Prophecy of the Popes

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Papal Emblem

The Prophecy of the Popes, attributed to Saint Malachy, is a list of 112 short phrases in Latin. They purport to describe each of the Roman Catholic popes (along with a few anti-popes), beginning with Pope Celestine II (elected in 1143) and concluding with a later added pope described in the prophecy as "Peter the Roman", whose pontificate will end in the destruction of the city of Rome.


[edit] Provenance

The prophecy was first published in 1595 by Arnold de Wyon, a Benedictine historian, as part of his book Lignum Vitæ. Wyon attributed the list to Saint Malachy, the 12th‑century bishop of Armagh in Ireland. According to the traditional account, in 1139, Malachy was summoned to Rome by Pope Innocent II. While in Rome, Malachy purportedly experienced a vision of future popes, which he recorded as a sequence of cryptic phrases. This manuscript was then deposited in the Roman Archive, and thereafter forgotten about until its rediscovery in 1590.

On the other hand, Bernard of Clairvaux's biography of Malachy makes no mention of the prophecy, nor is it mentioned in any record prior to its 1595 publication.[citation needed] Some sources, including the most recent editions of the Catholic Encyclopedia, suggest that the prophecy is a late 16th‑century forgery. Some have suggested that it was created by Nostradamus and was credited to Saint Malachy so the purported seer would not be blamed for the destruction of the papacy. Supporters, such as author John Hogue, who wrote a popular book titled The Last Pope about the claims, generally argue that even if the author of the prophecies is uncertain, the predictions are still valid. There seems to be no indication that the papers were in fact a forgery except for the wild inaccuracies and reaching attributions of the later predictions when compared to earlier ones, assuming a 1580-1590 creation date.[citation needed]

[edit] Skepticism and authenticity

Skepticism of the prophecy's authenticity is from the general vagueness of each papal motto, leading to multiple interpretations, and that the prophecy's mottos fit the earlier popes much better than they do those elected after the document's first publication. Such similarities as exist between the later popes and their mottoes can be seen as a product of coincidence and the mottoes' vagueness; that is to say, these later prophecies are susceptible to a confirmation bias.

For example, the association of John Paul II with the motto De labore Solis ("the Sun's labor"), allegedly due to his birth and funeral both occurring at times of solar eclipse ("labores solis"), can be seen, erroneously, as a statistically likely post-diction, as various types of eclipses occur two or more times each year. However, solar eclipses, to which the prophecy referred, are much rarer occurring about every two years on average. Moreover, solar eclipses are only infrequently visible from a specific site more than once. Indeed, on average, it takes almost four hundred years for a solar eclipse to be visible again from the same spot on the Earth.

Another example of the questioned authority of the prophecy is Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger's choice of the name Benedict XVI, which was seen by some as the fulfilment the prophecy De Gloria Olivae, since it is claimed that the olive branch is sometimes used as a symbol of St. Benedict. However, prior to his election there were numerous speculations in the media as to what could be considered as "fulfillment of the prophecy". For example, it was said that any pope from the Benedictine Order; or any Latin American pope (with olive complexion) or any black pope; or any pope from Italy or Spain (two countries strongly associated with the cultivation of olives); or any pope with links to Judaism—any of the aforementioned possibilities was advanced as constituting a fulfillment of the prophecy, giving a broad array of possibilities. It has also been noted that the choice of name, while interesting for those who predicted the choice of the name, was not statistically unlikely, as modern papal names are generally chosen from a fairly limited set of names. In the last 250 years, for example, there have only been seven names used for Popes: John, Benedict, Pius, Gregory, Paul, Leo, and John Paul. Media comments on Pope Benedict XVI's choice of name have suggested that he seeks to emulate Pope Benedict XV's legacy of diplomacy and theological conservatism.

Separate doubts are raised about the last entry, describing Petrus Romanus. Some claim that this was first recorded sometime after 1820 and so is often considered not to be part of the original prophecy.

[edit] Interpretation

Interpretation of the mottos has generally relied on finding correspondences between the mottos and the popes' birthplaces, their personal arms, and the events of their pontificates. For example, the first motto, Ex castro Tiberis (From a castle on the Tiber), fits Pope Celestine II's birthplace in Città di Castello, on the Tiber. Pope Clement XIII, referred to in the prophecy Rosa Umbriae, the rose of Umbria, who is stated to have used a rose "as his personal emblem" (his coat of arms does not include one, however, nor was he from Umbria nor had any but the most marginal connection with the region, having been briefly pontifical governor of Rieti, at the time part of Umbria). The technique of word play was evident in instances where interpreters find a phrase fitting more than one explanation.

In recent times, some interpreters of prophetic literature have drawn attention to the prophecies, both because of their success in finding connections between the prophecies and recent popes, and because of the prophecies' imminent conclusion. Interpretations made before the elections of recent popes have generally turned out not to predict their papacies accurately.

[edit] Popes and corresponding mottos

This list, adapted from The Prophecies of St. Malachy by Peter Bander, begins its numbering two numbers ahead of the Vatican's numbering of popes (Benedict XVI is the 265th, not the 267th). The reason for this is unclear. (perhaps because of the 2 purported "anti-popes")

