Cardinal Ratzinger, a former Hitler Youth, has assumed the name of Benedict XVI and the internet is abuzz with discussions about the Prophecies of St. Malachi.
St. Malachi was a visionary who foresaw only 111 Popes (some say 112).
St. Malachi wrote down names of the Popes and their "motto" or something that gave a general description of who the Pope was.
PJPII was de labor solis - or "of the sun's labor". People say that there was an eclipse on the day PJPII was born, and one on the day he was buried.
Why all the buzz about Pope Benedict? St. Malachi prophecied that the next pope's motto would be Gloria Olivae - or of the Glory of the Olive.
St. Benedict, however, prophecied that his order, the Benedictines, would triumphantly lead the Church in a fight against evil in the end of days.
The Motto of the Benedictines is pax, or "peace", the symbol of which is the olive branch. The olive branch is also a symbol for the Jews in the New and Old Testament.
Pope-watchers who are familiar with St. Malachi have traditionally taken this to be an indicator that the next Pope would have been from the Benedictine order, but instead it seems as though Cardinal Ratzinger has just assumed the name of Benedict XVI.
What can we expect?
I was surprised to find this old article from Catholic Planet, which stated:
b. Some say that this prediction of St. Malachy, “From the Glory of the Olive,” refers to the Order of St. Benedict, because they have a well-known group within their order called the 'Olivetans.' There is some merit to this idea. But it does not mean that this Pope will come from the Order of St. Benedict, but rather that he will take the name of Saint Benedict and will live in imitation of him.
c. The next Pope after John Paul II will take the name Pope Benedict XVI, in imitation of Saint Benedict and also of Pope Benedict XV. Just as Pope Benedict XV was an emissary of peace, so will Pope Benedict XVI be an emissary of peace. Just as Pope Benedict XV sought peace and spoke of peace and wrote papal documents seeking peace, so will Pope Benedict XVI do also. Just as Pope Benedict XV failed to achieve peace in the world, so will Pope Benedict XVI fail to achieve peace in the world. Just as the Pontificate of Benedict XV began prior to World War I, so will the Pontificate of Benedict XVI occur prior to World War III. After the Pontificate of Benedict XVI, World War III will begin. The Arab nations will threaten and attack the United States; they will threaten, attack, invade and conquer Europe; they will threaten, attack, invade and conquer the northern part of Africa. It is God's will.
Note to self: move to New Zealand.