1. What is “the prophecy of the popes”?
It is an alleged private revelation given to the medieval figure St. Malachy.
The prophecy consists of a list of 112 short phrases–enigmatic mottoes in Latin that are supposed to represent the popes from St. Malachy’s time onward.
2. Who was St. Malachy?
St. Malachy was the archbishop of Armagh, Ireland in the 1100s.
Reportedly, he made a visit to Rome in which he had a vision of the future popes and wrote them down.
3. Why are people talking about the prophecy now?
The next-to-last motto in the prophecy of the popes has been associated with Pope Benedict XVI. Since he is now at the end of his papacy, that would bring us to the last name in the prophecy of the popes, which many have taken to indicate the final pope at the end of the world.
This passage reads as follows:
Peter the Roman, who will nourish the sheep in many tribulations; when they are finished, the city of seven hills will be destroyed, and the dreadful judge will judge his people. The end.
4. Is this an approved private revelation?
No, it is not. Although it has been influential in some Catholic circles for several hundred years, it is not approved by the Magisterium.