Friday, July 31, 2009

The Prophecy of Saint Malachy

I don't really know why, but for some reason Saint Malachy's prophecy of the last 112 popes popped into my head yesterday. Saint Malachy, a 12th century Irish Saint, wrote 112 short Latin phrases that purport to describe each of the last 112 popes (or their coat of arms). Although they've been around for centuries, they reemerged and gained popularity after the death of Pope John Paul II, because the next Pope (Pope Benedict XVI) would be the second to the last Pope according to the prophecy. The final Pope, PETRUS ROMANUS (Peter the Roman) would come after the death of Pope Benedict XVI, and Peter the Roman would reign during the destruction of the Catholic Church and/or the city of Rome. So anyways, what I thought about doing yesterday was looking for a Cardinal named Peter. I figured if Malachy's prophecy really is accurate (and some claim it is completely accurate, yet the problem I have with them is that they are very vague), then maybe there is a Cardinal named Peter currently living. Well I found a list of cardinals and I think there were five named Peter, but I don't recall any of them being Roman (that is, other than the fact that they are Roman Catholic) or Italian. But apparently I wasn't the first person to get the idea to try and determine who the next Pope may be based on the prophecy of St. Malachy. Others have already looked into the topic and it seems one of the most likely candidates is a priest named Pietro Parolin (Pietro is Italian for Peter). Parolin is currently the Holy See's Undersecretary of State for Relations with States, a high ranking position in the Vatican's diplomatic service. Now some people think that Peter the Roman won't actually be elected as Pope, as the prophecy merely states that he will be on the throne at the time. Malachy gives a lot more detail on Peter the Roman that he does the other popes, leading some to think that he may not actually be a pope, just the guy in charge. When a Pope dies, someone else temporarily handle's the affairs of the state while the Cardinal's are electing a new Pope. So it may be that he isn't an actual Pope, but a regent ruling after the death of the Pope. Or maybe he is elected Pope. That's part of the problem with Malachy's prophecy, it's very vague. Parolin isn't a cardinal, but technically the Pope doesn't have to be a Cardinal; it's just the cardinals typically elect a cardinal.

As for Parolin's background, he does appear to be a fitting candidate. He is not only a high ranking official in the Holy See, but he is also from northern Italy. The area of Italy he is from was part of the Holy Roman Empire during the 12th century when the prophecy was written, so he could be classified as a "Roman" (although we now view the Holy Roman Empire historically as a separate empire from the classical Roman Empire, at the time it was viewed as a continuation of the classical Roman Empire).

So anyways, Peter the Roman is allegedly who will be in charge when Rome is destroyed. Here is the translated prophecy regarding him:

"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."

What I find most interesting about all this is the timing. This is yet another example of a prophecy that seems to indicate an end of something sometime around the year 2012. Whether this prophecy just indicates the end of Catholic Church, Rome, the world, or any combination of those I don't know. I also find it interesting though because the Bible indicates in Revelation 18 that the city of Rome will be destroyed sometime in the future. Is this a reference to the same event mentioned in the Bible? And why does it seem to indicate an end sometime around the year 2012? I'm still on the fence regarding what the year 2012 will bring, whether it be a great awakening, a major disaster (possibly caused by the Sun), the end of the world, or just business as usual. I don't think anyone can really predict the end of the world, so I don't think that is what it is. But that doesn't mean there couldn't be some other type of major event. I'm also reluctant to take the 2012 apocalypse too seriously just because of how many people have been wrong about when the world was going to end in the past. Some say 2012 is just a spiritual Y2K (meaning theres a big buildup to it, but then nothing happens). But this isn't like Y2K. Y2K only became a notorious apocalyptic scenario in the years prior to the year 2000. The 2012 prophecies are unique in that many people from different parts of the world with different religious beliefs have predicted an end of something around the year 2012 for thousands of years of now. So what really is the big deal about 2012? And what will Peter the Roman have to do with it?
Update 02/12/2013

2012 has come and gone, but the news has reported that Pope Benedict XVI will be resigning his position, and people are already speculating about who the new Pope could be.  Interestingly enough, one of the potential candidates is named Peter!

Update 2:

 A new Pope has been elected and he took the name of Francis.  His given name is not Peter or a variation thereof either.  So it looks like Malachy's prophecy is a bust (no surprises there though).

1 comment:

  1. Cool blog. If you would be interested in reading a fictional account of what happens when the prophecy comes true read my new book "The Malachy Prophecy" on Amazon in paperback or kindle edition. Just because the new Pope is not the anti-christ doesn't mean he might not signal the end of the church. What might his agenda be? Can he be stopped. Can my two unlikely heroes find out the truth in time to stop him?
    William R. Johnson