Pope No. Reignal Name (Reign) Name Motto (Translation) Historical Reference or Explanation Coat of Arms
167 Celestine II (1143-1144) Guido de Castello 1 Ex Castro Tiberis
(From a castle on the Tiber)
Hist.: Born in Città di Castello, Umbria, on the shores of the Tiber.[1]
168 Lucius II (1144-1145) Gherardo Caccianemici del Orso 2 Inimicus Expulsus
(Enemy Expelled)
This motto refers to Gheraldo Caccianemici’s surname. “Cacciare” means “to hunt”[2], and “nemici” is the Italian word for “enemies”. As his name foreshadowed, Caccianemici would be driven from Rome by his own subjects.[3]
169 Eugene III (1145-1153) Bernardo dei Pagnelli di Montemagno 3 Ex Magnitudine Montis
(From the Great Mountain)
The motto refers to Pope Eugene’s last name, “Montemagno.”[4]
170 Anastasius IV (1153-1154) Corrado di Suburra 4 Abbas Suburranus
(A Suburran Abbot)
He was from the Suburra family.
171 Adrian IV (1154-1159 Nicholas Breakspear 5 De Rure Albo (From the White Field) Educated at the St Albans School in Hertfordshire. Nicholas Breakspear was the bishop of Albano before becoming pope.[5]
Antipope Victor IV (1159-1164) Ottaviano Monticello 6 Ex Tetro Carcere
(Out of a Harsh Prison)
He had been a cardinal with the title of St. Nicholas at the Tullian prison.
Antipope Paschal III (1164-1168) Guido di Crema 7 Via trans-Tyberina
(Road Beyond the Tiber)
As a cardinal, he had held the title of Santa Maria in Trastevere.[6]
Antipope Callixtus III (1168-1178) Giovanni Di Strumi 8 De Pannonia Tusciae
(From Tuscian Hungary)
He was the Hungarian John, Abbot of Struma.[7]
172 Alexander III (1159-1181) Orlando Bandinelli Paparoni 9 Ex Ansere Custode
(Out of the Guardian Goose)
His family's coat of arms had a goose on it.[8]
173 Lucius III (1181-1185) Ubaldo Allucingoli 10 Lux in Ostio
(A Light in the Entrance)
In 1159, he became Cardinal Bishop of Ostia.[9] Lux may also be a wordplay on Lucius.
174 Urban III (1185-1187) Umberto Crivelli 11 Sus in Cribo
(A Sow in a Sieve)
His family name, Crivelli, means a sieve in Italian.
175 Gregory VIII (1187) Alberto De Morra 12 Ensis Laurentii
(The Sword of Laurence)
He had been the Cardinal of St. Laurence[10] and his armorial bearing was a drawn sword.[11]
176 Clement III (1187-1191) Paolo Scolari 13 De Schola Exiet
(Let Him Come Out of School)
His family name was Scolari.
177 Celestine III (1191-1198) Giacinto Bobone 14 De Rure Bovensi
(From Cattle Country)
He was from the Bobone family; a wordplay on cattle.
178 Innocent III (1198-1216) Lotario dei Conti di Segni 15 Comes Signatus
(Signed Count)
Descendant of the Segni family.
179 Honorius III (1216-1227) Cencio Savelli 16 Canonicus de Latere
(A Canon From the Lateran)
He was a canon for the church of Santa Maria Maggiore, and had served as papal chamberlain in 1188.[12]
180 Gregory IX (1227-1241) Ugolino dei Conti di Segni 17 Avis Ostiensis
(Bird of Ostia)
Before his election to the papacy, Ugolino dei Conti was the Cardinal Bishop of Ostia.[13]
181 Celestine IV (1241) Goffredo Castiglioni 18 Leo Sabinus
(The Sabine Lion)
He was Cardinal Bishop of Sabina[14]and his armorial bearing had a lion in it. Also a play on words, referring to the pope's last name, Castiglioni.
182 Innocent IV (1243-1254) Sinibaldo Fieschi 19 Comes Laurentius
(Count Laurence)
He was the Cardinal-Priest of San Lorenzo in Lucca,[15] and his father was the Count of Lavagna.[16]
183 Alexander IV (1254-1261) Renaldo dei Signori di Ienne 20 Signum Ostiense
(A Sign of Ostia)
He was Cardinal Bishop of Ostia and member of the Conti-Segni family.[17]
184 Urban IV (1261-1264) Jacques Pantaleon 21 Hierusalem Campaniae (Jerusalem of Champagne ) Native of Troyes, Champagne, later patriarch of Jerusalem.[18]
185 Clement IV (1265-1268) Guido Fulcodi 22 Draco Depressus
(A Dragon Held Down)
His coat of arms had an eagle crushing a dragon.
186 Gregory X (1271-1276) Tebaldo Visconti 23 Anguinus Vir
(A Snake-like Man)
The Visconti coat of arms had a large serpent devouring a male child feet first.[19]
187 Innocent V (1276) Pierre de Tarentaise 24 Concionatur Gallus (A French Preacher) He was born in south-eastern France and was a member of the order of Preachers.[20]
188 Adrian V (1276) Ottobono Fieschi 25 Bonus Comes
(A Good Count (or Companion))
He was a count and a wordplay on "good" can be made with his name, Ottobono.
189 John XXI (1276-1277) Pedro Julião 26 Piscator Tuscus
(The Tuscan Fisherman)
John XXI had been the Cardinal Bishop of Tusculum.[21]
190 Nicholas III (1277-1280) Giovanni Gaetano Orsini 27 Rosa Composita
(A Compound Rose)
He bore a rose in his coat of arms.[22]
191 Martin IV (1281-1285) Simone de Brion 28 Ex Telonio Liliacei Martini
(From the Customs-House of Martin of the Lilies)
He was Canon and Treasurer at the Church of St. Martin in Tours, France.
192 Honorius IV (1285-1287) Giacomo Savelli 29 Ex Rosa Leonina
(Out of the Leonine Rose)
His coat of arms were emblazoned with two lions supporting a rose.[22]
193 Nicholas IV (1288-1292) Girolamo Masci 30 Picus Inter Escas
(A Woodpecker Among Fodder).
He was from Ascoli, now called Ascoli Piceno, in Picene country.
194 St. Celestine V (1294) Pietro Di Murrone 31 Ex Eremo Celsus
(Elevated From a Hermitage)
Hist.: prior to his election he was a hermit. Also a play on words, referring to the pope's chosen name, "Celestine."
195 Boniface VIII (1294-1303) Benedetto Caetani 32 Ex Undarum Benedictione
(From a Blessing of the Waves)
His coat of arms had a wave through it. Also a play on words, referring to the pope's Christian name, "Benedetto."[22]
