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Malachy and the Papacy
Did an Irish mystic nine centuries ago fortell the fate of the Papacy?
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How have recent Popes fulfilled the Prophecies of Malachy?

Rome 1139-40 AD - Irish prophet, St Malachy (1094-1190) on a pilgrimage to the Vatican foretells the next 111 Popes in the form of a motto. It has been claimed that every subsequent Pope has fulfilled Malachy's unique prophecy. Or have coincidences been cherry-picked and then interpreted to fit each cryptic Latin epigram? Here I present some of the evidence from the most recent Popes in particular where astrology and astronomy have featured. As ever, with this type of claim, I leave you to make up your mind.

John Paul I: Of the Half Moon

John Paul I was born (17 Oct. 1912) and elected (26 Aug. 1978) when the Moon was half full in accord with Malachy's description "De medietate lunæ". He was born in Forno di Canale (now known as Canale d'Agordo) in the province (and diocese) of Belluno (meaning Beautiful Moon) when the Moon was waxing (Sun Libra/Moon Capricorn) and was elected Pontiff when the Moon was waning (Sun Virgo/Moon Gemini). Almost midway through JP I's short month long (one lunar cycle) tenure, a Total Lunar Eclipse (Virgo/Pisces) occurred (16 Sept 1978). John Paul was a writer and a man of the people. He was found dead in his chambers by a nun early on 29 September 1978. This naturally resulted in many questions and conspiracy theories.

John Paul II: From the labours of the Sun

Malachy described John Paul II (18 May 1920-2005) as De Labore Solis - (from the toil of the Sun). Some astrologers, felt this might be connected with his birth chart showing a strong emphasis on the Sun, being born at a Solar Eclipse and with two planets in the Sun-ruled sign of Leo (Jupiter and Neptune conjunct on MC in Leo).[1] His funeral [Rome, Friday, April 8, 2005, 10:00 am] and interment in the crypt of St. Peter's Basilica also occurred on a solar eclipse (see comments on Camilla and Prince Charles' wedding on the same day).

The Copernican System. What is arguably more persuasive evidence was that Karol Wojtyla (original name of JP II) was Archbishop of Krakov (Cracow) in present day Poland. This was the city where Nicolas Copernicus studied astronomy, astrology and mathematics before developing his theory that the Sun (and not the Earth) was the centre of the Universe, known as the Copernican Revolution. In Malachy's time the ancient view that the labour of the Sun was the effort required to 'defeat' the encroaching shadow of the Moon at a solar eclipse may have had some currency. This interaction is also considered symbolic of a battle between the masculine and the feminine . In the Age of Enlightenment, Isaac Newton was able to reframe this solar toil in a less anthropormophic framework. He theorised that the Sun's massive gravitational pull balanced by the inertial momentum of the planets conserved the angular momentum of the planets in their orbits around the Sun.

Did astrologers chose well for a Papal Funeral and badly for a Royal Wedding? it so happens that JP II's funeral on a solar eclipse was the same date selected by Prince Charles and Camilla for their marriage. To have the Sun overshadowed by the Moon may be appropriate for the mourning of a charismatic, solar, heroic figure in the form of John Paul II, but was it ideal for a wedding? Perhaps even in death, the brilliant JP II was able to outshine the marriage of a future King. And were both events timed by astrologers?

Benedict XVI: Glory of the Olive

Malachy's motto for John Paul II's successor, Benedict XVI was De Gloriae Olivae - The glory of the olive. His choice of regnal name: Benedict was in part inspired by St. Benedict who founded the Benedictines.[2] Now the claim here is that "the Benedictine order are also known as the "Olivetans" and their crest contains an olive branch." This is not correct.
"The Order of St Benedict has claimed by tradition that this pope will come from within the Order. St Benedict himself has prophecied that before the end of the world comes about, his Order will triumphantly lead the Catholic Church in its fight against evil. The Order of St Benedict is also known at the Olivetans..."
~ Peter Bander in 1973 (32 years before Pope Benedict XVI was elected Pontiff) [3]
This argument is misleading and at best tenuous. Cardinal Ratzinger (his original name) never was a Benedictine priest, though it is true that he was inspired by the founder, St.Benedict in choosing his regnal name. The Olivetans are only one of many branches of the Benedictine Order and there is no evidence that either the Benedictines or the Olivetan congregation in particular have a crest with an olive branch. However, the following is the best evidence that Pope Benedict did indeed bring glory to the Olive or Olivetans:
Blessed Bernard Tolomei, founder of the Olivetan Benedictine Order,Bernardo Tolomei (1272-1348), founder of the Olivetan Benedictine Order, was canonized at St. Peter's, Rome by Pope Benedict XVI on April 26, 2009 making him St. Bernardo Tolomei.[4]

