“Pope Benedict XVI is to resign at the end of this month after nearly eight years as the head of the Catholic Church, saying he is too old to continue at the age of 85.” -BBC, News Europe
In 1595, a prophecy was published by a Benedictine historian named Arnold de Wyon. The prophecy was from a 12th-century Irish bishop, Saint Malachy, who received a vision of the future during a trip to Rome, which he quickly recorded as a sequence of 112 short Latin phrases. This cryptic little manuscript was a list of the 112 remaining Catholic Popes, in order, who were to reign before the end of the world, starting with Pope Celestine II, who was elected in 1143. Currently, this list has been fulfilled all the way to the 111th Pope, our most currently elected, Pope Benedict XVI, whose successor is said to be the one whose pontificate ends in the destruction of the city of Rome and the final judgment of earth.
This prophecy was recorded, deposited in the Roman Archive, and sealed away in darkness until it was again rediscovered in the year 1590. Now, there has been some considerable debate over whether or not this old manuscript can be trusted. The Catholic Encyclopedia suggests that it might be a forgery from the 16th century. There are even rumors that Nostradamus had the prophecy and credited it to Saint Malachy to avoid accountability for the end of the papacy. But, they have conducted tests to validate its authenticity, so whoever recorded the prophecy, in whatever early century it was written in, one thing is alarmingly certain; thus far, the predictions have been 100% accurate. Even if it was forged back in the 16th century, it’s still valid.
Now, this list of the last 112 elected popes does not list any names. Instead, it lists short Latin phrases, or mottos, that identify each pope through various correspondences, such as their birthplace, coat of arms, or something else that defines them and their life as a pope without giving away any specific names. Of course, if one of their names were listed, it would theoretically be possible to prevent the listed pope from being elected and alter the outcome of the future. So, each name has been encrypted in such a way that it matches some personal attribute of that person.
If you want, you can look up the full list online, but what I’m going to go over today, just to give you an idea of what we’re dealing with, is the last 10 popes that Saint Malachy listed, the ones that have reigned over the last century, starting with St. Pius X, who was elected in 1903.
10: #103 – The Burning Fire
In Saint Malachy’s prophecy, the first of the last 10 popes was to be called “Ignis Ardens”, which is Latin for “the burning fire”. As I said, this was fulfilled by Pius X, who notably had a burning passion for spiritual renewal in the church. In Christianity, fire is often associated with the Holy Spirit, and burning with one’s zeal for God. Pius advocated the codification of Canon law, daily communion and the use of Gregorian chant in the Catholic liturgy. He was also the first pope in over 400 years to be called a “saint”. This is why “The Burning Fire” was a perfect title to give him, a single phrase the envelopes the whole of his being. If he were lame and ineffective as a pope, this prediction wouldn’t have made any sense, but he wasn’t. He was on fire for God.
9: #104 – Religion Laid Waste
The next pope was to be called “Religio Depopulata”, which means “religion laid waste”. This was fulfilled by Pope Benedict XV, elected in 1914, who reigned in a time when communism had flooded over Russia and drowned out religious life. This was also during World War I, which propelled the carnage of Christians, an unprecedented period of violence between the Christian powers of Europe. “Religion destroyed” was the title given to this pope, and right on cue, Benedict XV seems to match this prediction as one of many during this time period who had to struggle to keep religion alive in the midst of atheistic communism.
8: #105 – Unshaken Faith
The 8th last pope was identified by the phrase “Fides Intrepida”, which means “unshaken faith”, fulfilled by Pius XI, an outspoken critic of communism who enraged Hitler, triumphing in the face of tremendous pressure from Germany, and as revealed in Vatican documents, Italy’s many evil fascist dictators. And all the while, he fearlessly established Vatican City as a country and the papacy as a head of state. Many say it was his unshaken faith that sustained the church in a period of some of its most severe trials in history.
7: #106 – An Angelic Shepherd
7th on our list was one predicted by Malachy to be “Pastor Angelicus”, “an angelic shepherd”. This was without a doubt fulfilled by Pius XII, a man committed to the care of all those who had suffered during the perilous times of World War II, which was, by the time of his election in 1939, just coming to an end. He received many visions in the prime of his spiritual affinity and was praised by Peter Bander, a British expert on heraldry, as being “one of the greatest popes of all time” and “in the truest sense of the word, an angelic pastor to the flock.”
6: #107 – Pastor and Mariner
The 6th last pope was again fulfilled, this time in 1958 by John XXIII. The phrase that’s associated with him is “Pastor et Nauta”, which means “Pastor and mariner”. This connection to mariner, a sailor, is a perfect fit, because John XXIII, prior to his election, was a renowned patriarch of Venice, which is a marine city. Apparently, during his conclave, a cardinal named Spellman, having heard of Malachy’s prophecy and taken it literally, sailed up and down the Tiber River in a boat filled with sheep to represent their new pope’s title as Pastor and Mariner.
5: #108 – Flower of Flowers
Alright, this is where I find that the mottos start to become more and more frighteningly accurate. Saint Malachy listed the 5th last pope with the title “Flos Florum”, which means “Flower of Flowers”. This prophecy was fulfilled with the 1963 election of Paul VI, whose family coat-of-arms depicts three fleur-de-lis. Now, the fleur-de-lis is that common little decorative symbol you see on the flag of Quebec or other flags associated with French monarchy. It’s supposed to look like the blossoms of an iris flower. Fleur-de-lis actually means “lily flower”, and Pope Paul VI has three of them on his family shield. So, I guess you could say that he was the “flower of flowers”.
