As Pope Benedict XVI announces his resignation, many look to the prophetic writings of a twelfth century Irish saint who was said to have predicted the exact number of popes before the end of the world.
Saint Malachy of Armagh, a Roman Catholic bishop who died in 1148, was said to have had a vision while on a pilgrimage to Rome wherein he learned the exact number of all the popes who would rule from his time to the Apocalypse.
Rather than give their names, Malachy gave each of these future pontiffs Latin mottos, which believers in the Medieval saint’s prophecies claim bear a strong resemblance to the figures they described.
For example, Pope John Paul II was number 110 on the list and was dubbed by Malachy as “De Labore Solis”, which literally means “From the Toil of the Sun” but is also rendered “Of the Solar Eclipse.” John Paul II was born on a date that had a solar eclipse.
According to Irishcentral.com, there are connections made between the line of popes since the 12th century and the Malachy list.
“Many of the prophecies are spot on. For example, the one about Urban VIII is Lilium et Rosa (the lily and the rose); he was a native of Florence and on the arms of Florence figured a fleur-de-lis,” wrote Irish Central staff writers.
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