On the 26th March 1319 Tolomei was given a Decree authorising him to build the future monastery of Santa Maria di Monte Oliveto, near Asciano, Italy. Fodor's Review of Abbazia di Monte Oliveto Maggiore states "Tuscany's most-visited abbey sits in an oasis of olive and cypress trees amid the harsh landscape of Le Crete." The illustration of St. Bernardo Tolomei appears to show three large olives with two small olive branches sprouting on top.

Is Francis Petrus Romanus - the final Pope?

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.” - Malachy’s Prophecy Of The Last Pope
The most controversial interpretation of Malachy's prophecies is that the present pope, Petrus Romanus - Peter the Roman is the last. Theories accounting for this range from the Second Coming to the end of the Catholic Church to the first (officially recognised) (female) Popess.

I have commented above about Pope Francis' Roman parentage. The name Peter was never an option as a papal name for Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio. Out of respect for the first Pope, Saint Peter, the Apostle, no Pope has chosen the regnal name of Peter II. So it appears that Malachy's epigram could not and was not fulfilled in a literal sense. Bergoglio's inspiration, St Francis of Assisi was born Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone. Could this be a connection with the name Peter?
Seven Hilled City? And which city of seven hills is to be destroyed? Naturally, Rome, Italy springs to mind. It is home to the Vatican and is the strongest recruiting ground for future pontiffs. However, Athens (Greece), San Francisco (CA), Seattle (WA), Barcelona (Spain), Bath (England), Edinburgh (Scotland), Istanbul (Turkey) and Jerusalem (Israel) also claim to nestle between seven hills. Of these San Francisco (which translates as St. Francis) is most vulnerable to destruction through seismic activity and Jerusalem, as a divided city is vulnerable to terrorist destruction.

Could Petrus Romanus be the last Pope? If Petrus Romanus is succeeded by a Popess or High Priestess - Peter could technically be the last Pope in the series, but not the last Pope. Maybe a female Pontiff was just too heretical even for the wildest visions of a 12th century mystical priest.
All of this reminds us, how difficult it is to forecast and how easy it is to be wise after the event!

Robert Currey

[1]Pope John Paul II was born on the day of a partial solar eclipse (18 May 1920). Also, a partial solar eclipse occurred (2 Oct 1978) between the death of JP I (28/29 Sept 1978) and JP II's election (16 Oct 1978) to the Papacy in October. The solar emphasis on John Paul II's life surfaces in many ways. JP II once performed with theatrical groups and worked as a playwright.

[2]"Reflection on the name chosen: Benedict XVI" Benedict XVI General Audience Wednesday, 27 April 2005 The Vatican.
"The name "Benedict" also calls to mind the extraordinary figure of the great "Patriarch of Western Monasticism", St Benedict of Norcia, Co-Patron of Europe" He also chose the name Benedict "to create a spiritual bond with Benedict XV, who steered the Church through the period of turmoil caused by the First World War."

Benedict XVMalachy's motto for Benedict XV (1914–1922) was Religio depopulata or Religion depopulated. His Papacy covered a period of huge disillusion as Christians massacred Christians in a hideous war that included chemical weapons. Religion was literally depopulated by widespread annihilation through massacre in the First World War and even greater loss as a result of the Spanish Flu pandemic. There was also a significant loss of Christian territory and aherents in Russia where the Marxist Communist authorities outlawed religion in favour of atheism.