4: #109 – Of The Half Moon
The next predicted pope on our list was given the phrase “De Medietate Lanae”. This means “of the half moon” and was fulfilled on August 26th, 1978, by John Paul I whose election just happened to fall precisely on the day of a waning half moon, and his reign as pope lasted about one month, from half a moon to the next half moon. As if that weren’t enough to identify him, the diocese he was born in was called “Belluno”, which means “beautiful moon”.
3: #110 – From the Labor of the Sun
Drawing close to the end of Malachy’s list, we reach the second longest-serving pope and perhaps one of the most beloved names of our generation, John Paul II, who was elected in 1978 until his death in 2005. In order to fulfill the prophecy, he is given the peculiar title “De Labore Solis”, which means “from the labor of the sun”. Much like the sun itself, John Paul II, the most travelled pope in history, was said to have never stopped preaching to vast audiences around the globe, bringing light to the world each and every day. Also, like the sun, he rose from the East, out of Poland, the first non-italian pope ever to be elected. The prophecy is then completed with his death, as he was born and entombed on the day of a solar eclipse.
2: #111 – The Glory of the Olive
The 2nd last pope on our list is called “Gloria Olivae”, “The Glory of the Olive”. Having been placed just before the final pope, we can deduce that this is the one who is introduced just before or at the beginning of the final judgment. We also know this by the pope’s title, The Glory of the Olive, which is a direct reference to the Mount of Olives, where Jesus gave what we now commonly know as the Olivet Discourse, a passage in the Gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke explicitly describing the end times. This is just another clue pointing to the end of the ages. This pope, #111, is fulfilled by our current pope, Benedict XVI, who was elected back in 2005.
In this prophecy, he is identified with the olive. Seeing as the olive branch is traditionally a symbol of peace, Benedict XVI suits his role by emerging onto the world stage as a humble emissary of world peace. I think we should also consider the fact that he chose the name Benedict after Saint Benedict, who started the Benedictine order. The symbol on the Benedictine crest is an olive branch. In fact, the Order of Saint Benedict is also know as the “Olivetans”. This is the man who’s sitting on the throne right now, Benedict XVI, an Olivetan. There was also an old prophecy by Saint Benedict himself that someone from his order, an Olivetan, would be elected just before the end of the world and lead the church in its last fight against evil.
We can look at something like this and see exactly where we are on a timeline, a countdown from 112. There’s only one more to go. Benedict XVI is the one hundred and eleventh pope on Malachy’s list. In the parable that Jesus told, the eleventh hour refers to “a time which is almost too late”, and that’s exactly where we are in history right now. I think we’d all be petrified if we knew exactly how close we were to striking midnight. In Matthew 25:6, Jesus likens the last days to the parable of the ten virgins, saying, “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!” If Saint Malachy’s prophecy was a timepiece, a countdown, it makes sense that midnight, the 12th hour, would fall on the 112th pope, the last pope on our list who has yet to be revealed.
1: #112 – Peter the Roman
“In the extreme persecution of the Holy Roman Church, there will sit Peter the Roman, who will pasture his sheep in many tribulations: and when these things are finished, the city of seven hills will be destroyed, and the terrible judge will judge his people. Finis.” That’s how Saint Malachy’s prophecy ends, with the last pope, Petrus Romanus, leading the world into the last judgment. And “the city of seven hills” is of course talking about Rome and its final collapse. If Benedict XVI is pope #111, that means that we’re only going to see one more pope before the end of the world. How can we be sure? Well, 111 of 112 predictions have come true. So far, that’s 99.1% of the prophecy fulfilled with 100% accuracy. Just based on those numbers alone, I think the odds in favor of Malachy’s prophecy coming true one more time are pretty good. If you flip a coin a hundred times and its heads every time, that’s not luck, and odds are, it’ll be heads again.
The headlines are coming out saying that people who have seen Pope Benedict XVI recently commented on how much “thinner”, more “tired” and “weak” he’s been looking. I just read an article a while back about how he now has to use a moving platform to assist his lengthy walk down St. Peter’s Basilica. The man is in his mid-eighties, and now, Josef Ratzinger is finally retiring from the papacy. He said that his wide-ranged responsibilities “overtaxed” a man of his age and he noted that his powers were “diminishing”. When Ratzinger was still a cardinal, he said in his own words, “If a pope clearly realizes that he is no longer physically, psychologically and spiritually capable of handling the duties of his office, then he has a right and, under some circumstances, also an obligation to resign.” The Glory of the Olive has been fulfilled and is now coming to an end, and we’re about to see the unveiling of the last pope in world history.
We are so close to the end. I like talking about things like Malachy’s prophecy, because this is a practical, logical series of facts that is easy for our skeptical eyes to look at from an objective point of view and understand. I’m not a Catholic myself. I’m actually strongly against the Second Vatican Council. I believe that it is corrupt. It’s been infiltrated by evil forces with its attempts at modernization and the twisting of God’s established word through pagan traditions. You never know who to trust anymore. 1 Thessalonians 5:21 says, “Test all things; hold fast that which is good.”
We’re on a timer. You don’t have to believe it. You can choose to forget about it. But, if you’re even remotely interested in knowing, not guessing or wondering, but knowing if we are or aren’t in the last moments of history, I implore you to look at the facts for yourself. Go online and skim through the full list of Malachy’s predicted popes. Put it to the test, because the truth always holds up. I don’t want to put too much faith in a non-biblical prophecy, so I will also implore you to study with extreme caution and suspicion.