The Last Popes
© 2005 Joseph George Caldwell. All rights reserved. Posted at Internet web sites http://www.foundation.bw and http://www.foundationwebsite.org . May be copied or reposted for non-commercial use, with attribution. (21 April 2005)
This past week has seen the selection of a new Pope, Joseph
Here follow four passages on St. Malachy’s prophecies.
From The Millennium Book of Prophecy by John Hogue (Harper Collins, 1994):
The Last Popes
St. Malachy left
After John Paul II, Malachy's list is reduced to two. Given
the average reign of Holy Fathers – less than ten years – this could bring us
the coronation of the last pontiff around 2000. After John Paul II comes Gloria Olivae – "glory of the
olive." Another prophet-monk from
During the last persecution of the Holy Roman Church, there shall sit Petrus Romanus [Peter of Rome], who shall feed the sheep amid great tribulations, and when these have passed, the City of the Seven Hills shall be utterly destroyed, and the awful Judge will judge the people.
Hogue also presents the following biographical notes for St. Malachy and the Monk of Padua:
(1094-1148), also known as Mael Maedoc Ua Morgair. Born in
Most of our information concerning this Irish abbot comes
from his biographer and close friend, St. Bernard of Clairvaux. In 1139, Malachy set forth from
Malachy stayed in
He fell ill while on his second pilgrimage to
The Monk of Padua, an eighteenth-century monk whose prophecies parallel those of St. Malachy; however, they only concern themselves with the last twenty popes before Judgment Day. Accounts of this monk’s predictions surfaced in print around 1740. They correctly named a few twentieth-century popes and described their reigns in much more detail than did St. Malachy.
[End of Hogue quote.]
The following selection is from the book, Millennium Prophecies by A. T. Mann (Element Books, 1992):
The Papal Prophecies of Malachy
Malachy O'Morgair was born in the eleventh century. He was considered to be a holy man, having performed miracles, including healing the sick, levitating and making prophecies. When he died in 1184, while on a visit to St. Bernard of Clairvaux, he left among his effects a series of short, enigmatic statements regarding the identity of the sequence of popes from his time until the end of the twentieth century. He was subsequently canonized as St. Malachy.
The peculiar prophecies left by Malachy are mysterious and wonderfully apt descriptions of the popes. For example, Pope Alexander IV had been Cardinal of Ostia, and he was named 'Signum Ostiensis'. The description of the nineteenth century Pope Leo XIII was 'Lumen in Caelo' (Light in Heaven), extremely appropriate for a man whose family crest was a comet. Pope John XXIII, who had originally been Patriarch of Venice, was called 'Pastor et Nauta' (Pastor of the Sea). Pope Paul VI, whose coat of arms carried the fleur-de-lys, was called ‘Flos Florum' (Flower of Flowers). John Paul I, whose reign only lasted thirty-three days, was ‘De Medietate Lunae' (of the Half Moon), and he met his death in the middle of the lunar month, one month after taking office.
Some of the others include:
Alexander VII (1655-67) ‘Montium Custos' (Guardian of the Hills)
Clement XIII (1758-69) 'Rosa Umbriae' (Rose of
Clement XIV (1769-75) 'Ursus Velox' (Swift Bear)
Pius VI (1775-99) 'Peregrinus Apostolicus' (Apostolic wanderer)
Gregory XVI (1831-46) 'De Balneis Etruriae' (From the Baths of
The present Pope John Paul II is ‘De Labore Solis' (Labour of the Sun) and, due to the waning popularity of Roman Catholicism, this could also be translated as `from the Lonely Labour.' Malachy lists two more popes to follow the present John Paul II, 'Gloriae Olivae’; and, lastly, ‘Petrus Romanus', or `Peter of Rome'. At that point, the Last Judgment will happen. Using Malachy's timing, it has always been assumed that the end of the papacy will occur around the Millennium year 2000, a date which agrees with Nostradamus. [End of Mann quote.]