196 Benedict XI (1303-1304) Nicholas Boccasini 33 Concionator Patarens
(A Preacher From Patara)
This Pope belonged to the Order of Preachers. Patara was the hometown of Saint Nicholas, a namesake of this Pope (born Nicholas Boccasini).[23]
197 Clement V (1305-1314) Bertrand de Got 34 De Fascis Aquitanicis
(From the Bonds of Aquitaine)
He was a native of St. Bertrand de Comminges in Aquitaine, and eventually became Archbishop of Bordeaux, also in Aquitaine. His coat of arms displays three horizontal bars, known as “fesses.”
198 John XXII (1316-1334) Jacques Duese 35 De Sutore Osseo
(Of the Bony Cobbler)
His family name was Duèze, D'Euze, D'Euzes, or Euse, the last of which might be back-translated into Latin as Ossa. The popular legend that his father was a cobbler is probably untrue.
Anti-pope Nicholas V (1328-1330) Pietro Rainallucci di Corvaro 36 Corvus Schismaticus
(The Schismatic Crow)
The motto is a play on words, referring to Pietro Rainallucci di Corvaro's last name.
199 Benedict XII (1334-1342) Jacques Fournier 37 Frigidus Abbas
(Cold Abbot)
He was an abbot in the monastery of Fontfroide ("cold spring").[24]
200 Clement VI (1342-1352) Pierre Roger 38 De Rosa Atrebatensi
(From the Rose of Arras)
He was Bishop of Arras, (Latin: Episcopus Atrebatensis),[25] and his armorial bearings were emblazoned with six roses.[26]
201 Innocent VI (1352-1362) Etienne Aubert 39 De Montibus Pammachii
(From the Mountains of Pammachius)
Pope Innocent was born at Mont in the diocese of Limoges, France, and he rose to prominence as the Bishop of Clermont.[27] He had been a cardinal priest with the title of St. Pammachius (i.e., the church of SS. Giovanni e Paolo in Rome)[28]
202 Urban V (1362-1370) Guglielmo De Grimoard 40 Gallus Vicecomes
(A French Viscount)
He was born of a noble French family.
203 Gregory XI (1370-1378) Pierre Roger de Beaufort 41 Novus de Virgine Forti
(New From the Virgin Fort)
From the Beaufort family and Cardinal of Santa Maria Nuova[29]
Anti-pope Clement VII (1378-1394) Robert, Count of Geneva 42 De Cruce Apostilica
(From an Apostolic Cross)
His coat of arms showed a cross, quarterly pierced.[30]
Anti-pope Benedict XIII (1394-1423) Peter de Luna 43 Luna Cosmedina
(The Moon of Cosmedin)
He was the famous Peter de Luna, Cardinal of Santa Maria in Cosmedin.[31]
Anti-pope Clement VIII (1423-1429) Gil Sanchez Munoz 44 Schisma Barcinonicum
(A Schismatic From Barcelona)
He was a Canon of Barcelona.[32]
204 Urban VI (1378-1389) Bartolomeo Prignano 45 De Inferno Praegnani
(From Hell in Childbirth)
His family name was Prignano or Prignani, and he was native to a place called Inferno near Naples.[33]
205 Boniface IX (1389-1404) Pietro Tomacelli 46 Cubus de Mixtione
(The Block of Mixture)
His coat of arms includes a bend chequy — a wide stripe with a checkerboard pattern.[34]
206 Innocent VII (1404-1406) Cosmo Migliorati 47 De Meliore Sidere
(From a Better Star)
The prophecy is a play on words, referring to the pope's last name, Migliorati. There is a shooting star on his coat of arms.[35]
207 Gregory XII (1406-1415) Angelo Correr 48 Nauta de Ponte Nigro (Sailor From the Black Bridge) He was Commendatarius of the Church of Nigripontis.
Anti-pope Alexander V (1409-1410) Pietro Philarges 49 Flagellum Solis
(Scourge of the Sun)
His coat of arms had a large sun on it. Also, a play on words, referring to the pope's last name, "Philarges."[36]
Anti-pope John XXIII (1410-1415) Baldassarre Cossa 50 Cervus Sirenae
(Stag of the Siren)
Baldassarre Cossa was a cardinal with the title of St. Eustachius.[37] St. Eustachius converted to Christianity after he saw a stag with a cross between its horns. Baldassarre's family was originally from Naples, which has the emblem of the siren.
208 Martin V (1417-1431) Oddone Colonna 51 Corona Veli Aurei
(Crown with the Golden Veil)
Oddone Colonna was the Cardinal Deacon of San Giorgio in Velabro.[38] The word "Velabro" is derived from "vela aureum", or golden veil.[39] His coat of arms had a golden crown resting atop a column.[40]
209 Eugene IV (1431-1447) Gabriele Condulmaro 52 Lupa Caelestina
(Celestinian or Heavenly She-Wolf)
He belonged to the order of the Celestines and was the Bishop of Siena which bears a she-wolf on its arms.
Antipope Felix V (1439-1449) Amadeus Duke of Savoy 53 Amator Crucis
(Lover of the Cross)
He was previously the count of Savoy and therefore his coat of arms contained the cross of Savoy.[41] Also, the prophecy is a play on words, referring to the antipope's Christian name, "Amadeus."
210 Nicholas V (1447-1455) Tommaso Parentucelli 54 De Modicitate Lunae
(Of the Moon's Temperance)
He was born in Sarzana in the diocese of Luni, the ancient name of which was Luna.
211 Callixtus III (1455-1458) Alfonso Borgia 55 Bos Pascens
(Grazing Ox)
Alphonse Borgia's arms sported a grazing ox.[42]
212 Pius II (1458-1464) Enea Silvio de Piccolomini 56 De Capra et Albergo
(From a She-Goat and a Tavern)
He had been secretary to Cardinal Domenico Capranica and Cardinal Albergatti before he was elected Pope.[43]
213 Paul II (1464-1471) Pietro Barbo 57 De Cervo et Leone
(From a Stag and a Lion)
Possibly refers to his Bishopric of Cervia (a stag) and his Cardinal title of St. Mark (a lion).[44]
214 Sixtus IV (1471-1484) Francesco Della Rovere 58 Piscator Minorita
(Minorite Fisherman)
He was born the son of a fisherman and a member of the Minor Friars.
215 Innocent VIII (1484-1492) Giovanni Battista Cibò 59 Praecursor Siciliae
(A Fore-Runner From Sicily or of Sicily)
