An insight to the Prophecy of the Popes by St Malachy

The Prophecy of the Popes (Latin: Prophetia Sancte Malachiae Archiepiscopi, de Summis Pontificibus) is a series of 112 short, cryptic phrases in Latin which purport to predict the Roman Catholic popes (along with a few antipopes), beginning with Pope Celestine II. The prophecy was written by Saint Malachy, a 12th century Irish monk, who, while on a visit to Rome had a vision of all the popes who would ever reign.  Malachy “saw”-and committed to paper- a series of Latin phrases describing the popes to come. He catalogued each one with an epigrammatic verse, such as ‘the tears of the sun’.  Malachy made the prophecy in 1139.  Reportedly it was entrusted to Pope Innocent II in 1140.  But for some reason it was “lost” in the Vatican for 400 years, only to be “discovered” in 1595 A.D.  Malachy s predictions reputedly were made in 1139 while he was on a pilgrimage to the Vatican, where he was appointed papal legate for Ireland.  On his last trek to the holy see in Rome, in 1148, Malachy accurately predicted the place and time of his own death: Clairvaux, France, on All Souls Day, November 2, of that same year.

The Malachy Prophecies were first published in 1595, by a Benedictine monk & historian named Arnold de Wyon, who found them 5 years earlier in the Vatican archives. Arnold recorded them in his book, entitled: ‘Lignum Vitæ’.

On this page we’re giving an excerpt of the prophecy of the popes. The full prophecy is well presented on Wikipedia. In our opinion the prophecy is very accurate and even though some phrases/mottoes seem not to fit so neatly, it’s probably due to lack of knowledge about the popes concerned. However the majority of the mottoes are strikingly accurate especially where there’s a lot of documentation about the pope.

We are here producing mottoes and their interpretation of the last 10 Popes prior to Francis I, i.e. the Popes from 1878 till 2013 (Popes 102 to 111 of the Prophecy of the Popes):

Pope 102: Leo XIII (1878 – 1903) – Gioacchino Pecci
Motto: Lumen in cœloLight in the sky
Popular interpretation: Proponents of the prophecies have attempted to link this motto to Leo XIII by interpreting it as a reference to the star on his arms. Scholars note this coincidence would be much more remarkable had the prophecies referred to sydus (star), as they did when describing this same device on pre-publication Pope Innocent VII’s arms.
Interpretation of the Anonymous Prophets: The light in the sky refers to the vision that Pope Leo XIII had about the end of days. The comet on his coat of arms is Comet ISON which will come this November and the December at the end of the 100 years mentioned in Leo XIII’s vision.Read our posts about this the coat of arms of this Pope. But more information is to follow!
Pope 103: St. Pius X (1903–1914) – Giuseppe Sarto
Motto: Ignis ardensBurning Fire
Popular interpretation: Proponents of the prophecies have attempted to link this motto to Pius X by interpreting it as a reference to his zeal.
Interpretation of the Anonymous Prophets: In 1913, Pius X suffered a heart attack, and subsequently lived in the shadow of poor health. In 1914, the Pope fell ill on the Feast of the Assumption of Mary (15 August), an illness from which he would not recover. His condition was worsened by the events leading to the outbreak of World War I (1914–18), which reportedly sent the 79-year-old Pope into a state of melancholy. He died on 20 August 1914 of a heart attack, only a few hours after the death of Jesuit leader Franz Xavier Wernz (more to follow about the latter). The burning fire refers to the Great War (World War I).
Pope 104: Benedict XV (1914–1922) – Giacomo Della Chiesa
Motto: Religio depopulataReligion destroyed
Popular interpretation: Proponents of the prophecies have attempted to link this motto to Benedict XV by interpreting it as a reference to World War I and the Russian Revolution, which occurred during his pontificate.
Interpretation of the Anonymous Prophets: Very accurate indeed. As Mikhail Gorbachev aptly stated, the Soviet communist state carried out a comprehensive “war on religion.” He lamented that the Bolsheviks, his predecessors, even after the civil war ended in the early 1920s, during a time of “peace,” had “continued to tear down churches, arrest clergymen, and destroy them. This was no longer understandable or justifiable. Atheism took rather savage forms in our country at that time.”The Soviet Union, reflective of the communist world as a whole, was openly hostile to religion and officially atheist; it was not irreligious or unreligious, with no stance on religion, but took the position that there was no God. Moreover, that atheism translated into a form of vicious anti-religion that included a systematic, often brutal campaign to eliminate belief. This began from the outset of the Soviet communist state and still continues in various forms in communist countries to this day, from China to North Korea to Cuba.During this pontificate there was the apparitions of Fatima of which part of the conveyed secret was about Russia and communism.
Pope 105: Pius XI (1922–1939) – Achille Ratti
Motto: Fides intrepidaIntrepid faith
Popular interpretation: Proponents of the prophecies have attempted to link this motto to Pius XI by interpreting it as a reference to his faith and actions during the reign of Benito Mussolini.
Interpretation of the Anonymous Prophets: This is also quite accurate.  Mussolini and the Roman Catholic Church clashed over who should control education. To ensure that children grew up as good Fascists, Mussolini wanted the state to control this – as it did. However, the Roman Catholic Church felt that it should have this power. Both sides worked for a compromise. The attempt to settle this dispute started in 1926 and it took until 1929 for agreements to be signed. These were the Lateran Treaties. They covered areas other than education.The Papal States (the name given to land previously owned by the Roman Catholic Church in Italy) had lost all its land in the 1870 unification of Italy. The Roman Catholic Church received £30 million in compensation in 1929 and the Church was given 109 acres in Rome to create a new papal state – the Vatican. The pope was allowed a small army, police force, post office and rail station. The pope was also given a country retreat called Castel Gandolfo.Another part of the treaty was called the Concordat. This made the Roman Catholic faith the state religion – this was a fait accompli anyway. The pope appointed his bishops, though they had to receive the government’s blessing. Religion had to be taught in both primary and secondary schools. The Roman Catholic Church was given full control of marriage.When the Lateran Treaty was signed in 1929, it turned Vatican City into its own country and appointing Pope Pius XI the first king of the newly formed sovereign state.

