Spirit Daily


Ratzinger Appears to Fulfill Malachy Prophecy

The moment was one only the Church could pull off: a massive crowd, the ultimate in suspense, fantastic pageantry to match the glory of God.

In fact, even a Fox News commentator commented that on a cloudy day, the sun uncannily erupted at the time of announcement and Rome embraced spring.

It was Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, dean of the College of Cardinals, close confidant of John Paul II, celebrant of the last pope's funeral, and keeper of the flame who became the 265th pontiff.

He is a man who will maintain an accent on orthodoxy as well as on the Blessed Mother -- whom he mentioned right away in his first moments as pontiff.

Pope Benedict XVI is an elderly but strong pope who will bring both immense intellect and force with an unwavering way of presenting the Catholicism of John Paul II.

The name Benedict seemed a strong signal on many levels. It was St. Benedict who was noted for his strong power against the devil -- this important at a time of heightened spiritual warfare -- and the order Benedict founded, the Benedictines, is also known as the "Olivetans." St. Benedict prophesied that the last pope would be from that order.

And it was allegedly St. Malachy of Ireland who prophesied that the Pope after John Paul II  ("Labor of the sun") would be "Glory of the Olives."

St. Malachy's list described a pope later identified as Leo XIII with the words lumen in caelo (light in the heavens), and in fact that pope's coat of arms included a shooting star. Benedict XV was supposedly religio depopulata -- "religion devastated" (he served during World War I); John XXIII, who had served in the port city of Venice, was pastor et nauta ("shepherd and sailor"); and Paul VI was flos florum, or flower of flowers, and his coat of arms indeed displayed the fleur-de-lis (a pattern of flowers). Pope John Paul I was depicted as de medietate lunae, which means "from half of the moon -- and the first two letters of his family name, Luciani, form half of the word "luna," while the current pope, John Paul II was de labore solis, from the labor of the sun (with no clear explanation, although perhaps there is a connection in that he was born the year of an eclipse, and also: his working devotion to the "woman clothed with the sun"). 

That left two popes on St. Malachy's alleged list. One was described as De gloria olivae (from the glory of the olive) and the last as Petrus Romanus (Peter the Roman). It is Peter the Roman who is said to reign during tribulations that will include the destruction of Rome.

Whatever the merits of such claims, the last pope named Benedict came during great Church disarray and just before the tumult of World War I. Meanwhile, Cardinal Ratzinger -- who is responsible for rescuing the apparition site of Medjugorje from rejection by a local bishop -- is known for a strong stance on family value and life. He is also a strict disciplinarian who may well address the priestly crisis in a new and stronger way.


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