Every 11 years the sun undergoes a ‘stormy’ period of activity called the “solar maximum”, followed by a period of quiet called the “solar minimum”. During the solar maximum there are many sunspots and solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CME’s). During the solar minimums, sunspots and related activity are suppressed.
On November 4, the The Biggest Solar X-ray Flare Ever was classified as X28 – the most powerful in recorded observational history. This flare saturated the X-ray detectors on several monitoring satellites. The associated coronal mass ejection (CME) came out of the Sun’s surface at about 2300 kilometres per second (8.2 million km/h) though the Earth received only a glancing blow, since the source was pointing away from us.
An X-class flare is big news though few newspapers carried it on the front page. They can trigger radio blackouts around the whole world, long-lasting radiation storms in the upper atmosphere, heat up the earth’s upper atmosphere, shake the Earth’s magnetic field and pump energy into the radiation belts, as well as assorted other unpleasant and inconvenient effects. A large storm in 1989 induced currents in the American northeast that caused a failure in the Hydro-Quebec power system that deprived 6 million people of power for over 9 hours in Canada and the United States. The same storm expanded the upper atmosphere and increased drag on NASA’s Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF) satellite. “Space Weather” can change the orbits of satellites and shorten mission lifetimes. The excess radiation can physically damage satellites and pose a threat to astronauts. Shaking the Earth’s magnetic field can also cause current surges in power lines that destroy equipment and knock out power over large areas.
What is most unusual about this event is that the “solar maximum” was supposed to be over two years ago. The question uppermost in the minds of scientists who study the sun is “what is going on?”
Two things occurred to me as I considered this most interesting event; the first was “Papa Sun must be really pissed off at George Bush and the Warmongers” and the second was: “hmmm… wonder if this is what St. Malachy meant about ‘de labore solis,’ or ‘the toil of the sun?’”
Yeah, I know: I think strange thoughts now and again.
But anyway, I decided to revisit St. Malachy and among the interesting things I discovered was that his feast day is celebrated on November 3rd. I know that “close” only counts in horseshoes, but for all we know, the “trigger event” for this major solar flare occurred on November 3rd, deep within the sun. If so, that’s just a peach of a coincidence!
St. Malachy, was born in Armagh, Ireland in 1094. St. Bernard said he was a member of the nobility. His actual name was Maelmhaedhoc which was Latinized as Malachy. He was ordained priest by St. Cellach (Celsus) in 1119, became Abbot of Bangor in 1123 and a year later, was consecrated Bishop of Connor. In 1132, he was promoted to the primacy of Armagh.
In 1139 he went to Rome to give an account of the affairs of his diocese to pope Innocent II. While at Rome, he received (according to the Abbé Cucherat) the strange vision of the future from which he recorded a list of pontiffs who were to rule the Church until the end of time. The same author tells us that St. Malachy gave his manuscript to Innocent II to console him in the midst of his tribulations, (he was only one of three popes reigning at the same time), and that the document remained unknown in the Roman Archives until its discovery in 1590 (Cucherat, “Proph. de la succession des papes“, ch. xv).
Malachy’s prophecies were first published by Arnold de Wyon, and ever since there has been a controversy over whether they are genuine predictions of St. Malachy or forgeries. The silence of 400 years on the part of so many authors who had written about the popes, and the silence of St. Bernard especially, who wrote the “Life of St. Malachy”, is a strong argument against their authenticity. However, if we consider Cucherat’s theory that they were hidden in the Archives during those 400 years, it is certainly possible that they are authentic.
The prevailing view today is that they are elaborate forgeries, probably perpretrated by a school of Jesuits in the 1600s.
Malachy’s prophecies consist of 112 short prophetical announcements, expressed as “mystical titles,” highlighting some noticeable trait of all future popes from Celestine II, who was elected in the year 1130, until the purported end of the world.
Those who have undertaken to interpret and explain these symbolical prophecies have certainly noted some validity in their application to the individual popes, either as to their country, their name, their coat of arms or insignia, their birth-place, their talent or learning, the title of their cardinalate, the dignities which they held etc. For example, the prophecy concerning Urban VIII is Lilium et Rosa (the lily and the rose); he was a native of Florence and on the arms of Florence figured a fleur-de-lis; he had three bees emblazoned on his escutcheon, and the bees gather honey from the lilies and roses. So it can be seen that Malachy’s pronouncement is remarkably coincidental.
