Will Pope Francis I be the last pontiff, following his selection and the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI? Two vague prophecies, from St. Malachy
and Nostradamus, say so.
St. Malachy, a 12th century Roman Catholic, and Nostradamus, the world-renowned 16th-century French oracle, predicted that Pope Francis I will be the world's last pontiff.
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St. Malachy, who was born in Ireland and was the Archbishop of Armagh in the 1130s, predicted there would be 112 popes after his death. Pope Benedict the XVI was the 111th Pope.
St. Malachy predicted that during the reign of the 112th Pope, the Roman Catholic Church would be persecuted and "the city of seven hills," Rome and the Vatican, would be destroyed during an end times scenario in which God passes judgment on people.
"In the final persecution of the Holy Roman Church, there will sit Peter the Roman, who will pasture his sheep in many tribulations, and when these things are finished, the city of seven hills will be destroyed, and the dreadful judge will judge his people. The End," he wrote.
Argentinian-born Pope Francis I is not Italian, as St. Malachy's prophecy predicted the last Pope would be, but he is of Italian descent.
Experts have varying interpretations and opinions on St. Malachy's work, but many Catholic scholars and clergymen have dismissed the predictions as baseless.
"Theologically and organizationally, the church pays no attention to this," Father James Weiss, a professor of church history at Boston College, told The Huffington Post
. "The only thing that you would say to someone who was obsessed or curious about it would be, 'Our times are in God's hands and we can trust God's providence.' But that won't satisfy a lot of people."
Boston College's Dr. Thomas Groome, chair of the Department of Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry agreed.
"For myself -- and even as a native Irishman -- the 'Prophecies of St. Malachy' are a grand old fun tale that have about as much reliability as the morning horoscope," he said.
In the same vein, some experts interpret that Nostradamus, a French physician who made hundreds of prophecies in the form of four-line quatrains, made same prediction that Pope Francis I would be the last pontiff in Quatrain II.46.
"The great star for seven days shall burn / So nakedly clear like two suns appearing / The large dog all night howling / While the great Pontiff shall change his territory," he wrote.
According to astronomers, Comet Ison, which is scheduled to pass across the sky later this year, could end up being brighter than the moon -- if it survives an encounter with the sun, The Australian reported
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Nostradamus' quatrains, like St. Malachy's work, were purposely written vaguely so religious zealots would not think it was witchcraft.
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