POPE'S FUNERAL AND THE MALACHY PROPHECY
By Jon Christian Ryter
April 8, 2005
In 1094 A.D. a son and heir was born into a propertied family of noble birth named O'Morgair in Armagh, in what is now Northern Ireland. The male child was baptized Maelmhaedhoc. In later years, when he was placed under the tutorship of Imbar O'Hagan in the Abby at Armagh for his formal schooling, Maelmhaedhoc's name would be Latinized, and he would become known as Malachy. His Irish descendants adopted Maelmhaedhoc O'Morgair's baptismal name—Malachy— as the family's surname. After a long course of studies, young Maelmhaedhoc decided —or rather, his father did—he wanted to become a Roman Catholic priest. He was ordained in 1119 AD at the age of 25. He continued his theological education in Lismore. Malachy, was ordained as Abbot of Bangor in 1123. A year later he was consecrated as the Archbishop of Connor. In 1127 he became "father confessor" to Cormac MacCarthy, Prince of Desmond (who would later become the King of Ireland). In 1132 he was promoted to the primacy of Armagh. Malachy died on his second pilgrimage to Rome in 1148. He was canonized by Pope Clemente III on July 6, 1199. Interestingly, among Malachy's prophesies was his prediction of the day and hour of his own death—and it was accurate.
Malachy had the gift of healing to aid the sick. In addition, he reported possessed the powers of levitation and clairvoyance. Numerous miracles are attributed to his ministry. He was also endowed with the gift of prophecy. Most important of all of his prophesies was one concerning the succession of the Popes—from Pope Innocent II (who became pontiff in 1140) to the pope who will follow John Paul II—the last Catholic pontiff. According to his prophecy, the line of popes will end, abruptly, with the next pope. He was described in the prophesies of St. Malachy as Gloria Olivae (the glory of the olive). During his reign, peace will descend over the Mideast. Historians believe that Malachy received his papal secession vision during his visit to Rome in 1140 for the coronation of Innocent II. Historians claim that Malachy gave the recorded vision to the new pontiff to "comfort him in his afflictions." Innocent II placed the document in the papal archive where they remained for four centuries, read only by the curator of the library and other high-ranking church officials.
Those Christians who believe Antichrist will be the Pope will see a fulfillment of Biblical prophecy in the Malachy Prophecy. The prophecy advances the secession of Roman Catholic pontiffs from Celestine II [1143 AD] to John Paul II's successor. who will be revealed within the next 30 days) [2005 AD]. Malachy wrote that he was inscribing the pontiffs from Celestine II "...to the end of the world." In a vision the Holy Spirit revealed each future pontiff by his character, geographic or physiological attributes, or his coat of arms. In all, Malachy described 111 popes.
However, in the 1820 printed version of Malachy's prophesies, Lignum Vitre (written in 1559 by a Benedictine historian, Arnold Wyon), a 112th pope appears that was not in Malachy's original manuscript. The 112th pope was added by the Olivetan monks. The Order of St. Benedict claims this final pope will come within the Benedictine Order, and that he was placed in the secession line because St. Benedict himself prophesied that before the end of the world, his Order will triumphantly lead the Catholic Church in its battle against evil (the Battle of Armageddon).
St. Benedict's "prophecy" was more wishful thinking than it was spiritual insight from God. Although Malachy entrusted his vision to paper and gave the manuscript to Pope Innocent II for safe keeping, Father Claude Francois Menestrier, a famous 18th century Jesuit, claims the prophecies were actually written in 1590 by Cardinal Simoncelli to influence the election of the Cardinal of his choice as pontiff that year. The argument advanced by advocates who favor the later date is based on the whimsical notion that because Malachy never mentioned writing the papal ascension prophecy, he probably didn't. Skeptics of that era felt its more likely that Cardinal Simoncelli wrote them. However, three simple facts suggest Menestrier was wrong, and that Malachy did write them.
