Tuesday, October 6, 2009

So, St Malachy, who was he?

I suppose the natural place to start the blog is with a brief history of St Malachy.

Malachy born in Armagh in 1094 and was bapised
Maolmhaodhog Ua Morgair, usually Anglicised as Malachy O'More. He was successively vicar-general to St Cellach, abbot of Bangor, then bishop of Connor before becoming archbishop of Armagh in1094. His primary achievement as a bishop may well have been his success at replacing the Celtic liturgy with the Roman.

In 1138, Malachy resigned as archbishop of Armagh to go on pilgrimage to Rome, meeting and staying with St Bernard at Clairveaux for a time.

Malachy attempted a second Rome pilgrimage in 1148 but only made it as far as Clairveaux where he died in the arms of St Bernard. He was formally canonised by Pope Clement III in 1190.

No doubt most people know of Malachy because of his "prophecies of the popes". These prophecies are a list of 112 short Latin phrases supposedly describing 112 popes, beginning with Celestine II (1143) and ending with Peter II, who is of course, yet to be elected. After the election of Peter II or Petrus Romanus will come the destruction of Rome and the final judgement.

The original Latin for the 112th Pope reads:

In persecutione extrema S.R.E. sedebit.
Petrus Romanus, qui pascet oves in multis tribulationibus:
quibus transactis civitas septicollis diruetur,
et Iudex tremendus iudicabit populum suum.
An English translation I have is:

During the last persecution of the Holy Roman Church,
there shall sit Peter of Rome, who shall feed the sheep amidst many tribulations;
and when these have passed, the City of the Seven Hills will be utterly destroyed,
and the formidable Judge will judge the people.
Do I believe the prophesies?

Well I do know they writings attributed to Malachy were found around 150 years after his death.

I also know there are some strange coincidences that seemingly tie in with the popes (and a few anti-popes) since Celestine II. But then again the old fraud Nostradumus had a few coincidences as well - or at least his interpretors found a few.

If Malachy was right, and if the our present Holy Father really is "The Glory of the Olive", we are in real trouble ;)