Before I get to the meat of this post, I should make one thing clear — I consider myself a rational man. I don’t read horoscopes (much) and I don’t have any time for voodoo science, but every now and then you come across something that plants a seed of doubt. Like today’s Daily Mail.
In it was an article by that well-known student of the paranormal, Henry Kelly, I don’t think. It was about the predictions of Nostradamus and an even earlier prophet I hadn’t heard of before, one Malarchy born in Armagh in 1094.
Kelly’s article examined the accuracy of the two men’s predictions as regards the identities of the the new and previous Popes. I won’t go into those of Nostradamus and just rehearse those of Malarchy. Here goes.
Kelly looks at his predictions for the last four Popes:
- John XXIII (1958 to 1963): ‘There will be a Pastor and Mariner.’ That he was both popular and also the Patriarch of Venice seems to be the ‘conclusive’ proof.
- Paul IV (1963 to 1978): ‘Flower of Flowers.’ His family coat of arms is three fleur-de-lis. (I have to take it on trust that this is true.)
- John Paul I (1978 to 1978): ‘Of the Half Moon.’ Apparently he was elected on 26 August when there was a half-moon. He was also born in Belluno which means beautiful moon.
- Finally, the late John Paul II: ‘Of the Labour of the Sun.’ This interpretted as because he was well-travelled, but also because he was born on 18 May 1920 when there a total eclipse of the sun in many parts of Europe. Oh, and like the sun, he comes from the east. (Somewhat grabbing at straws there I thought.)
And of the next Pope? Malarchy said that he would be ‘Of the glory of the Olive.’ Kelly says that the Benedictines are known as the Olivetans and that had Cardinal Basil Hume been still alive he might have been the first English Pope since Nicholas Breakspear because he was a Benedictine.
Kelly went on to say: “Alas! There is no Benedictine connection I can find with any of the 115 men locked in the electoral college at the moment.”
Either he was being disingenuous and is looking forward to a follow-up tomorrow or he genuinely missed the odds shortening on Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger being elected as the next Pope, or that Benedict XVI was also the bookies’ choice for the name of the next Pope.
If the former, congratulations Kelly on a smart piece of gambling, if the latter, how on earth did you miss the connection? Paddy Power on Radio Five this morning was making Benedict at just 3 to 1. (Pope Kenneth was 33 to 1 I seem to recall.)
But if you do go along with the Malarchy mullarky (I can feel a Dan Brown blockbuster coming on) it’s time to cash in the life insurance, remortgage your house and run up all the plastic debt you can get your hands on and live a little because, if he’s right, we’ve just two more Popes to go before the Anti-Christ and Armageddon.
And as Ritzinger is 78 years old, well his sandal-tread is wearing thin.
Oh, and we might as well all vote LibDem at the election. C’mon, it’ll be the last chance they get to show us that they can make just as big a horlicks of running the country as anyone else.