Giovanni Battista Cibò was named after John the Baptist, the precursor of Christ. In his early years, Giovanni served as the Bishop of Molfetta in Sicily.[45]
216 Alexander VI (1492-1503) Rodrigo de Borgia 60 Bos Albanus in Portu
(Alban Bull in the Port)
In 1456, he was made a Cardinal and he held the titles of Cardinal Bishop of Albano and Porto. [46] Also, Pope Alexander had a red bull on his coat of arms[47]
217 Pius III (1503) Francesco Todeschini Piccolomini 61 De Parvo Homine
(From a Little Man)
His family name was Piccolomini, similar to piccoli uomini = "little men."
218 Julius II (1503-1513) Giuliano Della Rovere 62 Fructus Jovis Juvabit
(The Fruit of Jupiter will Help)
On his arms was an oak tree, which was sacred to Jupiter.[48] Pope Julius' family name, "Della Rovere," literally means "of the oak."[49]
219 Leo X (1513-1521) Giovanni de Medici 63 De Craticula Politiana
(From a Politian Gridiron)
His educator and mentor was the distinguished humanist and scholar, Angelo Poliziano. The “Gridiron” is the motto evidently refers to St. Lawrence, who was martyred on a gridiron. This is a rather elliptical allusion to Lorenzo the Magnificent, who was Giovanni’s father.[50]
220 Adrian VI (1522-1523) Adriaan Florensz Boeyens 64 Leo Florentius
(Florentine Lion)
His coat of arms had two lions on it,[51] and his name is sometimes given as Adriaan Florens, or other variants, from his father's first name..
221 Clement VII (1523-1534) Giulio de Medici 65 Flos Pilaei Aegri (Flower of the Balls) The Medici coat of arms were emblazoned with six medical balls. One of these balls, the largest of the six, was emblazoned with the Florentine lily.[52]
222 Paul III (1534-1549) Alessandro Farnese 66 Hiacynthus Medicorum
(The Hyacinth Among Physicians)
Pope Paul's coat of arms were charged with six hyacinths.[53] Before his ascent to the papacy, Alessandro Farnese had held the title of Saints Cosmas and Damian.[54] Cosmas and Damian were both doctors.
223 Julius III (1550-1555) Giovanni Maria Ciocchi del Monte 67 De Corona Montana
(Out of the Crown the Mountain)
His coat of arms showed mountains and palm branches laid out in a pattern much like a crown.[55]
224 Marcellus II (1555) Marcello Cervini 68 Frumentum Floccidum
(Fluffy Wheat)
His coat of arms showed a stag and ears of wheat.[56]
225 Paul IV (1555-1559) Giovanni Pietro Caraffa 69 De Fide Petri
(Of the Faith of Peter)
He is said to have used his second Christian name Pietro.
226 Pius IV (1559-1565) Giovanni Angelo de Medici 70 Aesculapii Pharmacum
(The Drug/Medicine of Aesculapius)
His family name was Medici.
227 St. Pius V (1566-1572) Antonio Michele Ghisleri 71 Angelus Nemorosus
(Angel of the Grove)
He was born in Bosco, (Lombardy); the placename means grove. His name was 'Antonio Michele Ghisleri', and Michele relates to the archangel.
228 Gregory XIII (1572-1585) Ugo Boncompagni 72 Medium Corpus Pilarum
(Half Body of the Balls)
The "balls" in the motto refer to Pope Pius IV, who had made Gregory a cardinal. Pope Gregory had a dragon on his coat of arms with half a body.[57]
229 Sixtus V (1585-1590) Felice Pereti 73 Axis in Medietate Signi
(An Axis in the Midst of Signs)
This is a rather straitforward description of the pope's coat of arms.[58]
230 Urban VII (1590) Giovanni Battista Castagna 74 De Rore Caeli
(Of the Dew of the Heavens)
He had been Archbishop of Rossano in Calabria where sap called "the dew of heaven" is gathered from trees.[59]
231 Gregory XIV (1590-1591) Niccolo Sfondrati 75 De Antiquitate Urbis
(Of the Antiquity of the City)
His father was a senator of the ancient city of Milan. The word "senator" is derived from the Latin word "senex", meaning old man.
232 Innocent IX (1591) Giovanni Antonio Facchinetti 76 Pia Civitas in Bello
(Pious City in War)
He was the Patriarch of Jerusalem before succeeding to the Papacy.
233 Clement VIII (1592-1605) Ippolito Aldobrandini 77 Crux Romulea
(The Roman Cross)
He had been a cardinal with the title of Saint Pancratius.[60] Saint Pancratius was a Roman martyr.[61]
234 Leo XI (1605) Alessandro Ottaviano De Medici 78 Undosus Vir
(Man of the Surging Waves or The Man who will pass like a Wave).
He had been the Bishop of Palestrina.[62] The ancient Romans attributed the origins of Palestrina to the seafaring hero Ulysses.[63] Also, he had only reigned for 27 days.
235 Paul V (1605-1621) Camillo Borghese 79 Gens Perversa
(The Corrupt Family)
Pope Paul scandalized the Church when he appointed his nephew to the College of Cardinals. The word "nepotism" may have originated during the reign of this pope.[64]
236 Gregory XV (1621-1623) Alessandro Ludovisi 80 In Tribulatione Pacis
(In the Disturbance of Peace)
His reign corresponded with the outbreak of the Thirty Years War.
237 Urban VIII (1623-1644) Maffeo Barberini 81 Lilium et Rosa
(Lily and Rose)
He was a native of Florence. Florence, in Italy, has a red lily on its coat of arms while the English king , of whom Pope Urban decided to wed both Charles I and Henrietta of France, also had a rose for his coat of arms.[65]
238 Innocent X (1644-1655) Giovanni Battista Pamphili 82 Jucunditas Crucis
(Joy of the Cross)
He was raised to the pontificate after a long and difficult Conclave on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross (off by a day).
239 Alexander VII (1655-1667) Fabio Chigi 83 Montium Custos
(Guardian of the Hills)
His family crest includes six hills with a star above them.[66]
240 Clement IX (1667-1669) Giulio Rospigliosi 84 Sydus Olorum
(Star of the Swans)
