St. Malachy: Only one more pope left

It’s interesting that the current events seem to confirm this prophecy. The way things are going I’d say we have time for exactly 1 more pope and after that the long awaited era of peace prophesied in Fatima and Revelation 20:3.

My friend, be very careful about this.

"It has been noticed concerning Petrus Romanus, who according to St. Malachy’s list is to be the last pope, that the prophecy does not say that no popes will intervene between him and his predecessor designated Gloria olivæ. It merely says that he is to be the last, so that we may suppose as many popes as we please before “Peter the Roman”.

We simply don’t know. I’m NOT saying that we’re not in end times (even though I personally doubt it, Benedict himself said recently we’re probably not in end times) but I am hesitant to believe in prophecy.

It’s one of those Nostramdus like myths where people can read into it whatever they want to be there.


I’m wondering where you are finding the data that supports your assertion here. The text in this Catholic Encyclopedia also is specious about St. Malachy’s prediction, noting that we as Catholics can assume that there may be many more popes before this “Peter the Roman” pontiff assumes the Chair.

That said, predictions such as these are typically without any fruit. Remember, Christ said that no one will know the time or place of the General Judgment. I would think that St. Malachy and others are no exception.

From what I’ve read, it sounds like these prophecies probably aren’t the work of St. Malachy anyway; they only appeared a few hundred years after he lived.

Dunno know what this has to do with Sacred Scripture, but anyway, here is the way *Catholic Answers *has answered this:

**Q: Someone in my parish told me about the prophesies of St. Malachy, which he claims, prove that we are nearing the end of times. What are these prophesies? **

A: St. Malachy was an Irish bishop who lived in the twelfth century. By far the more famous of his prophecies concerns the sequence of popes.

The prophecy consist of 112 short Latin descriptions of future popes; the prophecies were discovered in 1590 and attributed to Malachy. Each description indicates one identifying trait for each future pope, beginning with Celestine II, who was elected in 1130. In some instances, the descriptions hit home in an uncanny way; they have led to centuries of speculation that the prophecy might be a real one.

For instance, the description of the future John XXII (1316-1334) is “de sutore osseo”–“from the bony shoemaker.” This pope was the son of a shoemaker, and his family name was “Ossa,” which means bone. In another example, “lilium et rosa” was the phrase used to describe the pope who would be Urban VIII (1623-1644), whose family coat-of-arms was covered with “lilies and roses.”

Malachy’s prophecy has been cast into doubt by the fact that the descriptions become vague from the sixteenth century on–about the time the prophecy was “discovered” in the Roman Archives. But there have been a few good matches in modern times. The phrase “pastor et nauta,” meaning “shepherd and sailor,” was attributed to John XXIII. This pope hailed from Venice, historically a city of sailors, and on the day he took office he indicated the goal of his pontificate was to be “a good shepherd.”

There have been many more misses, though. Describing the popes to follow John XXIII are the phrases “flower of flowers” (Paul VI), “from a half-moon” (John Paul I), and “from the toil of the sun” (John Paul II), none of which is an obvious connection. After our current pope there are only two left in Malachy’s prophecy, “the glory of the olive” and “Peter the Roman.” The latter will supposedly lead the Church through many tribulations, concluding with the last judgment.

Is “Malachy’s” prophecy legitimate? Probably not. The consensus among modern scholars is that it is a sixteenth-century forgery created for partisan political reasons.

Deal Hudson, the former publisher of “Crisis” magazine, titled the April 28 edition of his e-letter “St. Malachy Predicts the Election of Benedict XVI.” Did he really?

Malachy’s prophecy purportedly lists all of the popes from his time until the end of the world. Each pope is listed not by name but by a few Latin words that indicate a personal attribute, a symbol of his place of origin or of his family, or some other detail from his life. According to the list, Benedict XVI is the penultimate pope–or maybe not.

The confusion arises from the way the last pope on the list is described: “In the final persecution of the Holy Roman Church there will reign Peter the Roman, who will feed his flock amid many tribulations, after which the seven-hilled city will be destroyed and the dreadful Judge will judge the people. The end.”

What is unclear is whether Peter the Roman is supposed to reign immediately after the next-to-last-listed pope or at some indeterminate later time, with any number of popes serving between our present Pontiff and Peter the Roman.

But set all that aside. Consider the prophecy as a whole. Although Malachy lived in the twelfth century, the prophecy attributed to him was unknown until the sixteenth century, when it was “discovered” in a Vatican archive, where it supposedly had lain forgotten for four centuries. One problem is that none of Malachy’s biographers make any reference at all to the prophecy. In fact, there is no mention of it by anyone prior to its “discovery.”

