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St. Malachy's Prophecy & Pope Pius XIII

January 10, 2000


The prophetic material for this treatise is taken from the booklet entitled: “Prophecy For Today” by Edward Connor, with the imprimatur from the Bishop of Monterey-Fresno, copyright 1956.  It was published by ACADEMY LIBRARY GUILD, Fresno, California in 1956.  It makes up the entire second chapter entitled The Prophecy of St. Malachy:

“Few private prophecies have captured the popular imagination like that prophecy on the Popes ascribed to St. Malachy O’Morgair, Archbishop of Armagh, Ireland, who died in 1148.  Tradition has it that when Malachy visited Pope Innocent II in Rome in 1139 he was granted a vision of all the Holy Fathers of the future.  He wrote down a description of each in two to four Latin words and gave the list to Innocent who was deeply troubled at the time and who is said to have derived great comfort from the prophecy.  Nothing more is heard of the list until 1590 when a Benedictine monk, Arnold de Wyon, discovered it in the Vatican archives.  It was published, promoting a controversy that has continued to our day.

Since Malachy was a good friend of St. Bernard of Clairvaux (in whose arms he died), it is asked why the latter did not mention the prophecy in his famous “Life of St. Malachy.”  Why was the list lost for so many years?  Of the 112 Popes described in the prophecy 74 had already reigned when the list was discovered and opponents of the prophecy claim that the descriptions of these are far more exact then those of subsequent Pontiffs.  Was not the list the work of a forger who simply used hindsight to describe the Popes of the preceding four hundred fifty years, and clever ambiguity for the Popes of the future?

Proponents of the prophecy however stand on the fact that the prophetic utterances did fit all the Popes after 1590 with uncanny aptness.  Here are some in detail:

Clement XIII (reigned 1758-69) is described as “Rose Umbria” (the Rose of Umbria).  This Pontiff had been governor of Rieti in Umbria and the symbol of that district was a rose.

His successor Clement XIV (1769-74) appears as “Ursus Velox.” (The Nimble Bear).  His coat of arms showed a bear in flight.

The next Pontiff, Pius VI (1775-99), is described as “Peregrinus Apostolicus” (the Apostolic Wanderer).  During His reign this Pope went to Germany to confer with the Emperor Joseph II.  In the last years of his Pontificate he was forced by revolutionaries to flee Rome.  After an arduous journey over the Alps he died in Valence, France! His successor was Pius VII (1800-23) and he appears on Malachy’s list as “Aquila Rapax” (the Rapacious Eagle).  Since this Pope was the most gentle and dove-like of men the inscription has presented difficulties which some have tried to circumvent by applying the prophecy to Napoleon at whose hands Pius suffered so much.

The prophecy for Gregory XVI (1813-46) reads “De Balneis Etruriae” (From Balnea in Etruria).  This Pontiff belonged to the religious order, the Camaldoli, whose seat is at Balnea in Etruria.

Coming of the Popes of the last century: Pius IX (1846-78) “Crux de Cruce” (Cross from a Cross).  The House of Savoy which caused this Pope so much suffering had a cross on its coat of arms.

Leo XIII (1878-1903): “Lumen in Caelo” (Light in the Heavens).  His coat of arms showed a shooting star.

Pius X (1903-14): “Ignis Ardens” (Burning Fire).

Benedict XV (1914-22): Pope of the first World War: “Religio Depopulata” (Religion Devastated).

Pius XI (1922-39): “Fides Intrepida” (Intrepid Faith).

Pius XII (1939-(added 1958)):  “Pastor Angelicus” (the Angelic Shepherd).

Successor of the present Holy Father is listed as “Pastor et Nauta” (the Shepherd and the Sailor).  More on this later. 

The remaining Popes of Malachy’s list are as follows:  “Flos Florum” (Flower of Flowers).

“De Medietate Lunae” (From the Half of the Moon).  Will the conversion of the Mohammedans – whose symbol is the crescent moon – take place in his reign?