First, Vatican records show that the document was entrusted to Innocent II in 1140. Like many other important Vatican documents, the Malachy Prophecy was one of the early documents printed on the Gutenberg Press in 1455—135 years before Cardinal Simoncelli supposed wrote them. Second, while the Malachy Prophecy was unknown outside the church hierarchy, printed copies of the prophecy were in circulation before 1590. And finally, third, Malachy's Prophecy begins with the successor to Innocent II—Celestine II. Had Simoncelli wrote them, the Prophecy would have begun with one of three other Popes (since three pontiffs reigned that year). First, the prophecy might have begun with Felice Peretti who was elected Pope Sixtus V on April 4, 1585. He died on Aug. 17, 1590. Succeeding him was Gambattista Castagna who was elected Pope Urban VII on Sept. 15, 1590. He was the shortest reigning pontiff in the history of the papacy —12 days. He died on Sept. 27, 1590. He was succeeded by Nicolo Spondrati who took the name Gregory XIV. Spondrati was elected on Dec. 5, 1590 and died on Oct. 5, 1591. The Prophecy would not have begun, by prophetic inference with a pope—Celestine II—who had been dead for 446 years if Simoncelli wrote the papal prophecy. He would have known that Guido Del Castello de Castellis became Pope Celestine II. Nor would there be any reason to mention the other popes and anti-popes in the line of succession between Celestine II and Sixtus V or Urban VII or Gregory XIV since there would be nothing prophetic about mentioning long dead pontiffs by prophetic inference when the writer would have possessed their names..
The future pontiffs were identified by a key event in the personal history of that pope or some other identifying attribute that was unique to that man. For example, Clement XIII who served as pontiff for 11 years between 1758 and 1769, had close ties with the Italian state of Umbria (whose State emblem was the rose). Malachy referred to him as the "Rosa Umbriae," or the "Rose of Umbria." Pius II—the second shortest reigning pontiff in the history of the Church was pope for only 26 days in 1503—was described in Malachy's prophecy as "De Parvo Homine" (from a little man). His family name was Piccolomini—Italian for "little man." Cardinal Giovanni Anngelico Braschi, the longest serving pope, was coroneted in 1755 and reigned until his death in 1799—44 years. He lived 82 years—serving as pontiff for over half his life. Contemporary Christian writers refer to Pius VI as the Apostolic Pilgrim on Earth. Malachy aptly described him as the pilgrim pope. In rare instances, as it was with Pius VII, it was the political circumstance under which he was coroneted. Pius VII—Barnaba Chiaramonte—was named a cardinal by Pope Pius VI in 1786. His rise to power in the Church was overshadowed by the rise in power of Napoleon Bonaparte. The Conclave of Cardinals elected him Pope in 1800. He died in 1823. His pontificate was symbolized by the eagle—the symbol by which Napoleon was known.
Pope Leo XIII [1878-1903]—He was described in the papal prophecy as "Lumen in Caelo" (Light in the Heavens). Real name: Gioacchio Vincenzo Raffaele. His coat of arms depicted a shooting star. Pope Pius X [1903-1914]—"Ignis Ardens" (Burning Fire). Real name: Giuseppe Melchiarre Sarto. It was during Sarto's reign that Europe ignited in war, and like a brush fire, the flames of discontent spread from one nation to the next until finally, in 1914, war engulfed the entire continent. Benedict XV [1914-22] "Religio Depopulata" (Religion Devastated) Real name: Giacomo Della Chiesa. Benedict XV was known as the pope of war as the flames of discontent traversed the globe. But even more important, the godless, secular New World Order that will see the fulfillment of the prophesies in Revelation 13 (one world government), Revelation 17 (the one world church) and Revelation 18 (the one world economy) was born in 1920—during his reign. Pope Pius XI [1922-1939]— "Fides Intrepida" (Unshaken Faith) Real name: Achilee Ratti. As pontiff, Ratti witnessed the world prepare for a sequel to the "war to end all wars." He witnessed the birth of the abortion movement in Europe and the rise of atheistic secularism as it was taught to the world's youths in the major colleges and universities of the world as globalists faced the challenge or evicting God from the minds of the citizens of the emerging New World Order. Pope Pius XII [1939-1958]—"Pastor Angelicus" (Angelic Shepherd). Real name: Eugento Pacelli. Pacelli spent most of his early church career in the diplomatic service of the Vatican. From 1917 until 1929, he was Nuncio in Germany. In 1930 he became Vatican Secretary of State. He was a natural choice to follow Ratti into the papacy since there were no other church leaders experienced enough to deal with the Church, and with heads