[3]"Prophecies of Saint Malachy" by Peter Bander, Tan Books (1973)

[4]"Bernardo Tolomei (1272-1348)" Vatican News. Concistoro per il voto su alcune cause di canonizzazione, Feb. 21, 2009

[5]Astrologer, Pat Hardy noticed significant changes in Benedict's Horoscope three weeks before his announcement, including the approaching stellium in Pisces (the Sign connected with religion, spirituality and the Roman Catholic Church).

  • On the day Benedict announced his resignation, there were four 'planetary' bodies (including the Moon) in Pisces.
  • On the day his Papacy ends, five 'planets' in Pisces.
  • At the New Moon on the 11th March, 6 'planets' are in the sign of Pisces. It would be a powerful, and in my view, positive omen for the Catholic Church if the new Pope was elected around this date - ideally just after the New Moon rather than before.
  • In addition, the dwarf planet, Chiron, which is associated with healing, teaching and mentoring is also in Pisces throughout this period.


Is Pope Francis, Peter the Roman?

Though he is Argentinian, Pope Francis is of Italian descent and in this sense he is and his parents were Roman. His father was born in Asti in northern Italy and his mother's parents were born in northern Italy. It has also been observed that St Francis of Asisi - from whom Francis took his name - had a real name of Pietro.

The birth time of Pope Francis I has been tracked down. Jorge Bergoglio, 17 December 1936, 21.00 (9.00 p.m.) ADT (+3), Buenos Aires, Argentina (34s36, 58w27). ASC: 10° Cancer. RR=AA (from quoted birth certificate via Claudia Rizzi).

Saturn in Pisces [♄♓] in 8th opposite Neptune ♆ (plus other chart factors) indicate a man of the cloth - though it would also fit other professions including photographer, fashion designer, charity worker, chemist etc. (Hold on - he was trained as a chemist) Given his chart and scientific background - perhaps he wrestles with his conscience about the boundary between the natural and the supernatural. Uranus at the Midheaven in Taurus ♅♉MC points to a reputation for a radically different attitude towards materialism.
Vatican City 12 February 2013, Pope Benedict shocks the world by giving short notice of his intention to retire as Pope "for the good of the church" on 28 Feb. 2013. In his horoscope, Benedict's transits are the very challenging Pluto opposite Pluto
Lightning strikes St Paul's Basilica on the day of Benedict's announcement of his resignation.
Lightning strikes St. Pauls Basilica on the day Benedict announced his resignation.
- a transit that normally occurs to centenarians given the slow orbit of Pluto [246 years]. Since Pluto can symbolise power and control, the opposition suggests that he was pushed by a covert authority or power or circumstances beyond his control into changing job and residence (10th/4th house axis).

With the stellium of planets in Pisces could this herald the end of an Age? [5]
This article was first written in April/May 2006 and included the following forecast. "Direct Approach to Islam Pope Benedict's Sun (Aries) Astro*Carto*Graphy ACG setting line falls near Mecca. I expect that he will approach Catholic differences with Islam in a direct manner. As much as he is sceptical about deviating with tradition, he is equally sceptical of all forms of fundamentalism. So the new Pope is likely to be confrontational with Islamic spiritual leaders but in a way that can lead to an extraordinary spiritual accord." Six months later on 12 September 2006, Benedict presented a lecture which included controversial statements that inflamed the Muslim world. See the article on the Papal discord.

More about Benedict XVI's Horoscope

Pope Benedict resonates strongly with the planet Jupiter - He has Jupiter (conjunct Mercury and Uranus in Pisces) on his ascendant. So his Astro*Carto*Graphy Jupiter ascendant line runs from his Bavarian home and Munich to Rome. Also, he was ordained on his second Jupiter return in 1951 and his Papacy was announced when Jupiter was on the ascendant. A challenging Saturn in Sagittarius in 9th house tempers the expansive and tolerant nature of Jupiter.

Birth chart for Pope Benedict XVI
16 April 1927 4.15am (3.15am GMT) Marktl am Inn, Germany

Birth Details: officially recorded in Original der Standesamtanfrage, Geburtsurkunde lag vor and provided by Peter Niehenke, AFAN coordinator for Germany.

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