In other cases, the “mystical title” relates to some some remarkable circumstance in the pope’s career; thus Peregrinus apostolicus (pilgrim pope), which designates Pius VI, appears to be verified by his journey when pope into Germany, by his long career as pope, and by his expatriation from Rome at the end of his pontificate.
Those who have followed the course of events of the pontificates of Pius IX, Leo XIII, and Pius X will certainly note that the titles given to each by the prophecies of St. Malachy are marvelously appropriate: Crux de Cruce (Cross from a Cross) Pius IX; Lumen in caelo (Light in the Sky) Leo XIII; Ignis ardens (Burning Fire) Pius X.
There is something more than coincidence in the mystical titles given to these three popes so many hundreds of years before their time. The afflictions and crosses of Pius IX coming mostly from the House of Savoy whose emblem was a cross, are remarkable confirmations. Leo XIII was considered to be a veritable luminary of the papacy. Pius X was truly a burning fire of zeal for the restoration of all things to Christ. This is, of course, the argument against these prophecies being forgeries. Either that, or the forger was a very good prophet!
Skipping over the details of all the other prophecies, we come to the mystical title of the present pope: De labore Solis: the labor of the sun. Some analysts have suggested that this can also mean “the eclipse of the sun.” Either way, it works, as we will see.
Karol Wojtyla was born on May 18, 1920 during a solar eclipse. Before the present solar maximum, analysts attempted to explain this prophecy by pointing out that Wojtyla came from behind the former Iron Curtain and they made references to “the Woman Clothed with the Sun who was described as being in labor in Revelation 12 because of his devotion to the Virgin Mary. That’s a pretty weak interpretation.
However, we now see that there may be an altogether different meaning to this “mystical title.” The sun is, indeed, “laboring.” One has to wonder just what else it is doing?
UPDATE! April 6, 2005: Pope John-Paul II has died on April 2nd. He will be buried on Friday, April 8. The news today informs us
Partial solar eclipse on Friday, April 8:
LOS ANGELES, California (AP) — Sky-watchers from the South Pacific to the Americas will witness the first solar eclipse of 2005 on Friday when the moon blots out part of the sun. It will be a partial eclipse rather than a total one, in which the Earth is cast into darkness. But it will be the last partial solar eclipse visible from the continental United States until May 20, 2012. [...]
Friday’s eclipse will last from a few minutes to over an hour, depending on one’s location. In much of the continental United States, people will see what looks like the moon taking a bite out of the sun, with the bite bigger over the South. In Central America and the northern portion of South America, the sun will be reduced to a narrow ring of fire. [...]
The path of the eclipse will stretch about 14,160 kilometers (8,800 miles) through a corridor beginning near New Zealand and extending across the Americas. For a while, the sun will be blotted out completely as the eclipse moves across the open Pacific, but it will be visible only to people at sea. The next solar eclipse will be October 3, crossing the Iberian Peninsula to Africa.
And so we see that Pope John-Paul II was born during an eclipse and will be buried during an eclipse. The Toil of the Sun indeed!
What is also interesting is that there are only two more popes on the list before the “End of Time.”
Gloria olivae and Petrus Romanus.
Malachy concluded his prophecy with the following:
In persecutione extrema
S.R.E. sedebit Petrus Romanus,
qui pascet oues in multis tribulationibus:
quibus transactis ciuitas septicollis diruetur, & Iudex tremÃªdus iudicabit populum suum. Finis.
In extreme persecution,
the seat of the Holy Roman Church
will be occupied by Peter the Roman,
who will feed the sheep through many tribulations,
at the term of which the city of seven hills will be destroyed, and the formidable Judge will judge his people. The End.
What should disturb all of us is the fact that there are only two more prophecies. Whoever Petrus Romanus turns out to be, he is prophesied to be the last. If Malachy is correct, time is running out.
Update! Thanks to reader, Michael, who sent in the following:
“Will “The Glory of the Olive” be the last Pope? The problem with the prophecies as listed in The Prophecies of St. Malachy, published by the Thomas A. Nelson, a Catholic Publishing House, is that Malachy’s original works listed only 111 Popes, not 112, as given in the TAN version of the prophecies. Sometime between the first and subsequent printings the 112th, Petrus Romanus, was added to Malachy’s prophecy. It was added after the 1820 publication of the prophecies. ”
In other words, if this is true, the current pope, Benedict, may very well be the last Pope.
Originally Published 2003_11_10