From the book, Prophecies for the New Millennium by James Manning (Harper Collins, 1997):
Judgment Day: St. Malachy and the Last Pope
Maul Maedoc Ua Morgain, known as St Malachy, was born in
In 1139, he traveled to
Malachy associated the penultimate pope with the slogan "Gloria Olivae," meaning "The Glory of the Olive." This could mean that he will be a peacemaker and draw all the different strands of Christianity together. Alternatively, the Benedictines are known as the Olivetans, which could suggest that the next pope will come from that order. St. Benedict, their founder, once predicted that a Benedictine would become Pope before the end of the world, and that he would lead the forces of Catholicism to a great victory over the forces of evil.
Malachy’s last pope will be “Petrus Romanus,” “Peter of Rome,” thus demonstrating that the first shall be last and the last first. John Paul II is neither a young nor a healthy man, and if his successor should suddenly die, will Peter of Rome be sitting on the papal throne in time for the Armageddon year A.D. 2000? [End of Manning quote.]
The following paragraphs are from the book, Predictions for a New Millennium, by Noel Tyl (Llewellyn Publications, 1996).
A Prophetic Voice from the Past
On the periphery of this enormous struggle between tradition
and change and the lone position of John Paul II, working for global politics
at the expense of extraordinary problems within the Catholic infrastructure,
caught between tradition and modernization, appearing ineffective to the
consensus of critics, there is another voice from the distant past still heard
in the Vatican's present, for its future: the voice of St. Malachy (Mael Maedoc
Ua Morgair) who lived 1095-1148 in Armagh, Ireland. While this string of events told here is
discounted by parts of the Church, it must be included in the same spirit
perhaps as the emphatic
Malachy O'More was the son of a school teacher. He was ordained a priest when he was
twenty-five and faced turbulent challenges in his rise to status as powerful
bishop and then as papal legate to
During a trip from
Important for our analysis of the
For example, for the modern period, Malachy predicted – in succession – Pastor et Nauta for the papal time filled by Pope John XXIII (1958-1963, 810 years into the future) as "shepherd and navigator" of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council. Then Flos Florum, referring to John's successor, Paul VI (1963-1978), whose coat of arms was indeed flos florum, the fleur-de-lys.
Only four more Popes were noted to complete Malachy's list,
and his keys for the two popes who have followed Pope Paul VI are not (yet?)
immediately clear: De Medietate Lunae,
"From the Half Moon," surely referring to the
De Labore Solis,
"From the toil of the sun," Malachy's reference to the next pope,
must then relate to Pope John Paul II, but it too is not a clear reference. Malachy suggested that this pope would take
the name Gregory XVII! This may refer to
the succession of Gregorys, i.e.,
honoring their work: Gregory XIII (1502-1585), for example, promoted the
counter-reformation through his pledge to execute the decrees of the Council of
Trent which refined Church doctrine. Gregory
XVI (1765-1846) strengthened the papacy by aligning it with
Fascinatingly, in John Paul's latest Encyclical (see above), May 30, 1995 – surely his last major philosophical pronouncement to guide the Church – he says, "In the beautiful expression of Pope Saint Gregory the Great [540-604, reorganizing vast spread-out papal states], my ministry is that of servus sevorum Dei (servant of the servants of God). This designation is the best possible safeguard against the risk of separating power from ministry."