of State, during a global conflict. The publication of a myriad of Catholic Church documents between 1967 and 1990 confirm that, from his actions and secret papal decrees throughout the war years, Pius XII was, in the truest sense, the angelic pastor of his flock. Pope John XXIII [1958-1963]—"Pastor et nauta" (Pastor and mariner) Real name: Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli. Roncalli spend several years as the apostolic delegate and Nuncio in Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria and France. Roncalli was named Archbishop of Areoplis (Rabbath and Moah) in Palestine around the birth of Israel in 1948. In 1953 Pope Pius XII named him as the Cardinal of Venice. He was viewed, at the time, as the most beloved of all modern popes. That was, of course, until the pontificating of Karol Wojtyla, the Polish prince of the church, John Paul II. Most historians believe Roncalli fulfilled the Malachy Prophecy as the "mariner" through his tenure in Venice, the water city. However, prophetically, when he became the Archbishop of Palestine, he could be construed as being "an evangelical mariner" since the lands of the Gentiles and Muslims are prophetically referred to as "the sea." Pope Paul VI [1953-1968]—"Flos Florum" (Flower of flowers). His reign as pontiff was relatively short—only five years. Real name: Giovanni Battista Montini. Like Pius XII he reached the zenith of power in the Catholic Church through the office of the Vatican Secretary of State. The Conclave of Cardinals elected him Pope in 1963. The coat of arms of the Montini family depicts three fleurs-de-lis. Pope John Paul I [1978-1978 (34 days)]—"DeMedietate lunae" (of the half moon). Real name: Albino Buciani. Buciani served almost three times as long as Pope Urban VII, yet has the distinction of being the second shortest reigning pope. It was because of the briefness of his tenure that Wojtyla took the papal name, John Paul II. During the brief reign of John Paul I, the rise of Muslim extremism against the Gentile world exploded and OPEC (Oil Producing Exporting Countries) was born, and the Arabs began to use oil as a weapon against the industrial nations. The symbol of the Muslim world is the crescent—the half moon. Pope John Paul II [1978-2005]—"De Lobaore solis" (Of the eclipse of the sun) Or, the phrase could also be interpreted as "from the toil of the sun." John Paul II, the Polish Prince of the Catholic Church, has proven in death to be the most admired man in the world. Over 3 million people have traveled to Rome to pay their last respects to the fallen pontiff who mastered 8 languages but spoke 20 as he evangelized the world for Christ. Unlike most of the early Popes who came from the landed class of their time, Karol Wojtyla , like several of the modern day popes, came from the common working class and spend much time as a laborer in Poland, working under the hot, European sun. However, many other Popes could claim the same, thus the analogy "from the toil of the sun" does not appear to fit. Thus historians scrambled to examine how many solar eclipses took place during the reign of John Paul II. In the two plus decades of John Paul II's pontificate, there were 16 solar eclipses that were visible from southern Europe. But, there is too much ambiguity here because as you travel around the globe, 16 solar eclipses in one part of the world may be 9 solar eclipses, or 5, or 3, somewhere else. Or a total eclipse in my part of the country, or world, will likely be a partial eclipse in yours. The prophecy is much simpler than that. Karol Wojtyla was born on May 18, 1920 during a solar eclipse in Poland. On April 8. 2005 during the funeral services for the pontiff, the world will experience an unusual hybrid eclipse of the Sun. The central path of the eclipse will run across the South Pacific where it will change from an annular eclipse to a total eclipse, and then back to an annular eclipse again before it reaches South America. It will be seen as a partial eclipse in the southern United States. It was visible from southern California, swinging northward to New Jersey. No eclipse was visible north of that diagonal line. It would appear that the eclipse of the sun fits far better than "from the toll of the sun."
I had previously read, in various articles and books, that the Malachy Prophecy specifically targeted the origin of the 110th pope as being from either Poland or Eastern Europe. Those reports are untrue. In reality as the Malachy Prophecy is carefully examined, it is accurate—to this point. There remains one pontiff in this prophecy. (If you add the Benedictine prophecy, described as Petrus Romanus, there are two. But, the Benedictine addition is not part of the original prophecy and, therefore, does not belong. The 111th Pope is described as Gloria Olivae (the glory of the olives).
