Hypothetical account of a vision St. Malachy of Ireland had in 1139 AD while in Rome visiting Pope Innocent II, who received the only manuscript of the prophetic Latin lines (as a reassurance as to the future longevity of the papacy) and who locked it away in the secret Vatican chambers of Forbidden Knowledge until it was either unearthed or completely fabricated (that supposed based on the lack of mention of the episode anywhere prior to the text's rediscovery even by St. Barnard, St. Malachy's biographer) in 1590.

With a grain of salt, I here present the prophetic mottoes describing the reigns of Popes-to-come from 1139 AD on in order, in the original Latin, accompanied by a decent (but still abstracted) English translation, and finally naming the Pope or Antipope to whom the prophetic motto is supposed to apply. I withhold the specific dates of the reigns of the Popes, which I find irrelevant to their order on the list, and urge that interpretations of the applicability of individual mottoes be made in nodes named after the prophetic line rather than as appendages to this node. That said, here's the list:

It should be also noted that though the final prophecy here, number 112, seems to quite plainly foretell the end of the world, nowhere is it asserted that Pope 112 will immediately follow #111 - this would be inconsistant, yes, but no moreso than the extreme verbosity of the last prophecy relative to all the previous ones. Update! For further speculation regarding the appropriateness of the new Pope to his prophecied blurb, read up at http://isomeme.livejournal.com/212563.html
I don't believe in prophecy,1 but I am fascinated by it.

So with the recent death of John Paul II, I can't help but repeat what others have pointed out to me--that Karol Wojtyla was born on May 18, 1920, a day on which there was a solar eclipse. Today, April 8, 2005, his funeral and burial is taking place on a day witnessing a solar eclipse--his life bookended, not unlike Mark Twain and Halley's Comet.

Now, Malachy's prophecy, if interpreted the way most people seem to interpret, names John Paul II as De labore solis: "from the sun's labor." Some have read that in light of the pope's unprescedented world-travelling, while others read it as metaphorical, in line with his coming and going at the time of an eclipse--wherein the moon seems to give birth to the sun.

Now who is to follow? De gloria olivæ--whether that means he is from a Mediterranean country, or is a peacemaker, I don't know. Some have claimed the next pope will be a Jew--not necessarily impossible, as Jean-Marie (born Aaron) Lustiger, cardinal of Paris, was born a Jew but converted to Catholicism after WWII, impressed with the religion of the family that hid him from the Nazis.

Again, do I believe this? No--the work is a sixteenth-century forgery. But I do find it interesting.

1. Having said that, I don't believe everything is chaos, either--I believe in cause-and-effect, in patterns. But patterns aren't set in stone, and prophecies are often incredibly vauge, such as the above with Malachy, leaving one able to interpret any way he wants, fitting in details where it is convenient.

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