Prophecy of the 112 Popes

Today’s guest post was written by The Prophecy Now, you can visit the site at: The Prophecy Now

The recent resignation announced by Pope Benedict XVI has sparked a frenzy in interest in St. Malachy’s “Prophecy of the 112 Popes”.

The alleged prophecies were first published in 1595 by a Benedictine named Arnold de Wyon in his Lignum Vitæ, a history of the Benedictine order. Wyon attributed the prophecies to Saint Malachy, the 12th century Archbishop of Armagh. He explained that the prophecies had not, to his knowledge, ever been printed before, but that many were eager to see them. Wyon includes both the alleged original prophecies, consisting of short, cryptic Latin phrases, as well as an interpretation applying the statements to historical popes up to Urban VII (pope for thirteen days in 1590), which Wyon attributes to Alphonsus Ciacconius.
(Taken from

The prophecy offers a series of short verses which is said to in some way describe the next 112 popes from St. Malachy’s time. Many have claimed that these verses hit with extreme accuracy, while others liken the verses to Nostradamus’s vague quatrains claiming you could read just about anything into them.

What has many buzzing about this old Catholic prophecy today is the fact that Pope Benedict XVI is the 111th pope, and with his resignation it ushers in the final 112th pope. This has led many to speculate that the end times are upon us, however the meaning of the 112th pope is also debated.

The verse that describes the 112th pope reads as this:

In the final persecution of the Holy Roman Church, there will sit [i.e., as bishop].

Peter the Roman, who will pasture his sheep in many tribulations, and when these things are finished, the city of seven hills [i.e. Rome] will be destroyed, and the dreadful judge will judge his people. The End.

Many have taken the meaning of the closing “The End” to mean the end of the world, however this could simply mean the end of the prophecy. Some have also claimed that this verse simply means the end of the Catholic church and the papacy.

Another hotly debated aspect of the prophecy is whether the final pope is good or bad. Many have claimed that this final pope will be an “anti-pope”, false prophet, or the anti-Christ himself. Personally I don’t read that meaning into it and have a hard time seeing how someone can come to that conclusion. To me it sounds like the pope will help the church through a very difficult time until those tribulation finally come to an end, whatever that end may be.

One other lesser known prophecy that I find interesting when considering the validity of St. Malachy’s prophecy is the prophecy of Pope Pius X.

In 1909, during an audience for the general chapter of the Franciscan Order, suddenly fell into a trance. The audience waited in reverent silence. When he awoke, the Pope cried out:

“What I see is terrifying! Will it be myself? Will it be my successor? What is certain is that the Pope will quit Rome, and in leaving the Vatican he will have to walk over the dead bodies of his priests. “Do not tell anyone this while I am alive.”

Just prior to his death (August 20, 1914), Pope Pius X had another vision:

“I have seen one of my successors, of the same name, who was fleeing over the bodies of his brethren. He will take refuge in some hiding place; but after a brief respite he will die a cruel death.

“Respect for God has disappeared from human hearts. They wish to efface even God’s memory. This perversity is nothing less than the beginning of the last days of the world.”

Now this prophecy is very clear that the pope of his vision will reside over the end times. Could Pope Pius X be talking about the same pope as the 112th pope of St. Malachy’s Prophecy? At first glance it would seem not, however some have pointed out that a pope could carry both the Peter the Roman name as well as a Benedictine name as popes take on a new name once they take over the papacy.

As neither of these prophecies are biblical I don’t give the same validity to them as I do to something like Revelation or Daniel. However given the current news headlines I think it would be foolish to dismiss them entirely.

1 Thessalonians 5:1-5
“But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.” Registered & Protected

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Luke 21:36 "Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man."

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