Pope Pius XI also featured in the Fatima secret.

Pope 106: Ven. Pius XII (1939–1958) – Eugenio Pacelli
Motto: Pastor angelicusAngelic shepherd
Popular interpretation: Proponents of the prophecies have attempted to link this motto to Pius XII by interpreting it as a reference to his role during the holocaust
Interpretation of the Anonymous Prophets: Before election to the papacy, Pacelli served as secretary of the Department of Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs, papal nuncio to Germany (1917–1929), and Cardinal Secretary of State, in which capacity he worked to conclude treaties with European and Latin American nations, most notably the Reichskonkordat with Nazi Germany. The concordat of 1933, with which the Vatican sought to protect the Church in Germany, and Hitler sought the destruction of ‘political Catholicism’, and Pius’ leadership of the Catholic Church during World War II, including his “decision to stay silent in public about the fate of the Jews”, remain the subject of controversy.Like the shepherd and also like an angel, Pope Pius XII did what was possible to protect his catholic flock from persecution.
Pope 107: Bl. John XXIII (1958–1963) – Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli
Motto: Pastor et nautaShepherd and mariner
Popular interpretation: Proponents of the prophecies have attempted to link the “sailor” portion of this motto to John XXIII by interpreting it as a reference to his title Patriarch of Venice, a maritime city.
Interpretation of the Anonymous Prophets: Although the mariner reference is very clear as he was the Patriarch of Venice, many fail to attribute the shepherd to Pope John XXIII. This Pope surprised those who expected him to be a caretaker Pope by calling the historic Second Vatican Council (1962–1965). He did not live to see it to completion, dying in 1963, four-and-a-half years after his election, and two months after the completion of his final encyclical, Pacem in Terris.The Second Vatican Council addressed relations between the Roman Catholic Church and the modern world. Of those who took part in the council’s opening session, four have become pontiffs to date.
Pope 108: Paul VI (1963–1978) – Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini
Motto: Flos florumFlower of flowers
Popular interpretation: Proponents of the prophecies have attempted to link this motto to Paul VI by interpreting it as a reference to the fleurs-de-lis on his arms.
Interpretation of the Anonymous Prophets: Apart from the fleurs-de-lis on his coat of arms, in his encyclical of 6th August 1964 he refers to those baptised as the ones who have indeed been called to a new kind of life, but they have lost nothing of their own humanity except the unhappy state of original sin. Rather, the humanity in them is now capable of bearing the fairest flowers of perfection and the most precious and holiest of fruits. To be a Christian, to have received holy Baptism, must not be looked upon as something of negligible importance.
Pope 109: John Paul I (1978) – Albino Luciani
Motto: De medietate lunæOf the half moon
Popular interpretation: John Paul I was elected Pope on August 26, 1978, when there was a half moon. He reigned 33 days when he died, although many think he was murdered. Pope John Paul I was born in the diocese of Belluno (beautiful moon) and was baptized Albino Luciani which means white light, such as that given off by the half-moon. He became pope on August 26, 1978, when the moon appeared exactly half full. It was in its waning phase. He died the following month, soon after an eclipse of the moon.
Interpretation of the Anonymous Prophets: Albeit his very short papacy, Pope John Paul I is also remembered with the appellatives of “Il Papa del Sorriso” (The Smiling Pope) and “Il Sorriso di Dio” (The smile of God) because he was always smiling.
Pope 110: Bl. John Paul II (1978–2005) – Karol Wojtyła
Motto: De labore solisFrom the labour of the sun
Popular interpretation: Proponents of the prophecies find significance in the occurrence of solar eclipses (elsewhere in the world) on the dates of John Paul II’s birth (18 May 1920) and funeral (8 April 2005).
Interpretation of the Anonymous Prophets: Indeed the popular interpretation is correct. One must also add that the sun represents the Virgin Mary and the Pope’s coat of arms bears the symbol of the Our Lady. Thus the labour of the sun could also refer to the suffering of the Virgin Mary to whom Pope John Paul II dedicated his papacy.
Pope 111: Benedict XVI (2005–2013) – Joseph Ratzinger
Motto: De gloria olivæThe glory of the olive
Popular interpretation: Proponents of the prophecies generally try to draw a connection between Benedict and the Olivetan order to explain this motto: Benedict’s choice of papal name is after Saint Benedict of Nursia, founder of the Benedictine Order, of which the Olivetans are one branch. Other explanations make reference to him as being a pope dedicated to peace and reconciliations of which the olive branch is the symbol.
Interpretation of the Anonymous Prophets: Indeed the popular interpretation could shed some truth, however there could be a hidden truth behind his motto. Like Jesus in the Garden of the Gethsemane (the garden of olives) has let himself in the Lord’s will to sacrifice himself for the salvation of mankind, the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI could imply that he’s sacrificing himself and preparing us to the Second Coming. Pope Benedict XVI is part of the Olivet Prophecy and the Pope to be killed as mentioned in the secret of Fatima. See also post about Pope Benedict XVI.

One thought on “An insight to the Prophecy of the Popes by St Malachy

  1. Pingback: An insight of the last ten Popes | Making sense of chaos!

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