Pope John Paul II has been the most visibly hard-working pope of recent times, toiling in the public light, making over forty trips to more than fifty countries of the world, the first pope to publish a book, promoting the Ecumenical decrees of Vatican II. John Paul II's reign occurs at a time of waning popularity for Roman Catholicism, and Malachy's symbolic Latin label could be also be translated "from the Lonely Labour." (Footnote: Mann, 80 [A. T. Mann, Millennium Prophecies, Element Books, 1992])
According to Malachy, there are two more popes to come: Gloria Olivae, "Glory of the
Olive," will take the name Leo XIV (or follow in the tradition of Leos,
i.e., Leo XIII (1810-1903) reconciled Roman
Catholicism with science and liberalism and applied Christian principles to the
religious and social questions of his time, most sensitively to the
working-class movement. This next pope
is to unite humanity under Christianity in one last brilliant explosion,
clearly a reference to world community. The
olive reference could mean peace or – if not a selection from the Third World –
a specific region of
Then, Petrus Romanus,
"Peter of Rome," is to preside over the destruction of
After hundreds of years of accuracy, Malachy's prophecy for the present day papacy seems to break down in clarity, or we can not yet understand it. One theory is that these prophecies were forgeries of the conclave of 1590 to support the aspirations of one of the papal candidates, i.e., a list of arcane symbolisms with great retrospective accuracy created to project the immediate future as well and favor a particular candidate.
Another theory is that the list is a compilation of idle occult musings conjured up over the years in the papal archives by caretaking monks. Catholic academia considers the prophecies spurious. [End of Tyl quote.]
Whether Malachy’s characterization of Pope Benedict XVI is “on the mark” remains to be seen.
The new pope, Pope Benedict XVI, is 78 years old, and not in good health. In 1991 he suffered a hemorrhagic stroke. He himself predicted a short reign in comments to cardinals just after his election. He is the oldest pope elected in 275 years, since Clement XII in 1730. It seems likely that he will not serve long. If, as Malachy suggests, Benedict will work for peace, he does not have much time to make his mark. In view of the high level of world attention to the Israel/Palestine dispute, it seems reasonable that he may spend time on this problem. In his book, Nostradamus: Predictions of World War III (Inner Light – Global Communications, 1996), author Jack Manuelian paraphrases Nostradamus: “In a short time the physician of great evil and the leech of unequal order (an evil person working behind the scenes) will put the Olive Branch (the pope after John Paul) on fire. The post of the pope will be moved from one coast to another, and by so great fire their empire will be accosted that the heat will evaporate the saliva in the mouth.” (Secondary quote from material posted at “The Mind of James Donahue, Fall of Catholicism, Prophecy of the Last Two Popes,” at http://perdurabo10.tripod.com/id1225.html ).
In any event, a person aged 78 who is not in good health
does not have a long life expectancy. In
Benedict, the College of Cardinals has elected a “transitionary” pope. In view of his short life expectancy,
Malachy’s prophecy would indicate that we will soon see the last pope on the
throne of St. Peter. Pope Benedict is
the 265th pope over a two-thousand-year timespan, so that the
average reign of a pope is about seven and one-half years. Seven years from now is 2012. So
Now, what do I make of all of this? Well, as you know, although my professional background is in physical science (PhD in mathematical statistics), I have an interest in spiritual science, and I take note of the parallels and complementarities between them. According to the theories of M. King Hubbert (Hubbert’s Curve, Hubbert’s Peak), global oil production will peak this decade (2001-2010), and global oil reserves will be exhausted by 2050. As soon as global oil production peaks, global human population will begin to decline, and global war will ensue. Many geologists agree that global oil production is peaking or about to peak, say within two years. So, it is my view, based on scientific theory, that the industrial world as we know it will soon be ending. That has nothing at all to do with prophecy – Biblical prophecy, or St. Malachy, or Nostradamus, or the Mayans, or anyone else. The industrial world will soon collapse because we are running out of oil, and there is nothing comparable to replace it. (A more important reason is that we (i.e., large human numbers and industrial activity) are destroying the biosphere at a horrific rate (with an estimated 30,000 species being made extinct each year). Whereas people are in total denial over this cause of “the end of the world,” they cannot deny that global oil is running out.)
What is interesting is that St. Malachy, the Mayan Calendar, and Hubbert’s Peak all predict the same thing, at the same time. In this matter, there is strong accord between physical science and spiritual science. From both points of view, the world as we know it is about to end. We are at the end of an age.
(Note: I agree with Sir Isaac Newton (Observations upon the Prophecies of Daniel, and the Apocalypse of