the time of the conclaves about what the mottos attributed to the dead pope or the next pope by St Malachy in his prophecies. Enthralled, I went to the library and looked through the microfilm of the Times to read the letters myself. And then I tried to track down a copy of the prophecies. I have them reproduced below, as well as an explanation of them from the Catholic Encyclopedia. The prevailing view today is that they are elaborate forgeries, probably perpretrated by a school of Jesuits in the 1600s. This is based on the clear relation of the mottos to the various popes until that period, and the need to find oblique references (such as the motto of the Pope's home diocese) to make the particular motto fit the particular pope. The inclusion of anti-popes would also appear to militate against the authenticity of the prophecies. Nevetheless, as each new conclave comes and goes, people start to become a bit jittery about them. I think they are a bit of fun, and the semantic exercise of trying to fit the motto to the Pope that goes on in letters to the editor around the world is great reading!
According to the prophecy, the next Pope will be the second last Pope Gloria Olivae ("Glory of the Olives"). Will we see the return of an Italian to Vatican Hill? Or will it be a Frenchman or a Spaniard? Someone from Latin America, perhaps, the Glory of the Spanish New World?
The most famous and best known prophecies about the popes are those attributed to St. Malachy. In 1139 he went to Rome to give an account of the affairs of his diocese to the pope, Innocent II, who promised him two palliums for the metropolitan Sees of Armagh and Cashel. While at Rome, he received (according to the Abbé Cucherat) the strange vision of the future wherein was unfolded before his mind the long list of illustrious pontiffs who were to rule the Church until the end of time. The same author tells us that St. Malachy gave his manuscript to Innocent II to console him in the midst of his tribulations, and that the document remained unknown in the Roman Archives until its discovery in 1590 (Cucherat, "Proph. de la succession des papes", ch. xv). They were first published by Arnold de Wyon, and ever since there has been much discussion as to whether they are genuine predictions of St. Malachy or forgeries. The silence of 400 years on the part of so many learned authors who had written about the popes, and the silence of St. Bernard especially, who wrote the "Life of St. Malachy", is a strong argument against their authenticity, but it is not conclusive if we adopt Cucherat's theory that they were hidden in the Archives during those 400 years.
These short prophetical announcements, in number 112, indicate some noticeable trait of all future popes from Celestine II, who was elected in the year 1130, until the end of the world. They are enunciated under mystical titles. Those who have undertaken to interpret and explain these symbolical prophecies have succeeded in discovering some trait, allusion, point, or similitude in their application to the individual popes, either as to their country, their name, their coat of arms or insignia, their birth-place, their talent or learning, the title of their cardinalate, the dignities which they held etc. For example, the prophecy concerning Urban VIII is Lilium et Rosa (the lily and the rose); he was a native of Florence and on the arms of Florence figured a fleur-de-lis; he had three bees emblazoned on his escutcheon, and the bees gather honey from the lilies and roses. Again, the name accords often with some remarkable and rare circumstance in the pope's career; thus Peregrinus apostolicus (pilgrim pope), which designates Pius VI, appears to be verified by his journey when pope into Germany, by his long career as pope, and by his expatriation from Rome at the end of his pontificate. Those who have lived and followed the course of events in an intelligent manner during the pontificates of Pius IX, Leo XIII, and Pius X cannot fail to be impressed with the titles given to each by the prophecies of St. Malachy and their wonderful appropriateness: Crux de Cruce (Cross from a Cross) Pius IX; Lumen in caelo (Light in the Sky) Leo XIII; Ignis ardens (Burning Fire) Pius X. There is something more than coincidence in the designations given to these three popes so many hundred years before their time. We need not have recourse either to the family names, armorial bearings or cardinalatial titles, to see the fitness of their designations as given in the prophecies. The afflictions and crosses of Pius IX were more than fell to the lot of his predecessors; and the more aggravating of these crosses were brought on by the House of Savoy whose emblem was a cross. Leo XIII was a veritable luminary of the papacy. The present pope is truly a burning fire of zeal for the restoration of all things to Christ.