The "star" in the legend refers Pope Alexander VII, who had made Clement his personal secretary.[67] The Italian word for swan, "Cigni," rhymes with Pope Alexander's last name, "Chigi."
241 Clement X (1670-1676) Emilio Altieri 85 De Flumine Magno
(From a Great River).
Pope Clement was a native of Rome.
242 Innocent XI (1676-1689) Benedetto Odescalchi 86 Bellua Insatiabilis
(Insatiable Beast).
Pope Innocent had a lion on his coat of arms.[68]
243 Alexander VIII (1689-1691) Pietro Ottoboni 87 Poenitentia Gloriosa
(Glorious Penitence)
His first name was "Pietro". The apostle Peter repented after he had denied his master three times.
244 Innocent XII (1691-1700) Antonio Pignatelli del Rastrello 88 Rastrum in Porta
(The Rake at the Door)
His full name was Antonio Pignatelli del Rastrello.[69] "Rastrello" in Italian means "rake."
245 Clement XI (1700-1721) Giovanni Francesco Albani 89 Flores Circumdati
(Surrounded by Flowers)
He had been a cardinal with the title of San Maria in Aquiro.[70]
246 Innocent XIII (1721-1724) Michelangelo dei Conti 90 De Bona Religione
(Of a Good Religion)
A play on words, referring to the pope's chosen name, "Innocent."
247 Benedict XIII (1724-1730) Pietro Francesco Orsini 91 Miles in Bello
(Soldier in War).
248 Clement XII (1730-1740) Lorenzo Corsini 92 Columna Excelsa
(The Lofty Column)
When still a cardinal, he had held the title of St. Peter in Chains.[71] The name "Peter" is derived from the Greek word "petros," meaning "rock." To quote from the New Testament, "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church." Hist.: Clement was a frustrated architect who ordered, and sometimes interfered, with the building of many churches. He managed to salvage to columns of the Parthenon for his chapel at Mantua.
249 Benedict XIV (1740-1758) Marcello Lambertini 93 Animal Rurale
(Rural Animal)
250 Clement XIII (1758-1769) Carlo Rezzonico 94 Rosa Umbriae
(The Rose of Umbria)
He had been a cardinal with the title of Santa Maria in Aracoeli.[72] In mystical circles, the Virgin Mary is represented by a rose.
251 Clement XIV (1769-1774) Lorenzo Giovanni Vincenzo Antonio Ganganelli 95 Ursus Velox
(Swift Bear; also seen as Cursus Velox Swift Course or Visus Velox Swift Glance)
The Ganganelli's family crest bore a running bear.
252 Pius VI (1775-1799) Giovanni Angelico Braschi 96 Peregrinus Apostolicus
(Apostolic Wanderer or Pilgrim)
Spent the last two years of his life in exile, a prisoner of the French Revolution.
253 Pius VII (1800-1823) Barnaba Chiaramonti 97 Aquila Rapax
(Rapacious Eagle)
The Pope's pontificate was overshadowed by Napoleon, whose emblem was the eagle.
254 Leo XII (1823-1829) Annibale Sermattei della Genga 98 Canis et Coluber
(Dog and Adder).
"Dog" and "snake" are common insults, and Leo was widely hated. The legend could be an allusion to the pope's last name, Sermattei. "Serpente" is the Italian word for snake.
255 Pius VIII (1829-1830) Francesco Saverio Castiglioni 99 Vir Religiosus
(Religious Man).
Another play on words, referring to the pope's chosen name, "Pius".
256 Gregory XVI (1831-1846) Mauro, or Bartolomeo Alberto Cappellari 100 De Balneis Etruriae
(From the Baths of Etruria)
Pope Gregory XVI belonged to the Camaldolese order of monks. The Camaldolese order is said to have begun with two monastic houses. The first of these houses was Campus Maldoli, and the second was Fonte Buono. "Fonte Buono" is Italian for "good fountain."[73]
257 Bl. Pius IX (1846-1878) Giovanni Maria Mastai Ferretti 101 Crux de Cruce
(Cross of the Cross)
Pope Pius IX suffered many crosses during his pontificate, but the greatest cross of all came from the House of Savoy, which reunited Italy and stripped the pope of his territorial possessions. The Savoy coat of arms is commonly depicted as a white cross over a red background.
258 Leo XIII (1878-1903) Gioacchino Pecci 102 Lumen in Caelo
(Light in The Sky)
His coat of arms had a shooting star.
259 St. Pius X (1903-1914) Giuseppe Sarto 103 Ignis Ardens
(Burning Fire)
See below
260 Benedict XV (1914- 1922) Giacomo Della Chiesa 104 Religio Depopulata
(Death of the Religious)
See below
261 Pius XI (1922-1939) Achille Ratti 105 Fides Intrepida
(Intrepid Faith)
See below
262 Ven. Pius XII (1939-1958) Eugenio Pacelli 106 Pastor Angelicus
(An Angelic Shepherd)
See below
263 Bl. John XXIII (1958-1963) Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli 107 Pastor et Nauta
(Shepherd and Sailor)
See below
264 Paul VI (1963-1978) Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini 108 Flos Florum
(Flower of Flowers)
See below
265 John Paul I (1978) Albino Luciani 109 De Medietate Lunae
(Of the Middleness of the Moon)
See below
266 John Paul II (1978-2005) Karol Wojtyla 110 De Labore Solis
(Of the Eclipse of the Sun, or from the Labour of the sun or from the pregnancy of the sun)
See below
267 Benedict XVI (2005-) Joseph Ratzinger 111 De Gloria Olivae
(The Glory of the Olive or "To the Olive")
See below
268 Unknown (Unknown) Petrus Romanus
(Peter Roman) In persecutione extrema S.R.E. sedebit Petrus Romanus, qui pascet oues in multis tribulationibus: quibus transactis ciuitas septicollis diruetur, et Iudex tremendus iudicabit populum. 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; when they are over, the city of seven hills will be destroyed, and the terrible or fearsome Judge will judge his people. The End.) Most scholars believe that this prophecy was added at a later date. It can be noted that this pope had explicitly not been numbered (as he would have been #112)
See below

