Sunday, April 17, 2005

Who is the Gloria Olivae?

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According to the prophecies of St. Malachy (Archbishop of Armagh, Ireland from 1132 to 1138), the next pope is described by the motto Gloria Olivae ("The Glory of the Olive"). Malachy's prophecies indicate some noticeable trait of all future popes from Celestine II (elected in 1130) until the end of the world.

The prevailing view today is that they are elaborate forgeries, probably perpretrated by a school of Jesuits in the 1600s. This suspicion is based on the relation of the mottos to the various popes until that period, and the need to find oblique references (such as the motto of the Pope's home diocese) to make a particular motto fit a particular pope. Still, the prophecies get minor attention at every conclave. Apparently, in 1958, before the conclave that would elect Pope John XXIII, Cardinal Spellman of New York hired a boat, filled it with sheep and sailed up and down the Tiber River, to show that he was Pastor et Nautor ("Shepherd and Mariner"), the motto attibuted to the next Pope in the Malachy's prophecies.

In 1139 Malachy went to Rome to give an account of the affairs of his diocese to the pope, Innocent II, who promised him two palliums for the metropolitan Sees of Armagh and Cashel. While at Rome, he received (according to the Abbé Cucherat) the strange vision of the future wherein was unfolded before his mind the long list of illustrious pontiffs who were to rule the Church until the end of time. The same author tells us that St. Malachy gave his manuscript to Pope Innocent II to console him in the midst of his tribulations, and that the document remained unknown in the Roman Archives until its discovery in 1590.

The Benedictines (Olivetans) traditionally held that Gloria Olivae would come from their order. The problem with that idea is there is currently only one Benedictine cardinal, the inelligible 93-year-old Augustine Cardinal Mayer. Another idea is that Malachy could be describing this pope as a great peacemaker.

How many popes does Malachy describe after Gloria Olivae? Only one. "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. The End."


Anonymous said...

Would the fact that the pope that was picked chose to take the name Benedict (peacemaker)---that deserves some thought.

Anonymous said...

That proves there is some truth to the prophecies of St. Malachi