The last of these prophecies concerns the end of the world and is as follows: "In the final persecution of the Holy Roman Church there will reign Peter the Roman, who will feed his flock amid many tribulations, after which the seven-hilled city will be destroyed and the dreadful Judge will judge the people. The End." It has been noticed concerning Petrus Romanus, who according to St. Malachy's list is to be the last pope, that the prophecy does not say that no popes will intervene between him and his predecessor designated Gloria olivoe. It merely says that he is to be the last, so that we may suppose as many popes as we please before "Peter the Roman". Cornelius a Lapide refers to this prophecy in his commentary "On the Gospel of St. John" (C. xvi) and "On the Apocalypse" (cc. xvii-xx), and he endeavours to calculate according to it the remaining years of time.
|Pope No.||Name (Reign)||Motto No||Motto (and explanation)|
|167||Celestine II (1143-1144)||1||Ex castro Tyberis
(from a castle on the Tiber)
Hist.: Celestin II was born in Citta di Castello, Toscany, on the shores of the Tiber
|168||Lucius II (1144-1145)||2||Inimicus expulsus|
|169||Eugene III (1145-1153)||3||Ex magnitudine montis
(Of the greatness of the mount)
Hist.: Born in the castle of Grammont (latin: mons magnus), his family name was Montemagno
|170||Anastasius IV (1153-1154)||4||Abbas Suburranus|
|171||Adrian IV (1154-1159)||5||De rure albo
(field of Albe)
Hist.: Born in the town of Saint-Alban
|Antipope||Victor IV (1159-1164)||6||Ex tetro carcere|
|Antipope||Paschal III (1164-1168)||7||Via trans-Tyberina|
|Antipope||Calistus III (1168-1178)||8||De Pannonia Tusciae|
|172||Alexander III (1159-1181)||9||Ex ansere custode|
|173||Lucius III (1181-1185)||10||Lux in ostio|
|174||Urban III (1185-1187)||11||Sus in cribo|
|175||Gregory VIII (1187)||12||Ensis Laurentii|
|176||Clement III (1187-1191)||13||De schola exiet|
|177||Celestine III (1191-1198)||14||De rure bovensi|
|178||Innocent III (1198-1216)||15||Comes signatus
Hist.: descendant of the noble Signy, later called Segni family
|179||Honorius III (1216-1227)||16||Canonicus de latere|
|180||Gregory IX (1227-1241)||17||Avis Ostiensis
(Bird of Ostia)
Hist.: before his election he was Cardinal of Ostia
|181||Celestine IV (1241)||18||Leo Sabinus|
|182||Innocent IV (1243-1254)||19||Comes Laurentius|
|183||Alexander IV (1254-1261)||20||Signum Ostiense|
|184||Urban IV (1261-1264)||21||Hierusalem Campaniae
(Jerusalem of Champagne)
Hist.: native of Troyes, Champagne, later patriarch of Jerusalem
|185||Clement IV (1265-1268)||22||Draca depressus|
|186||Gregory X (1271-1276)||23||Anguinus vir|
|187||Innocent V (1276)||24||Concionatur Gallus|
|188||Adrian V (1276)||25||Bonus Comes|
|189||John XXI (1276-1277)||26||Piscator Tuscus|
|190||Nicholas III (1277-1280)||27||Rosa composita|
|191||Martin IV (1281-1285)||28||Ex teloneo liliacei Martini|
|192||Honorius IV (1285-1287)||29||Ex rosa leonina|
|193||Nicholas IV (1288-1292)||30||Picus inter escas|
|194||Nicholas IV (1288-1292)||31||Ex eremo celsus
(elevated from a hermit)
Hist.: prior to his election he was a hermit in the monastery of Pouilles
|195||Boniface VIII (1294-1303)||32||Ex undarum benedictione|
|196||Benedict XI (1303-1304)||33||Concionator patereus|
|197||Clement V (1305-1314)||34||De fessis Aquitanicis
(ribbon of Aquitaine)
Hist.: was archbishop of Bordeaux in Aquitaine
|198||John XXII (1316-1334)||35||De sutore osseo
(of the cobbler of Osseo)
Hist.: Family name Ossa, son of a shoe-maker
|Antipope||Nicholas V (1328-1330)||36||Corvus schismaticus
(the schismatic crow)
Note the reference to the schism, the only antipope at this period
|199||Benedict XII (1334-1342)||37||Frigidus Abbas
Hist.: he was a priest in the monastery of Frontfroid (coldfront)