[edit] Contemporary Popes and the Prophecy

[edit] Pope Pius IX (Crux de Cruce)

Cross of the Cross. His successor Pope Pius XII renewed the beatification process for Pius IX, commenting with the words, per crucem ad lucem, through the cross to light. Pius IX was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 2000.

[edit] Pope Pius X (Ignis Ardens)

The motto means "ardent" or "burning fire". The pope was known for his great personal piety and strong devotion to the church, advocating reforms such as the codification of Canon law, daily communion and the Gregorian chant in the Catholic liturgy. He was known for his zeal in fighting the modernist heresy. He has been the first pope to date in over 400 years to be declared a saint, the last being Pope Pius V.

[edit] Pope Benedict XV (Religio Depopulata)

The motto means "religion laid waste". During Pope Benedict XV's reign, three significant events occurred:

[edit] Pope Pius XI (Fides Intrepida)

The motto means "intrepid faith". This pope released the encyclical Mit Brennender Sorge which condemned Nazi racism and also signed agreements with Fascist Italy which, among other things, gave the Vatican sovereignty, established the pope as head of state, and added 700 million lire to the church coffers.

[edit] Pope Pius XII (Pastor Angelicus)

The motto means "an angelic shepherd". This pope was known to be very mystical, and it was believed that he received visions. His writings added greatly to understanding of Catholic beliefs and church doctrine. During his reign, Pius exercised Papal Infallibility in defining dogma when he issued, on November 1, 1950 an apostolic constitution, Munificentissimus Deus, which defines ex cathedra the dogma of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven, on the request of the heavenly father. He was declared Venerable in 2000.

[edit] Pope John XXIII (Pastor et Nauta)

"Pastor et Nauta" translates to "Shepherd and Sailor". Prior to his election he was patriarch of Venice, which is a maritime city, famous for its waterways and gondolas.

According to Peter Bander in The Prophecies of Malachy, during the conclave which was to elect John XXIII, Cardinal Spellman, evidently having taken Malachy's forecast that the next pope would be "pastor and mariner" literally, rented a boat, filled it with sheep and sailed up and down the Tiber.

The anti-pope Pius XIII of the True Catholic Church has also claimed to be "Pastor et Nauta", as their group believes that his last valid predecessor was Pius XII. He has used justifications including his residence in the United States, which is across the Atlantic Ocean from Rome.

[edit] Pope Paul VI (Flos Florum)

Pope Paul VI, is described in the prophecies as "Flos Florum" or "Flower of Flowers". His personal arms bore three fleurs-de-lis, the heraldic charge best known as that in the arms of the French monarchy. Fleur-de-lis literally means "flower of the lily": yet the medieval flower par excellence was the rose[citation needed], not the lily; and many popes have borne various flowers in their arms.

The fleur-de-lys has the meaning of purity and chastity in Catholic religion. This is based upon scripture. Paul VI published his encyclical Humanæ Vitæ subtitled On the Regulation of Birth, on July 25, 1968. In this encyclical he reaffirmed the Catholic Church's traditional condemnation of artificial birth control.

[edit] Pope John Paul I (De Medietate Lunae)

"De Medietate Lunae" translates to "of the half-moon". It could also be interpreted as "De Media Aetate Lunae", meaning "of the average age of the moon".

  • He was elected on August 26, 1978, the day after the moon reached its last quarter, and reigned for 33 days, approximately five days longer than a lunar cycle. He died the day before the new moon.
  • However, a much simpler explanation might be that he was born on the day of the half moon: on October 17, 1912, the moon was in its first quarter.
  • Others point to his name before becoming pope, Albino Luciani. Albino is related to "albus", white, and "Luciani", derived from "Lucius", is ultimately related to the Latin word lux "light", whence "white light". Still others have linked "half-moon" to the smile often exhibited by John Paul I, who is remembered by many as the "smiling Pope."

