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medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

The Malachy prophecy (see New Catholic Encyclopedia, 2nd ed., vol. 9, p. 65, predicts 111 popes after Celestine III (elected 11430..  These are desccribed cryptically.  The last is "Roman Peter."    The prophecy is a 16th century forgery attributed to St Malachy..

Tom Izbicki

Thomas Izbicki
Collection Development Coordinator
Eisenhower Library
Johns Hopkins
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medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Doctissimi,
The event of today (2 April) sent me to a list of popes because I'm always 
interested in the names chosen by people who enter the religious life and do 
not keep their given names. I found this statement as I was perusing the 
list:" Leo VII, 963*65, or Benedict V, 964*66 (one of these was an 
antipope)." So I have a few papal questions. First, can anyone explain how 
it was that the Church did not know (?) or could not decide which of these 
men was legitimate? Second, does anyone know who was the first pope to 
choose a name different from his given name? Third, considering the variety 
of names of the popes of the first millennium, why do the same names begin 
to pop up in _about_ the year 1000 ff.? We've had 23 "John,"s and several 
other names are used quite frequently. There seems to be a certain lack of 
imagination from about 1000 on. Finally, does anyone but me remember the old 
notion that a pope's choosing the name "Peter" would signal/bring about the 
end of the world? It seems we were quite certain of the latter factoid when 
we were children.
MG

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