Thursday, 25 August 2011
St Malachy's Prophecy of the Glory of the Olives
According to the "prophecy of the popes" attributed to St. Malachy, the current pontiff, Pope Benedict XVI, is the second to last pope before the end of the world. Although the prophetic list of popes is attibuted to the 12th century Irish saint Maelmhaedhoc Ó Morgair (Malachy), it is much more likely that they are a pseudonymous work dating from the late 16th century. Despite the nature of its origin however, the list of popes has still proved to have been strikingly accurate in a large number of cases since it's initial publication in 1595 - particularly throughout the course of the 20th century (see here for the list of popes). The motto Pope John Paul II, for example is De labore solis - "From the labour of the Sun". This was particularly apt for this beloved pope, as John Paul II was both born and buried under a partial solar eclipse. This motto also recalls the passage in Rev 12 concerning the Woman adorned with the Sun:
And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth. (Rev 12:1-2)
The Latin phrase De labore solis is a common idiom for a solar eclipse, but it also echoes the above passage in the Apocalypse, where the Woman is in the pains of childbirth. Did this motto predict that the prophecy of the Woman adorned with the Sun and the "war in heaven" would take place during the pontificate of this pope?
The motto in St. Malachy's Prophecy of the Popes relating to Benedict XVI is Gloria olivae - "glory of the olives". Many feel that this prophecy was fulfilled in the pope's choice of regnal title Benedict, as St. Benedict is associated with a branch of Benedictines called the Olivetans. However the mottoes in the Prophecy of the Popes become increasingly eschatological in character towards the end of the list, and it may be that we should look for a fulfillment of this prophecy in the Apocalypse. The title Gloria olivae recalls the passage in Rev 11 associated with the Two Witnesses:
These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth.
If the prophecy of the Two Witnesses in the Book of Revelation is associated with the martyr-pope or angelic pope of Catholic prophecy, then this motto found in the Prophecy of the Popes could provide a bridging connection which identifies Benedict XVI as the martyr-pope of the Third Secret who helps to establish the Second Pentecost.
Following the announcement of Pope Benedict XVI's resignation on 11th Feb, 2013, it appears that this event could be related to the Worthy Shepherd Prophecy - which predicts that the Angelic Pope would ascend the papacy by "about twelve years shall the millennium have passed". If the Worthy Shepherd Prophecy is legitimate, then the motto associated with Benedict XVI - "glory of the olives" could perhaps point to something that would emerge during the lifetime of this particular pope. The choice of motto often points to events which occur in the relevant pontiff's reign. For example, the motto given to Benedict XV (r.1914-1922) was religio depopulata (religion depopulated). This was particularly apt, since this Pope took office at the beginning of World War I, and would see the rise of the militantly atheistic Soviet Union.
The motto "glory of the olives" could perhaps mean that Pope Benedict XVI would live to see the "glory of the olives" or one of the Two Witnesses of Rev 11 be elected as pope, and that this would be the Worthy Shepherd/Angelic Pope prophesied by Bl. Tomasuccio de Foligno. If so, then it would seem that the next pope could be identified as the martyr-pope of Catholic prophecy.
See also the related posts:
The Two Witnesses
The Great Monarch
The Angelic Pope