What is the difference between a prediction and a prophecy?

Many think that prediction and prophecy are the same but they’re mistaken. It’s true that they both forecast the future but there’s a difference!

A prediction is a forecast made by those who calculate the parameters of the subject involved and after evaluating al the odds they can predict the future. The weather forecast is a classical example. An experienced teacher can predict that one of his students is brilliant and will have a successful career, but at the age of 21 the student tragically dies. The teacher’s prediction would have been correct, however never fulfilled because the variable of the tragic death at young age was not taken into account.

The prophecy is another story. The ancient Pharaohs of Egypt used to say “So shall it be written and so shall it be done”. And so is the prophecy. Once written it is to be fulfilled without exceptions. A prophecy has all the ingredients except the element of time. Without the element of time a prophecy is hard to pinpoint because history tends to rhyme from time to time. Nevertheless we believe that in the last century or so there have been prophetic visions with some time element (more information to follow in future articles).

A typical example is Bible prophecy. Jesus Christ was prophesied centuries ahead of His time. A host of prophets in the old testament heralded his coming, and yet many did not recognise Him and was crucified. The Jews waited for so long the coming of their Messiah that when he came he was not recognised despite having in their hands a book with one third prophecy, the Bible.

Time Magazine cover - Pope John Paul II forgiving the shooter of his assassination attempt

Time Magazine cover – Pope John Paul II forgiving the shooter of his assassination attempt

Therefore when the Vatican says that the third part of the Fatima secret (actually prophecy would be more appropriate) is referring to the 1981 attempt assassination of Pope John Paul II, they are either wrong or they want us to believe so not to cause speculation like we are doing here. The third part of the Fatima secret clearly states that a Pope is to be killed – Pope John Paul II survived the assassination attempt, therefore this prophecy is yet to be fulfilled, possibly by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

Therefore since a prophecy cannot be altered why is it written? A prophecy is just a tool to warn us to be prepared for the unexpected eventualities. Nobody knows the moment of the final judgement but when it shall come we ought to be prepared. And be prepared because the signs are out there and we can speculate that the second coming is in the not so distant future.     

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Pope Benedict XVI’s last angelus

It is very interesting to read the last angelus of Pope Benedict XVI. He says that the Lord is calling him to climb the mount (see text of angelus further down).

Has Pope Benedict XVI been called by the Lord as Jesus was called in the Garden of Gethsemane, the garden of olives? If this is the case, no wonder St Malachy’s motto of Benedict XVI is De Gloria Olivae.

And is the mount mentioned by Pope Benedict XVI the same one of the third part of the Fatima secret? Again if this is the case, like Jesus Christ was called in the garden of olives to sacrifice himself by death  for the salvation of humanity, so is doing Benedict XVI. His resignation is his calling in the preparation for the Second Coming. If the third part of the Fatima secret is to be interpreted correctly, Benedict XVI shall die as sacrifice for humanity.

Pope Benedict XVI giving his last angelus

Pope Benedict XVI giving his last angelus

Here is the last angelus of Pope Benedict XVI:

Dear brothers and sisters. During the service on the second Lent Sunday, the Gospel of the Transfiguration of the Lord is always presented.

Luke, the evangelist, has highlighted the fact that Jesus transfigured while he prayed. His is a deep, profound experience of relationship with the Father during a sort of spiritual retreat that Jesus lives on a high mount accompanied by Peter, James and John, the three disciples who were always present during the moments of the divine manifestation of the Master.

The Lord, who not long ago had proclaimed his death and resurrection, offers the disciples an anticipation of his glory.

And in both the transfiguration and the baptism, the voice of the heavenly Father echoes: “This is my son, the chosen one, listen to him!”

The presence of Moses and Elias later on, representing the laws and the prophets of the ancient covenant, is far more important: All the story of the covenant is oriented towards Him, the Christ, who fulfills a new exodus not towards the promised land as during the times of Moses but towards Heaven.

St. Peter’s intervention: “Master, it is beautiful for us to be here” represents the impossible attempt to stop such mystical experience.

St. Augustine has commented: “St. Peter… on the Mount… Christ’s only food was the soul. Because he must have descended to return to exhaustion and pain, while above, he was filled with feelings of sacred love towards God, which thus inspired him to a sacred path.”

Pondering over this fragment of the Gospel, we can draw a very important lesson: First of all, the supremacy of prayer, without which all the apostolate endeavors, and that of charity, will be reduced to activism.

During Lent, let us learn to give the right time to prayer, both personal and community prayer, which breathes air into our spiritual life.

However, praying does not mean isolating oneself from the world and its contradictions, as St. Peter would have liked to have done on Mount Tabor, but prayer leads us back to the path, to action.

Christian existence — I have written in the Message for this Lent — means to continuously climb up the mount for our encounter with God, so that afterward we can descend again filled with his love and strength to serve our brothers and sisters with the very love of God.

Dear Brothers and sisters, this Word of God I feel in a particular way towards me, at this moment in my life.

The Lord is calling me to “climb the mount,” and to devote myself to meditation, reflection and prayer.

However, this does not mean abandoning the Church, but rather, if God has requested this of me, it is so that I can continue to serve the Church with the same dedication and the same love with which I have done up until now, but in a way adapted to my age and my strength.

Let us invoke Virgin Mary’s intercession: Let her guide all of you to follow the Lord Jesus always, in prayer as well as in laborious charity.

De Gloria Olivae (The Glory of the Olive)

De Gloria Olivae (The Glory of the Olive) is the motto that St Malachy attributed to Pope Benedict XVI. Proponents of the prophecies have 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. 

Benedict’s name is a sound reference to the motto by St Malachy. In fact St Benedict is the patron saint of Europe and the olive is a symbol of peace thus implying that the head of church is a herald of peace in Europe and to the world.

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 for the salvation of mankind, could the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI imply he’s sacrificing himself and preparing us to the Second Coming? Is Pope Benedict XVI part of the Olivet Prophecy?

Pope Benedict XVI leads a mass at the Garden of Gethsemane at the foot of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem - 15th May 2009

Pope Benedict XVI leads a mass at the Garden of Gethsemane at the foot of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem – 15th May 2009

 According to Gospel of Matthew Chapter 24 (as part of the Olivet Prophecy):

36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,[f] but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.

Could the two men be the two Popes, i.e. the ‘retired’ Pope Benedict XVI and the one who’ll take the seat in Rome? If so what will happen to Benedict XVI if he’s taken? Read also about the last angelus of Pope Benedict XVI.