“De Labore Solis” (From the Labor of the Sun).  Conversion of the pagans?

“De Gloria Olivae” (From the Glory of the Olive).  Conversion of the Jews?

The prophecy concludes: “In the final persecution of the Holy Roman Church there shall reign Peter the Roman who will feed his flock amid many tribulations, after which the seven-hilled city will be destroyed and the terrible judge will judge the people.”

However there is no inference that there might not be other Pontiffs between “De Gloria Olivae” and “Peter the Roman.”

Mention might be made of the Monk of Pudua who in 1740 added his own observations to the prophecies of Malachy, even indicating which name each future Pope would take.  In this regard he was correct until Benedict XV who according to the Monk was to be Paul VI.  The Present Holy Father was also incorrectly designated as Gregory XVII.  Thus it appears the Monk of Padua is discredited as a prophet.  Unless we are to suppose that the latter part of his work is forgery.”  (End of chapter & end of quotation).

How The Prophecy of St. Malachy Relates to Pope Pius XIII

What is of interest in this treatise are the words that follow the life of Pope Pius XII.  They are: Successor to the present Holy Father (here it means Pius XII) is listed as “Pastor et Nauta” (the Shepherd and the Sailor).  There are several ways this could be interpreted.  Does this mean that the next Pope: 

(a) shall have been a sailor in his youth? 
(b) shall be non-European and thus come from over the seas? 
(c) shall have to flee Rome during his Pontificate? 

First of all, the term “Pastor”…”Shepherd” should be studied.  As a boy (until 20 years of age) the future Pius XIII was raised on a farm.  His father’s farm had multiple operations: cows, horses, chickens, pigs and last but not least a herd of sheep.  Fencing for sheep is woven wire, while fencing for cattle is strings of wire.  When, as happens in a drought, the grass is consumed in the sheep pasture the only option is to buy feed or pasture the sheep in open (non-fenced areas).  During the great drought of 1930 when he was just twelve years old the future Pius XIII had to shepherd the sheep all alone, helped only by the family dog.  It is quite possible that St. Malachy in vision saw that facet of his life. 

The second term is that of “Nauta” … “Sailor.”  There is no question about the future Pius XIII fitting all the possible interpretations: 

a) Shall have been a sailor in his youth?   From the fall of 1948 until the spring of 1955 Pius XIII labored as missionary on the Ryukyu Island, the continuous string of small islands between Kagoshima, Japan, all the way to Taiwan.  His life was intensely that of a sailor from 1948 until 1955, for during that time he was stationed on the small island (thirty miles total length) called Amami Oshima.  There was no airport there at that time, so he served islands north and south of Amami Oshima all those years.  He suffered shipwrecks, and near shipwrecks over and over.  That history alone would easily fill a medium sized book.  While on Okinawa (1955 to 1976) only a small amount of missionary work was done by sea voyage.  Hence, his life almost continuously spent at sea covered his life from 1948 until 1970, twenty-one years plus. 

b) Shall be non-European and thus come from over seas? Pius XIII was born in Bakerville (Marshfield), Wisconsin, USA.  He lived in the United States of America until he went to the Ryukyu Island as a missionary at the age of twenty-eight. 

c) Shall have to flee Rome during his Pontificate.  The words “send” and “flee” need not necessitate a journey. Pius XIII did not flee from Rome, but his absence from it by force of the present circumstances can be called “to flee from Rome.”  If per chance Pius XIII went to Rome today to take possession his rightful position, he would be forced to leave it while the enemies of God and man reign supreme. 

While there are possibilities that the private revelations of St. Malachy could be faulty, there is an abundance of evidence that he recorded his vision of the future Popes correctly.  Why?  It is because so many of the prophecies hit exactly as he prophesized.   Before the papal election of October 24, 1998, all the above points from St. Malachy’s revelations applied to the future Pope Pius XIII as being the successor of Pope Pius XII. 

For those with the gift of divine and Catholic faith no further explanation of the above is necessary.  And for those without the divine and Catholic faith no explanation is possible. 
 
 
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