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Popes and Prophecy

Remarkable prophecies by and about Popes


Plea For Peace
Keystone/Stringer/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
When Pope John Paul II entered the hospital in late February, 2005, many wondered if he'd live to say another Mass. Suffering from a severe case of the flu, the Pope was in fragile health, due in part to his age, Parkinson's disease and acute arthritis. It was the second time he had been hospitalized in as many months. And although the faithful prayed for his recovery, they also feared for his life.

Some priests and nuns in Rome weren't as worried at that time, perhaps. They were sure the Pope would live. Why? Because a stone carving on a monument to Pope Sylvester II remained dry. The Catholic clergy at the Basilica of Saint John Lateran in Rome, where the monument stands, say that the carving "weeps" when a Pope is about to die. They say it's happened several times in the past. "It sweats when the death of a Pope is approaching," one of the Italian nuns told the press. "There are people who have seen it," another added. But the carving that is said to prophesy the fate of the Holy Father was dry, and so he will survive this most recent illness. (When Pope John Paul II died in early April, 2005, there was no word on whether or not the carving "wept.")

Being the earthly head of one of the world’s largest religions, it's not surprising that the Pope, and previous Popes, have been the subjects of prophecy and even the authors of prophecies.


According to Nostradamus - New Meanings, the famed French prophet of the sixteenth century may have predicted the death of Pope John Paul. John Paul became Pope in 1978 and died just a few months later, some say under mysterious circumstances.

The Nostradamus quatrain attributed to this prediction says:

    When the tomb of the great Roman is found,
    a new Pope will be elected the following day:
    he will not be approved by the Senate,
    his blood poisoned in the sacred chalice.

    (Century 3, Quatrain 65)

The “tomb of the great Roman” is thought to refer to St. Peter, whose bones were officially announced as being found in 1979. The “new Pope” refers to John Paul. His sudden death about a month after his election brought speculation that he was not really “approved” of by the Church hierarchy and was murdered, perhaps by poison. Another Nostradamus quatrain seems to reaffirm the murder of John Paul, who, it is speculated, was killed because he was too meek:

    Elected as Pope he will be mocked by the chosen
    suddenly and unexpectedly removed, prompt and timid.
    Caused to die, through too much goodness and kindness,
    he will fear for the guard killed on the night of his death.

    Century 10, Quatrain 12

There is no proof of this murder, but what adds suspicion is that John Paul's body was immediately cremated (Popes are usually buried in St. Peter’s) and no cause of death was officially determined.

(Source: See the site Papal Prophecies for more Nostradamus prophecies.)

The Third Secret of Fatima

In 1917, three Portuguese children claimed to have visions of the Virgin Mary, who gave them three secrets (see The Fatima Prophecies). The first apparently was a prediction of World War I, and the second asked for the conversion of Russia. The third prophecy was kept secret until May 2000, when Pope John Paul II revealed it to the world. It was kept secret because the prophecy involved a reigning Pope. In part, the prophecy said, “...the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him..."

The Vatican proclaimed that this prophecy was alluding to the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II in 1981. The problem is that the scene depicted in the prophecy bears little resemblance to the assassination attempt. This has prompted some researchers to conclude that either the prophecy as released was not the complete prophecy given at Fatima, or that it refers to a Pope’s fate at some future date.

Next page > The Last Pope?

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