The end of the world is nigh. Again.
According to Reuters reporter Phil Stewart, people on the internet who have read a book published in 1595, supposedly attributed to the 12th century Irish archbishop St. Malachy, who was told in a vision from God… the world’s going to end at the end of Benedict XVI’s successor’s reign.
Now that you’re hearing this from me, you’re receiving a holy vision only five degrees separated from the big man with the beard. It’s almost like this blog has just sanctified you.
Since you don’t want to be bothered reading the actual article, let me sum it up for you.* St. Malachy wrote a series of Latin descriptions of the final 112 popes, starting with Celestine II, who succeeded the Innocent II, who was pope at the time of the prophecy. For those of you keeping track at home, John Paul II was 110 and the newly elected pope is 111. The fact that no mention of this prophecy was made before the 1595 publishing of it ought not trouble you too much, if you really want to believe the world is coming to an end sometime in the next thirty years or so, or whenenever the next pope ends his rule, because the predictions are so eerily prescient that they just have to be the truth.
–Nicholas IV, the 30th of the popes (193 overall) is called “A woodpecker among fodder” by St. Malachy. Few people realize this, but in medieval bestiaries, the woodpecker was known for being able to remove any nail or spike or metal object from a tree, bedevilling anyone who wanted to nail or spike their tree.** Under Nicholas IV’s reign, the crusader city of Acre in Palestine was lost, and Acre was known as the key of Palestine. And what is a key, but a metal object? Moreover, the subsequent crusades that tried to re-take Acre reduced many a crusader to naught but fodder.****
–Felix V (anti-pope***, 53 on Malachy’s list), is called “The lover of the cross,” which is self-explanatory, really, since he had nine children, all born to two-pieces of wood nailed together perpendicularly.
–Alexander V (Malachy’s 49, also an anti-pope), is Flagellum Solis, conventionally translated as “scourge of the sun,” but any fool can see that “Flagellum” describes the long prehensile tail his mother had amputated on the day he was taken to church for the first time, which was, you guessed it, Sunday.
Not convinced yet? Pope Benedict XVI (267/111) is called “the glory of the olive”. (Or possibly “a glory to the olive.” Watch me work that 1st declension female olivae.) If any man ever resembled an olive, I think it’s the former Cardinal Ratzinger.
*Actually, the article doesn’t contain most of this information. I looked it up on JSTOR and at the Wikipedia.
** Like you do. I know, it drives me nuts, especially since I’m a founting member of NAWPSA, the North American Wood Pecker Spike Association.
***If anti-popes and popes come into contact, the resulting release of energy far surpasses even the most powerful modern nuclear warhead.
****I made all this up for what we in the biz call ‘comedic effect.’ “A woodpecker among fodder” refers to the ivory-billed woodpecker found recently to be all not extinct and stuff.