It's a pretty well-known bit of prophecy: the "papal forecast" by St. Malachy. In 1139 the Irish monk Malachy went to Rome and upon approaching the city he supposedly was struck with a vision about ALL the popes that would come from his time on to... well, the end of time. Each forthcoming pope was given a Latin description about some characteristic of the man. Whether or not its a real prophecy from the source or a later-made forgery attributed to Malachy is highly debatable. But if you click that link you'll find some things that might raise your eyebrows.
Like, f'rinstance, the description that Malachy gave for Pope #266 on the list, corresponding to one Karol Wojtyla, better known to the world as Pope John Paul II:
De labore SolisTranslated it could mean "from the toil of the sun". Or "from the eclipse of the sun".
Pope John Paul II was born on May 18th 1920, during a solar eclipse.
This coming Friday, April 7th 2005, Pope John Paul II will be buried during a solar eclipse.
By the way, the description for the next pope that Malachy gave is "Gloria olivae": "the glory of the olive". And next comes "Petrus Romanus", AKA Peter of Rome, who will be the last pope and then the world ends.
Partial solar eclipse on Friday
Wednesday, April 6, 2005 Posted: 12:58 PM EDT (1658 GMT)
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.
Solar eclipses occur when the Earth, sun and moon line up in such a way that the moon casts a shadow over Earth.
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.
Astronomers warned people not to stare directly at the sun without eye protection...
Parse this as you will.