Woke up this morning to discover the world has a new pope (actually was little suprised they didn't ring me to let me know, but anyway...) I have been betting we would get Ratzinger all the way along, so woke up this morning to dicover he made the grade, and in record time.
He has taken on the name Pope Benedict the 16th. This is interesting as for many years the Benedictine Order have been claiming that this pope would be a member of their order. As far as I know he is not (although he is a number of other interesting things, such as the head of the new warm and fuzzy ecumenical Inquisition) but that he would select Benedict as his name is a nod in that direction.
Why is that significant, I hear you ask, looking slightly puzzled as you do so? Well, in while on a trip to visit to Pope Innocent II in Rome in 1139-40, a gentleman by the name of St. Malachy, (his parent had funny ideas in naming I guess. Maybe its short for Stuart or something. His full name is even worse - "Maelmhaedhoc O’Morgair") supposedly had a vision in which he gave a one liner, epitaph-like prophecy for each of the next 112 popes. Intrigingly, the prophecies kind of work (not in an industrial strength, biblical prophecy way, but all the same).
"He is designated as "De Labore Solis", or "from the toil of the sun." Applied to John Paul 11, this phrase reveals nothing less than a double prophecy. The current pope, the first non-Italian elected in 456 years, is a native of Krakow, Poland. Krakow is the city where, in the 15th and 16th centuries, Copernicus "toiled" for years to prove his heretical theory that the earth revolved around the sun. Many of Malachy s interpreters also suggested that the "sun" reference indicated a young pope. Fifty- eight years old at the time of his election, John Paul 11 is the youngest pope in over a century.
John Paul II for example, was given the line "De Labore Solis", or "from the toil of the sun." Applied to John Paul 11, this looks like a bit of a double prophecy. JPII was the first non-Italian elected in 456 years, a native of Krakow, Poland. Krakow is the city where, in the 15th and 16th centuries, Copernicus "toiled" for years to prove his heretical theory that the earth revolved around the sun. Many of Malachy s interpreters also suggested that the "sun" reference indicated a young pope. Fifty- eight years old at the time of his election, John Paul 11 was the youngest pope in over a century.
John Paul II's successor in the prophecy is called "Gloria Olivae", or "glory of the olive". Traditionally, the olive branch has been associated with peace, but in both the Old and New Testaments it also serves as an emblem for the Jews. Putting the two together, some commentators believe that the reign of this pope will be a peaceful one during which the prophesied conversion of the Jews will take place.
However, this where the Benedictines come in ... They believed that this pope would be one of theirs as their other name is the Olivetines. Thus, this nod to the Benedictines by the artist formally known as Joseph Ratsinger, fufills, perhaps, this little prophecy.
Why is this intriguing ... Because Malachy went on to say that he will be the second to last ... After him comes Petronas Romanas ... Here is the text of the prophecy. "In persecutione extrema S.R.E. sedebit Petrus Romanus, qui pascet oves in multis tribulationibus: quibus transactis civitas septicollis diruetur, & Judex tremêdus judicabit populum suum. Finis."
Translation : 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 will be destroyed, and the formidable Judge will judge his people. The End.
BTW, Malachy was not alone in prophecying the end of Rome*.
Is this another sign of Christ's return being very close I don't know. It would not be the first time that God has used the head of an apostate system to give true prophecies. Caiaphas did just that before Christ death, when he said that it was expedient that one man die for the nation. Perhaps this prophecy is close to accurate and in the next popes term, Great Babylon will be destroyed. Lift up your heads.
*Footnote on Pius X:
During an audience for the general chapter of the Franciscan order in 1909, the Pius X appeared to enter a trance. Those present remained motionless and silent. After a few moments, Pius opened his eyes, rose from his seat, and cried, "What I have seen is terrifying! Will I be the one, or will it be a successor? What is certain is that the Pope will leave Rome and, in leaving the Vatican, he will have to pass over the dead bodies of his priests!" He then cautioned the witnesses, "Do not tell anyone this while I am alive."
Just before his death, Pius 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."