There was a time when the whims of the Catholic Church ruled the world. It's known as the Dark Ages.
On April 2, 2005, Pope John Paul II passed away and was given the Rite of Extreme Unction.
As prescribed by traditional ritual of the Catholic Church in these circumstances, the chamberlain entered the room and asked the Pope, "Are you dead?" The chamberlain then tapped the Pope's head with a silver hammer and repeated the question. Assuming there was no reply, the chamberlain called out the Pope's baptismal name. With no response from the deceased, the chamberlain officially declared the Pope to be dead.
Pope John Paul II was replaced by a German cardinal named Josef Ratzinger who dubbed himself Pope Benedict XVI, not to be confused with Pope Benedict V who raped a young girl in 964 and absconded to Turkey with the papal treasury, or Pope Benedict IX who was so immoral he was forced to flee from Rome in 1032.
As Pope Benedict XVI takes over, a very curious process has been taking place in the procession of Popes.
Nearly a thousand years ago, in 1139, an Irish saint called Malachy met with Pope Innocent II in Rome. Known for his gift of prophecy, Saint Malachy went into a trance and received a vision about the future of the papacy. He described 112 popes who were to follow, beginning with Celestine II who became Pope in 1143.
Saint Malachy gave his list of 112 popes to Pope Innocent II who promptly stored it away in a vault where it remained for more than 400 years until its rediscovery in 1597. Although dismissed by some, Saint Malachy's prophesies have been remarkably accurate right up to the present.
For example, Saint Malachy's descriptions of the previous three Popes include the following.
Pope #108 -- Malachy described him as "Flos Florum" which means "flower of the flowers." Pope Paul VI (1963-78) was Giovanni Battista Montini whose coat of arms included three flowers of iris.
Pope #109 -- was termed "De Mediatate Lunae" by Malachy which means "from the half moon." Pope John Paul I (1978) was Albino Luciani who was made Pope on August 26, 1978 when the moon was half full and died a month later during the next half moon.
Pope #110 -- Malachy called him "De Labore Solis" meaning "out of a solar eclipse." Pope John Paul II (1978-2005) was Karol Josef Wojtyla who was born during a solar eclipse on May 8, 1920.
The Malachy prophesy for Pope #111, the present Pope, is "Gloria Olivae" which means "glory of the olive." This may be a reference to an olive branch which is the Biblical symbol of peace. Perhaps Pope Benedict XVI will become a peacemaker between religions or nations in these troubled times.
Pope #112, the last Pope on the list, is dubbed "Petrus Romanus" by Malachy meaning "Peter the Roman." According to the writings of Saint Malachy, "In extreme persecution, the seat of the Holy Roman Church will be occupied by Peter the Roman, who will feed the sheep through many tribulations, at the term of which the city of seven hills (Rome) will be destroyed, and the formidable Judge will judge his people. The End."
The end, indeed.
Jesuit priest Malachi Martin, a close confidante to Popes for some 30 years and author of 16 books about Catholicism, was a Dead Seas Scroll scholar and chief exorcist for the Vatican, having been the role model for the priest in the movie THE EXORCIST. He was one of the few people who had knowledge of the Third Secret of Fatima, a prophesy given to some children in 1917 by the Virgin Mary concerning the future after World War II.
Just prior to his death in 1999, Father Martin claimed that this prophesy predicted terrible wars and diseases that will wipe out whole nations, three days of darkness, violent tornadoes and storms, and parts of the earth being washed into the sea. He believed this would happen not long after Pope John Paul II (#110) passed away.
If your ambition is to become Pope, you'd better get in line quickly. And if you're standing in line behind an Italian named Peter, you may want to consider entering another profession, far inland.
In 1139, St. Malachy described the next 112 popes in startling accurate detail, to be followed thereafter by the End of Days. Pope number 111 is presently at the helm.
A rather interesting set of circumstances.
Quote for the Day -- "When I do good, I feel good -- when I do bad, I feel bad. That's my religion." Abraham Lincoln
Bret Burquest is an award-winning columnist and author of four novels. He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a dog named Buddy Lee and whose religion consists of everyone minding their own business. His blogs appear on several websites, including www.myspace.com/bret1111