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Catholic Dictionary




Alleged predictions about future popes by St. Malachy (1094-1148), Archbishop of Armagh. In 1590 there was discovered in Rome a collection of 112 mystical mottoes from the time of Celestine II (reigned 1143-44) until the end of the world, when Peter the Roman will be the last pope. The authenticity of these prophecies is generally questioned, although from the eighteenth century on many of the mottoes were remarkably pertinent. The last prophecy is couched in special terms: "In the final persecution of the Holy Roman Church, there will reign Peter the Roman, who will feed his flock amid many tribulations, after which the seven-hilled city will be destroyed, and the dreadful Judge will judge the people." There may, however, be an indefinite number of popes between Peter the Roman and his predecessor De Gloria Olivae (from the glory of the olive tree).