A bigger problem is the aptness of the papal descriptions. Those popes who reigned between Malachy’s time and 1590 are described with great accuracy. After 1590, the descriptions become obscure. In many cases devotees of the prophecy have been unable to explain how a particular description could refer to the pope to which it corresponds. Many post-1590 descriptions simply make no sense.

Continued below…

Catholic scholars, following the lead of a Jesuit researcher of the seventeenth century, say that the prophecy of St. Malachy did not originate with the saint at all but is a forgery worked up to influence the conclave that elected Gregory XIV. It would have been easy for a forger to make up descriptions of popes who lived before his time, but he would have had to rely on creative obscurity to describe popes of succeeding centuries.

Some modern-day Catholics put great stock in the prophecy regardless, based on what they see as eerily accurate descriptions of the last few popes. Here is how Hudson put it:

“The prophecy for Paul VI ‘Flos Florum’ (‘flower of flowers’) and his coat of arms contained three fleurs-de-lis (Isis blooms). The description of John Paul I was ‘De Medietate Lunae’ (‘the half moon’). He was baptized Albino Luciani (‘white light’), was born in the diocese of Belluno (‘beautiful moon’), became pope when there was a half moon (Aug. 26, 1978), and died after an eclipse of the moon. John Paul II was prophesied under the title 'De Labore Solis” (‘from the labor of the sun’), and indeed he was born during an eclipse of the sun on May 18, 1920."

There is less here than meets the eye. When we say that someone was born during an eclipse of the sun, what do we mean? I think everyone would say that if you were present at the birth, you could have stepped outside and noticed the eclipse. The eclipse would have been visible from the place where the birth occurred.

But this is not what happened at the birth of Karol Wojtyla. Yes, there was an eclipse of the sun on May 18, 1920, but it was visible only from a small portion of the southern hemisphere. No one in Poland could have witnessed it. See:

Astronomically, a bit more can be said about John Paul I, who “became pope when there was a half moon.” Indeed there was a “half moon,” but not on the date of his election. He was elected on August 26, and the “half moon” occurred on August 25. See:

Maybe what was meant was that the conclave occurred during a “half moon.” Okay, let’s grant that, but then let’s also grant that this would not have been a distinctive event. Although I have not bothered to look up each one, it must be the case that many conclaves have witnessed a “half moon,” what astronomers actually call a “quarter moon.” (The moon’s phases are called “new moon,” “first quarter,” “full moon,” and “last quarter.”)

Each month there are two “half moons”: the first and last quarters. You can do the arithmetic yourself, but it turns out that an average-length conclave has about a one-in-three chance of seeing a “half moon.”

Another thing about John Paul I. Hudson said he “died after an eclipse of the moon.” This pope died on September 28, 1978. An eclipse of the moon occurred twelve days earlier. Lunar eclipses are not rare: They usually occur between two and four times a year. See:

One always can say that a pope died “after an eclipse of the moon.” Everyone who ever has died has died “after an eclipse of the moon”–sometimes as long as half a year after, but after nevertheless. When we use “after an eclipse of the moon” as a clue to the identity of someone, surely we mean “immediately after.” That was not the case with John Paul I.

Now let’s turn to the current pope. The description that corresponds to Benedict XVI is “Gloria Olivae,” “the glory of the olive.”

“Guess what?” asked Hudson. “The Order of St. Benedict had a branch called the Olivetans,” and the name chosen by our current pontiff is, of course, Benedict.

What does this prove? Not much, I’d day. First of all, the descriptions in St. Malachy’s prophecy are supposed to concern pre-election facts about the popes. In theory, one could determine the identify of the next pope by considering the description that corresponds to him.

But this would have been impossible with respect to our newest pope. Joseph Ratzinger never was a Benedictine and never was connected with the Olivetan Benedictines. “The glory of the olive” would not have led anyone to suspect that it described him (unless, perhaps, the cardinal was fond of martinis, but I have seen no evidence of that).

Hudson says that “the uncanny accuracy of St. Malachy’s last four predictions has fueled another round of apocalyptic curiosity.” I would not dispute the fact that there has been plenty of curiosity, but I would deny that there is “uncanny accuracy” in the descriptions of the last four popes.

As I noted, the one that corresponds to John Paul II (“of the labor of the sun”) is interpreted to mean that he was elected under an eclipse–which he was not. And the one that corresponds to Benedict XVI suggests his pre-existing connection with the Benedictine order, and he had no such connection.

