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Pope Benedict announces retirement

Feb 11, 2013


VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday that he would resign on Feb. 28 because he was simply too infirm to carry on — the first pontiff to do so in nearly 600 years. The decision sets the stage for a conclave to elect a new pope before the end of March.

The 85-year-old pope announced his decision in Latin during a meeting of Vatican cardinals on Monday morning.

No doubt this will generate a lot of prophecy speculation, because, according to St. Malachy in the year 1140, Pope Benedict is the last in the list of popes before "Peter the Roman." St. Malachy was an Irish monk who was said to have the gift of healing. He went to Rome in 1139 after being summoned by Pope Innocent II, and while he was there he was said to have had visions of 111 future popes, beginning with Pope Celestine II in 1143. He gave a short motto describing each of them. You may read these, along with the way that each was fulfilled, in this article in the Wikipedia:


Note that Pope Benedict is the final pope in the list before the one called Peter the Roman. I wrote about this in chapter 42 of my book, The Wars of the Lord.


John Paul II was the 110th pope. Of him, Malachy says, "De Lobaore solis," (of the eclipse of the sun). John Paul II was born on May 18, 1920 during a solar eclipse in Poland. When he was finally buried on April 8, 2005, the world experienced a very unusual "hybrid eclipse" of the sun. The central path of the eclipse ran across the South Pacific where it changed from an annular eclipse to a total eclpse and then back again to an annular eclipse before reaching South America.

Malachy said of the 111th pope, "Gloria Olivae" (the glory of the olive). Cardinal Ratzinger became the 111th pope, called Benedict XVI. The Benedictine Order is known as the "Olivetans," because the olive tree is their symbol.

But is Benedict the last pope? Malachy does not say. The list merely ends there in the original published book (1590). This list may have been slightly abridged, however, because the 1820 edition includes one more pope, #112. Some dispute this addition, but the Catholic Encyclopedia insists that it is genuine. Of this 112th pope, we read in The Catholic Encyclopedia,

"The last of these prophecies concerns the end of the world and is as follows: '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.' It has been noticed concerned Petrus Romanus, who according to St. Malachy's list is to be the last pope, that the prophecy does not say that no popes will intervene between him and his predecessor designated Gloria olivae. It merely says that he is to be the last, so that we may suppose as many popes as we please before 'Peter the Roman'."

Pope Benedict's planned retirement, then, is sure to cause a flurry of excitement around the prophecy-writing blogosphere. In fact, some political commentators have believed that the pope would resign soon. Two weeks ago Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands declared that she was abdicating in favor of her son, causing some to predict that Queen Elizabeth would soon follow her example.

Whatever the reasons for retirement or abdication, these are events that are changing the shape of history, so we ought to pay attention. History is fulfilled prophecy, so studying history is the best way to study prophecy.

 The prophecies of St. Malachy have quite a long track racord of truth. Of course, it might also be that the Cardinals over the years have looked at Malachy's prophecy and have picked the popes who might fit the prophecies. However, I doubt that they deliberately tried to make the prophecies come true. There are too many factors that were out of their control, especially when the prophecy describes the type of reign they would have, or how they would die.

What is perhaps most interesting is that Malachy prophesies the destruction of Rome, the so-called "Eternal City." That is not the kind of prophecy that the Roman Church would be expected to support. In fact, it is likely that this is why it was left out of the 1590 edition. Yet there it is, and the prophecy is affirmed by The Catholic Encyclopedia to be genuine. In other words, they believe that Malachy included it in the list, even though it was left out in the 1590 edition.

 So if true, we might expect to see "tribulation" come upon the Roman Church in the months and years ahead. It is doubtful, however, that tribulation would come upon Rome alone. If it happens, it will affect all who call themselves Christians, regardless of denomination. As history shows, persecution tends to unify people and to break down denominational walls.

Perhaps, then, a collapse of Wall Street may be not only financial, but also have a religious application.

 Another possibility is that Malachy's wording "the seven-hilled city" might be fulfilled in a city other than Rome. I can think of two other cities that are built on seven hills: Jerusalem and St. Paul, MN. We have already seen how St. Paul fits into this picture, not only with the flood of water that cascaded down Wall Street in St. Paul last week, but also with our Vindication work in St. Paul last July 14. You might want to reread my report from that time period.



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Dr. Stephen Jones

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