|200||Clement VI (1342-1352)||38||De rosa Attrebatensi|
|201||Innocent VI (1352-1362)||39||De montibus Pammachii|
|202||Urban V (1362-1370)||40||Gallus Vice-comes|
|203||Gregory XI (1370-1378)||41||Novus de Virgine forti
(novel of the virgin fort)
Hist.: count of Beaufort, later Cardinal of Ste-Marie La Neuve
|Antipope||Clement VII (1378-1394)||42||De cruce Apostilica|
|Antipope||Benedict XIII (1394-1423)||43||Luna Cosmedina|
|Antipope||Clement VIII (1423-1429)||44||Schisma Barcinonicum|
|204||Urban VI (1378-1389)||45||De Inferno praegnanti|
|205||Boniface IX (1389-1404)||46||Cubus de mixtione|
|206||Innocent VII (1404-1406)||47||De meliore sydere|
|207||Gregory XII (1406-1415)||48||Nauta de ponte nigro|
|Antipope||Alexander V (1409-1410)||49||Flagellum Solis|
|Antipope||John XXIII (1410-1415)||50||Cervus Sirenae|
|208||Martin V (1417-1431)||51||Corona veli aurei|
|209||Eugene IV (1431-1447)||52||Lupa caelestina|
|Antipope||Felix V (1439-1449)||53||Amator crucis|
|210||Nicholas V (1447-1455)||54||De modicitate lunae|
|211||Callistus III (1455-1458)||55||Bos pascens
Hist.: Alphonse Borgia's arms sported a golden grazing ox
|212||Pius II (1458-1464)||56||De capra et Albergo|
|213||Paul II (1464-1471)||57||De cervo et Leone|
|214||Sixtus IV (1471-1484)||58||Piscator Minorita|
|215||Innocent VIII (1484-1492)||59||Praecursor Siciliae|
|216||Alexander VI (1492-1503)||60||Bos Albanus in portu|
|217||Pius III (1503)||61||De parvo homine|
|218||Julius II (1503-1513)||62||Fructus jovis juvabit|
|219||Leo X (1513-1521)||63||De craticula Politiana|
|220||Adrian VI (1522-1523)||64||Leo Florentius|
|221||Clement VII (1523-1534)||65||Flos pilaei aegri|
|222||Paul III (1534-1549)||66||Hiacynthus medicorum|
|223||Julius III (1550-1555)||67||De corona Montana|
|224||Marcellus II (1555)||68||Frumentum floccidum|
|225||Paul IV (1555-1559)||69||De fide Petri|
|226||Pius IV (1559-1565)||70||Aesculapii pharmacum|
|227||St. Pius V (1566-1572)||71||Angelus nemorosus|
|228||Gregory XIII (1572-1585)||72||Medium corpus pilarum|
|229||Sixtus V (1585-1590)||73||Axis in medietate signi|
|230||Urban VII (1590)||74||De rore caeli|
|231||Gregory XIV (1590-1591)||75||De antiquitate Urbis|
|232||Innocent IX (1591)||76||Pia civitas in bello|
|233||Clement VIII (1592-1605)||77||Crux Romulea|
|234||Leo XI (1605)||78||Undosus Vir|
|235||Paul V (1605-1621)||79||Gens perversa|
|236||Gregory XV (1621-1623)||80||In tribulatione pacis|
|237||Urban VIII (1623-1644)||81||Lilium et rosa|
|238||Innocent X (1644-1655)||82||Jucunditas crucis|
|239||Alexander VII (1655-1667)||83||Montium custos|
|240||Clement IX (1667-1669)||84||Sydus Olorum
(constellation of swans)Hist.: upon his election, he was apparently the occupant of the Chamber of Swans in the Vatican.
|241||Clement X (1670-1676)||85||De flumine magno|
|242||Innocent XI (1676-1689)||86||Bellua insatiabilis|
|243||Alexander VIII (1689-1691)||87||Poenitentia gloriosa|
|244||Innocent XII (1691-1700)||88||Rastrum in porta|
|245||Clement XI (1700-1721)||89||Flores circumdati|
|246||Innocent XIII (1721-1724)||90||De bona Religione|
|247||Benedict XIII (1724-1730)||91||Miles in bello|
|248||Clement XII (1730-1740)||92||Columna excelsa|
|249||Benedict XIV (1740-1758)||93||Animal rurale|
|250||Clement XIII (1758-1769)||94||Rosa Umbriae|
|251||Clement XIV (1769-1774)||95||Ursus velox|
|252||Pius VI (1775-1799)||96||Peregrinus Apostolicus|
|253||Pius VII (1800-1823)||97||Aquila rapax|
|254||Leo XII (1823-1829)||98||Canis et coluber|
|255||Pius VIII (1829-1830)||99||Vir religiosus|
|256||Gregory XVI (1831-1846)||100||De balneis hetruriae
(bath of Etruria)
Hist.: prior to his election he was member of an order founded by Saint Romuald, at Balneo, in Etruria, present day Toscany.