(In fact, until the last conclave, believers in the prophecy said that the pope described as “the glory of the olive” would be a Benedictine monk. That’s how sure–and how wrong–they were.)

What should we make of the prophecy of St. Malachy? I think we should come to the same conclusion reached by that seventeenth-century Jesuit scholar and by scholars since: The prophecy is not from St. Malachy and does not give us real information about the popes of the last four centuries and certainly not about the popes of our own time or of the future.

I’d not neceassarily believe this prophecy if it wasn’t for the current events. I don’t see how the current system can go on for more then 10-15 years and this is precisely why I think this prophecy is genuine. We will see in the next 10-15 years what happens.

I’m just curious, why not? It has gone on for over nearly 2,000 years, through persecutions far worse than anything we have now.

Even better than St. Malachy …
St Paul’s Outside the Walls in Rome has a medallion portrait of every pope around the top of the walls of the nave. There is room for only one more! Surely an infallible sign of the end times!

I don’t think there was ever anything close to what we have now and especially what’s coming in this decade except maybe for the Red terror in the communist Soviet Union.

Abortion for one thing is totally unique to our times and that is not going to stop unless God puts an end to it. And abortion is only one of many evils.

I will be very surprised if nothing monumental happens in the next 10-15 years. And by that I mean complete elimination of evil from the whole earth. In other words chastisement.

Well, the Red Sox did win the World Series—twice…you might be on to something.

All we can do is what we’ve been doing-pray, live the good life, and hope that our brothers and sisters walk with us on the right path.

thanks, I didn’t even know about this one. This confims it even more.

“I was in this church (St Paul Outside the Walls) in 2006 and one Italian man (spoke English) told us that above all the columns are round sketches of all the Popes (from Peter to Pope Benedict). They have a light on the current Pope and there is only room for one more Pope! Interesting when according to a prophecy made in the 12th century, there would be only 112 popes left. Pope Benedict is number 111. I just wanted to share this with you. John”

Look up Diocletian and Nero. As for the portraits in the wall, architecture can hardly be called infallible. That’s like saying that God is infallibly an old man with a big white beard because it’s in the Sistine Chapel. Besides, different sources cite different numbers of portraits.

Nope, it’s just an infallible sign that the church is not big enough to hold more than 270 or so medallion portraits! :stuck_out_tongue:
And, there’s actually eight more spaces left - not one. They’re confusing pseudo-Malachy here with the portraits. So, we’re still a bit far from the end of the age. Yet.

But to be serious. Are we limiting the number of popes now because of a group of portraits and a list of maxims that is possibly composed by someone other than good ol’ St. Malachy? Sure, Maranâ’ thâ’ and all that, but if we take one literally, we’ll have only one more pope left, and if we believe the other, we’ll have eight more pontiffs. :shrug:

There is one more pope on St. Malachy’s list, but this does not imply that there is only one more pope before Christ’s Return. The next pope on the list, Peter the Roman, is merely the last on the list, not the last pope ever.

LOL. Exactly.

I remember reading somewhere that there were more martyrs in the 20th century then in all 19 centuries put together. And that doesn’t even include millions of abortions. Diocletian and Nero were evil, yes, but from what I have read there were only thousands of people killed compare to millions in 20th century alone. Like I said we are just going to have to wait and see what will happen, but from what I’m observing, 21st century is well on the way to even surpass 20th century.

yes the next pope Peter the Roman, is merely the last pope of this evil era. There will be popes in the new era of peace promised in Fatima and Revelation 20.

BTW, I don’t buy the timeline you propose on your Web site at all, I don’t know where in the world are you coming up with all that wild stuff.

The evil side is getting ready to have their counterfeit new age “era of peace” without God or “Age of Aquarius” as they call it soon, like in the next decade or so. I don’t think it’s going to happen but I’d say this is the most likely timeline.

I choose not to go beyond the words of our Lord Himself in Matthew 24:36 and Mark 13:32. For all who have ever lived, the end times have already come, when they drew their last breath. It is that end time for which we should “stay awake”. If we expect the end to come each day, we shall not be surprised if and when it does.

I think that the tribulation lasts many years, and so there are a number of Popes, not just Peter the Roman, who successively reign during the tribulation.

Also, I think that the tribulation is divided into two parts, with a brief time of peace after the first part, and a long time of peace after the second part.

My timeline is speculative eschatology; the basis for it is complex.

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