There are a couple of palatably logical scenarios here. First, olives and olive branches denote peace. With the continuous strife in the Middle East—wars and rumors of war—and with Bible prophesy telling us that when Antichrist appears on the world he will arrange a peace so deceitfully alluring that the world will adore him. That's one. The other? That our new pontiff might arise from a third world Muslim country—or that his roots are from the Middle East. There is one more. The Order of the Benedictines is also known as the "Olivetans." St. Benedict prophesied that the last pope would be from that order. It is possible that God planned this in His own calculations, and that Gloria Olivae and not Petrus Romanus is the Olivetan priest. I guess in the upcoming days or weeks, we will learn the answer. An 865-year old prophecy will shortly come true—or prove to be a fraud. Up to this point, it has been deadly accurate. What are the odds, at this late date, that the balance of it proves to be wrong?
While you are mulling over the pros and cons of that question, here are a few other medieval prophecies dealing with our current age that might add some additional weight to the heaviness of the Malachy Prophecy—or give the skeptic cause to scoff.
One of the most striking prophesies, reminiscent of the recent tsunami and the earthquakes now following the Pacific "ring of fire" as hundreds of submerged volcanos becomes active, was made by St. Hildegard shortly before his death in the 12th Century, was this one: "The time is coming when princes and peoples will reject the authority of the Pope. Some countries will prefer their own Church rulers to the Pope. The German Empire will be divided. Before the comet comes, many nations, the good excepted, will be scourged by want and famine. The Great Nation in the ocean that is inhabited by people of different tribes and descent will be devastated by earthquake, storm, and tidal wave. It will be divided and, in great part, submerged. That nation will have many misfortunes at sea and lose it colonies. After the great comet, the Great Nation will be devastated by earthquakes, storms and great waves of water, causing much want and plagues. The ocean will also flood many other countries so that all coastal cities will live in fear, with many destroyed. All sea coast cities will be fearful, and many of them will be destroyed by tidal waves, and most living creatures will be killed, and even those who escape will die from a horrible disease. For in one of those cities does a person live according to the Laws of God. A powerful wind will rise in the North, carrying heavy fog and the densest dust, and it will fill their throats and eyes so that they will cease in their butchery and be stricken with great fear."
John of Vitiguerro, in the 13th century prophesied that "...The pope will change his residence and the Church will not be defended for 25 months because during all that time there will be no Pope in Rome. After many tribulations, a Pope shall be elected out of those who survived the persecutions." A 14th century bishop, John of the Cleft Rock prophesied that "...Towards the end of the world, tyrants and hostile mobs will rob the Church and the clergy of all their possessions and will afflict and martyr them. Those who heap the most abuse upon them will be held in high esteem. At that time, the Pope and his cardinals will have to flee Rome in tragic circumstances to a place where they will be unknown. The Pope will die a cruel death in his exile. The sufferings of the Church will be much greater than at any previous time in her history. But God will raise a holy Pope, and the Angels will rejoice."
Before he died in 1878, Pope Pius IX uttered these words: "There will come a great wonder, which will fill the world with astonishment. This wonder will be preceded by the triumph of revolution. The Church will suffer exceedingly. Her servants and chieftains will be mocked, scourged, and martyred." Prior to his prophecy, the Ecstatic of Tours uttered these prophetic words: "Before the war breaks out, food will become scarce and expensive. There will be little work for the workers, and fathers will hear their children crying for food. There will be earthquakes and signs in the sun. Toward the end, darkness will cover the Earth. When everyone believes that peace is ensured, when everyone least expects it, the Great Happening will begin."
Hmm...if I didn't know better, I might think that Matthew 24:5-30 was about to happen. Are you ready? If the Malachy Prophecy is true, we'd better all be.
Note: The Eclipse did occur south of the equator on Friday
8th of April, 2005]
© 2005 Jon C. Ryter - All Rights Reserved
Order Jon Ryter's book "Whatever Happened to America?"
Jon Christian Ryter is the pseudonym of a former newspaper reporter with the Parkersburg, WV Sentinel. He authored a syndicated newspaper column, Answers From The Bible, from the mid-1970s until 1985. Answers From The Bible was read weekly in many suburban markets in the United States.
Today, Jon is an advertising executive with the Washington Times. His website, www.jonchristianryter.com has helped him establish a network of mid-to senior-level Washington insiders who now provide him with a steady stream of material for use both in his books and in the investigative reports that are found on his website.
Before he died in 1878, Pope Pius IX uttered these words: "There will come a great wonder, which will fill the world with astonishment. This wonder will be preceded by the triumph of revolution. The Church will suffer exceedingly. Her servants and chieftains will be mocked, scourged, and martyred."