|257||Pius IX (1846-1878)||101||Crux de cruce|
|258||Leo XIII (1878-1903)||102||Lumen in caelo|
|259||St. Pius X (1903-1914)||103||Ignis ardent
|260||Benedict XV (1914-1922)||104||Religio depopulata|
|261||Pius XI (1922-1939)||105||Fides intrepida|
|262||Pius XII (1939-1958)||106||Pastor angelicus|
|263||John XXIII (1958-1963)||107||Pastor et Nauta
(pastor and marine)
Hist.: prior to his election he was patriarch of Venice, a marine city, home of the gondolas
|264||Paul VI (1963-1978)||108||Flos florum
(flower of flowers)
Hist.: his arms displayed three lilies.
|265||John Paul I (1978)||109||De medietate Lunae
(of the half of the moon)
Hist.: Albino Luciani, born in Canale d'Ogardo, diocese of Belluno, (beautiful moon) Elected pope on august 26, his reign lasted about a month, from half a moon to the next half...
|266||John Paul II (1978-)||110||De labore Solis
(of the eclipse of the sun, or from the labour of the sun)
Hist.:Karol Wojtyla was born on May 18, 1920 during a solar eclipse. He also comes from behind the former Iron Curtain. He might also be seen to be the fruit of the intercession of the Woman Clothed with the Sun labouring in Revelation 12 (because of his devotion to the Virgin Mary).
|268||???||In persecutione extrema S.R.E. sedebit Petrus Romanus, qui pascet oues in multis tribulationibus: quibus transactis ciuitas septicollis diruetur, & Iudex tremêdus iudicabit populum suum. Finis.
(In extreme persecution, the seat of the Holy Roman Church will be occupied by Peter the Roman, who will feed the sheep through many tribulations, at the term of which the city of seven hills will be destroyed, and the formidable Judge will judge his people. The End.)
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Lunar Eclipse: 11/9/03
Solar Eclipse: 11/23/03
As for St. Malachy, I put zero stock in the "prophecies."
Even if authentic, they are simply a Rorscharch test for projecting one's own thoughts rather than scrying out the future.
Like you, however, I hold no store by these prophesies, and consider them, like the tale of Pope Joan, to be wishful fabrications.
On Sunday, 2003 November 23, a total eclipse of the Sun will be visible from within a narrow corridor which traverses the far Southern Hemisphere. The path of the Moon's umbral shadow begins in the Indian Ocean, and quickly sweeps over portions of Antarctica. A partial eclipse will be seen within the much broader path of the Moon's penumbral shadow, which includes most of Australia and New Zealand, southernmost South America, and all of Antarctica.
Always be faithful to God in keeping the promises made to Him and do not bother about the ridicule of the foolish. Know that the saints were always sneered at by the world and worldlings; and they have trampled and triumphed over the world and its maxims.
--Saint Pio of Pietrelcina
One cardinal touted as 'papabile' is French Cardinal Lustiger. He is of Jewish descent. Were he to be elected pope, he would fit the Gloria Olivae title perfectly. In his Letter to the Romans, Chapter 11:17-24, Paul describes God's possessors of the Covenant, Abraham's descendants, as a "cultivated olive tree". Gentile Christians are the wild olive branch from a wild olive tree, that has been grafted onto the original cultivated olive tree. Neither one, either Jew or Gentile, is considered better than the other, since Paul says neither group supports the roots. Regardless, if the Holy Father passes away and this French Cardinal or Bishop begins his reign, then we must look twice at St. Malachy's prophecies.
Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger
His mother was burned in the ovens of Auschwitz, yet he converted to Catholicism, rose to the zenith of power in the church, and could become its next leader. Gloria Olivae?
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