[edit] Pope John Paul II (De Labore Solis)

The prophetic motto corresponding to Pope John Paul II is "De labore Solis", which literally means "Of the Labour of The Sun". But "labores solis" or "travails of the sun" is a common metaphor used to mean solar eclipse.

There are a variety of explanations that have been given to explain the motto:

  • It might also be seen to be the fruit of the intercession of the "Woman Clothed with the Sun labouring" in the Book of Revelation 12, because of his devotion to the Virgin Mary, to whose intercession he credited surviving an assassination attempt early in his papacy.
  • Also, he affirmed the importance of the reported messages of the Virgin Mary at Fatima, which had as its confirming event, the strange "solar eclipse" or "sun spinning in the sky" event, reported in the secular media in 1917.
  • It has also been suggested that the associated Latin phrase could also be an anagram for "de borealis sol" (correct Latin: de boreali sol) or "a Sun from the North", being a luminary coming from Poland which is north of Rome.
  • Another interpretation points simply to the sun rising in the east and his being the first Pope from Eastern Europe.
  • A further theory is that the combination of "labore" and "solis" cryptically refers to "the sun of the workers", i.e., "the star of communism", with John Paul being the only pope to have spent much of his life under a communist regime.
  • Yet another theory exists among some traditionalist Catholics, who believe that the motto translates as "Eclipse of the Sun". These Catholics view the Second Vatican Council as a fundamental departure of the Catholic faith. and that the differences between the church before and after the council are stark enough to regard the contemporary official Catholic Church as a new modernist church and not truly Catholic. The sun is so interpreted as the true Catholic faith, which has been eclipsed by the heterodoxy of the council teachings. They identify this time period as the Great Apostasy, that has been predicted for the End of Times.
  • Nicolas Copernicus (who studied at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland) was the first to present the heliocentric theory, later presented by Galileo. Between 1990 and 2000, the Papacy apologized for the Galileo Trials. Thus, the 'Labor of the Sun' was first presented by a Polish-born astronomer, and corrected by the Polish-born Pope.
  • During his pontificate, John Paul II traveled extensively all around the world, more than any other pope before, and similarly to what the sun does daily, from an earth-centric point of view.[74]

[edit] Pope Benedict XVI (De Gloria Olivae)

"De Gloria Olivae" or "glory of the olive", is the next phrase following "De labore Solis".

  • Prior to the papal conclave, this motto led to speculation that the next pontiff would be from the Order of Saint Benedict, whose symbols include the olive branch.
  • Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, elected in April 2005, is not a Benedictine, but did choose Benedict XVI as his regnal name, partially named after Benedictine founder Benedict of Nursia), which might be regarded as a fulfillment of this prophecy.
  • By choosing the name Benedict, the Pope became linked with St. Benedict, who in turn is distantly connected to the Olivetans, a small sub-order of Benedictines. Although it is frequently stated that the Order of St Benedict is also known as that of the Olivetans, this is not true: while all Olivetans are Benedictines, few Benedictines are Olivetans.
  • Yet another possible interpretation might be that, like his predecessor — who spoke of the Church needing to "breathe with both lungs" again — Pope Benedict XVI has a special desire to reunite with the Eastern Orthodox churches, which have been separated since the Great Schism in 1054. The olive can of course be taken as a symbol of Greece, and hence the Greek Orthodox Church (and — by extension — the Russian Orthodox Church which grew out of it).
  • Another interpretation was that "De Gloria Olivae" would promote world peace, as symbolized by the olive branch. In a general audience on 27 April 2005, Benedict XVI explained that he chose his regnal name as a link to Benedict XV, "Religio Depopulata", and that: "In his footsteps I place my ministry, in the service of reconciliation and harmony between peoples, profoundly convinced that the great good of peace is above all a gift of God, a fragile and precious gift to be invoked, safeguarded and constructed, day after day and with everyone's contribution."
  • Some, who expect Pope Benedict XVI to restore order and discipline, namely, the "rule", Latin "regula", within the Catholic church, the "sheepfold", Latin "ovilis", whence "ovilia", the place where the sheep lay to rest. Consider the phrase to be an imperfect and ungrammatical anagram, "de regola ovilia" (correct Latin: de regula oviliae) or "of the rule of the sheepfold" for the counter-reformation he is expected to introduce.

[edit] Petrus Romanus

The longest and final motto reads:

  • In the original Latin:

    "In psecutione[75]extrema S.R.E. sedebit Petrus Romanus,
    qui pascet oves in multis tribulationibus:
    quibus transactis civitas septicollis diruetur,
    et Iudex tremendus iudicabit populum suum.

  • This is usually translated into English as:

    "During the final persecution of the Holy Roman Church, the seat will be occupied by Peter the Roman,
    who will feed his sheep in many tribulations;
    and when these things are finished, the seven-hilled city will be destroyed,
    and the formidable Judge will judge his people.
    The End."

Several anti-popes claiming to be Pope Peter II have emerged in recent years, probably inspired by this motto.

Not everyone who takes the prophecy seriously believes that Petrus Romanus will be the last pope ever, or that he will be called Peter II. Ronald L. Conte Jr., who in 2002 correctly predicted that the pope immediately after John Paul II would be called Benedict XVI but incorrectly predicted that he would be black,[76] believes that Cardinal Francis Arinze will take the name of Pius XIII after the death of Pope Benedict XVI, and that the description "Peter the Roman” means that the "Pope will reaffirm the authority of the Roman Pontiff over the Church; this authority is based on his place as a Successor of Peter" and "will emphasize the supremacy of the Roman Catholic Faith and the Roman Catholic Church above all other religions and denominations, and its authority over all Christians and all peoples of the world," and also will be “the last Pope for about a generation (until the 2040's) to rule from Rome."[77] In Conte’s opinion, St. Malachy’s list ends with Petrus Romanus because his reign will coincide with the beginning of the first part of the Tribulation.

