I was going to ask about the potential validity of the Saint Malachy's Prophecy of the Popes as I once did on "Catholic Answers" message board years ago, but doing a search to check for redundancy, I see someone else has asked something similar, so I'm spinning my question in a little different direction.

Question on Status

When I've talked to online Catholics about this prophesy it is often dismissed. New Advent's entry on it is a bit more neutral.

They were first published by Arnold de Wyon, and ever since there has been much discussion as to whether they are genuine predictions of St. Malachy or forgeries. The silence of 400 years on the part of so many learned 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, but it is not conclusive if we adopt Cucherat's theory that they were hidden in the Archives during those 400 years.

I have noticed one thing. It seems like if you check the Coat of Arms and personal background of various popes, it seems like this prophesy has been fairly accurate!

So I'm curious if there is any discussion and explanation of this in Catholic circles? At the very least, it appears to me that popes of the modern era, unofficially seem to be choosing their coat of arms, and maybe their name based on it.


Popes' Coat of Arms and Saint Malachy Prophecy of the Popes

No pope chooses his name or coat of arms based on the Prophecies of Popes which are attributed to the Irish St. Malachy. That seems like a reasonable weak reason for a pope to choose his papal name based on St. Malachy’s predictions, to say the least, if not superfluous altogether by some people.

Any connection of these Latin mottos to a pope’s coat of arms of name or some else involved in a pope’s life is up to chance.

Proponents of the prophecies have attempted to link these mottos to various Supreme Pontiffs in various ways as the Wikipedia article on the Prophecy of the Popes points out.

It is more the proponents of the prophecies that create the suitable links between a particular pope and his St. Malachy’s motto.

Since the Vatican does not recognize this as an valid prophecy, anyone could interpret it a particular motto in their own way.

I am personally unsure if this prophecy is true or not, however it seems to have an eerily accurate tone to it, to say the least.

I am personally at divergence with most proponents of the Prophecy of the Popes, when it comes to the interpretation given to the current Pope Francis as this question points out: Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis and the Prophecy of the Popes.

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