Additionally; with regards to prophecy 112, there is some uncertainty revolving around the word "persecutione" as it has been said that in the very first publication of the prophecies (1595); Arnold de Wion had this word as "psecutione", an abbreviation either for "persecutione" (persecution) or for "prosecutione" (continuation in time), while Messinghan's 1624 had it as "persecutione". If it were indeed "psecutione" (according to de Wion), and this checks out with the original Vatican manuscript he was reporting on, it could be interpreted as "continuation" and the opening line of prophecy 112 could read as - "In the extreme passage of time the seat of the Holy Roman Church will be occupied by Peter the Roman" - thus suggesting that there may be a Pope or Popes in between "De Gloriae olivae" and "Petrus Romanus".

Beside this there's yet another small controversy about Petrus Romanus - according to what we can read in BibleProbe [2], Petrus Romanus was not in St. Malachy’s original list and was first published after the 1820 publication of the prophecies.[78] In other sources we can read that the 112th pope was added in 1559 by the Olivetan monks.[79] And in another we can read that there's actually no 112 number preceding Peter Romanus prophecy [80], meaning that there maybe many popes between Pope Benedict XVI and Peter Romanus or it can also means that Pope Benedict XVI and Peter Romanus are the same.

[edit] References

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia, Città di Castello.
  2. ^ Wiktionary "hunt" [1]
  3. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia, Pope Lucius II
  4. ^ The Columbia Encyclopedia, Eugene III
  5. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia Pope Adrian IV
  6. ^ Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, Titles S. Leone I --- S. Matteo in Merulana
  7. ^ Regnal Chronologies, Roman Catholicism
  8. ^ House of Arms,Paparo Coat of Arms
  9. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia, Pope Lucius III
  10. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia, Pope Gregory VIII
  11. ^ Héraldique européenne, Papes
  12. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia, Pope Honorius III
  13. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia, Pope Gregory IX
  14. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica, Celestine
  15. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia, Pope Innocent IV
  16. ^ Christ's Faithful People, Pope Innocent IV
  17. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia, Pope Alexander IV
  18. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia, Pope Urban IV
  19. ^ Web.genealogie, Dynastie de Visconti
  20. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia, Pope Bl. Innocent V
  21. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia, Pope John XXI(XX)
  22. ^ a b c Héraldique européenne, Papes
  23. ^ Saint Nicholas Center Patara
  24. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia, Pope Benedict XII
  25. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia, Pope Clement VI
  26. ^ Héraldique européenne, Papes
  27. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia, Pope Innocent VI
  28. ^ Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, Titles
  29. ^ Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, Deaconries
  30. ^, Clemente VII (antipapa)
  31. ^, Benedetto XIII (antipapa)
  32. ^ Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, Consistories for the creation of Cardinals
  33. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia, Pope Urban VI
  34. ^ Héraldique européenne, Papes
  35. ^ Héraldique européenne, Papes
  36. ^, Alessandro V (antipapa)
  37. ^ Catholic Enclopedia, John XXIII
  38. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia, Pope Martin V
  39. ^ Fruit of Contemplation March 2006 Archive
  40. ^ Héraldique européenne, Papes
  41. ^, Felice V (antipapa)
  42. ^ Héraldique européenne, Papes
  43. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia,Pope Pius II
  44. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia, Pope Paul II
  45. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia, Pope Innocent VIII
  46. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia, Pope Alexander VI
  47. ^ Héraldique européenne, Papes
  48. ^ Héraldique européenne, Papes
  49. ^ Baroque Rome in the etchings of Giuseppe Vasi, The Triumph of Life
  50. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia, Pope Leo X
  51. ^ Héraldique européenne, Papes
  52. ^ Héraldique européenne, Papes
  53. ^ Héraldique européenne, Papes
  54. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia, Pope Paul III
  55. ^ Héraldique européenne, Papes
  56. ^ Héraldique européenne, Papes
  57. ^ Héraldique européenne, Papes
  58. ^ Héraldique européenne, Papes
  59. ^, Ash, Manna
  60. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia, Clement VIII
  61. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia, Sts. Nereus and Achilleus, Domitilla and Pancratius
  62. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia, Pope Leo XI
  63. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia, Palestrina
  64. ^, Galleria Borghese
  65. ^ International Civic Heraldry, Florence
  66. ^ Héraldique européenne, Papes
  67. ^ Héraldique européenne, Papes
  68. ^ Héraldique européenne, Papes
  69. ^ Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, Antonio Pignatelli del Rastrello
  70. ^ Catholic Heraldry, S. Maria in Aquiro
  71. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia, Pope Clement XII
  72. ^ Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, Rezzonico, Carlo
  73. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia, Camaldolese
  74. ^
  75. ^ Original text reads psecutione which is an abbreviation either for presecutione or for prosecutione — See the discussion later in the section
  76. ^ Conte Jr., Ronald L. (2002), The Future and the Popes,*/, retrieved on 2008-01-05. 
  77. ^ Conte Jr., Ronald L. (2006-05-10), The Future and the Popes,, retrieved on 2008-01-05. 
  78. ^ Probe, Bible, Petrus Romanus added after 1820,, retrieved on 2009-01-30. 
  79. ^ Ryter, Jon, Petrus Romanus added by Olivetan monks?,, retrieved on 2009-01-30. 
  80. ^ Balkinization, Blog, no 112 number preceding Peter Romanus prophecy,, retrieved on 2009-01-30. 

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