B movies are the low budget films produced by the major studios during the Golden Age of Hollywood that were usually less than 80 minutes in length and were often paired with other films to screen as part of a double feature. Although these films featured talent with recognizable names in front of and behind the camera, the featured players were usually young stars on the rise or older stars who were fading from the limelight.
For most people, B movies - let alone B westerns - do not come to mind when they reflect upon the great works of American cinema. I have to admit that many of my favorite films are considered B movies and that I consider several B westerns as true cinematic works of art.
Seven Men From Now is one such B western. The film was directed by Budd Boetticher - a maverick figure whose life could have come straight out of a B movie plot. Boetticher played football at Ohio State and moved to Mexico after college in order to become a bullfighter. He became a great matador and his expertise in bullfighting led him to Hollywood where he became an advisor on the film Blood and Sand in 1941. Boetticher worked his way up to the position of journeyman director in Hollywood and made dozens of films that are not very well known. The director's life took several strange turns including a tumultuous marriage to star Debra Paget and a brief stint in a Mexican mental institution.
In the late fifties, Boetticher teamed up with actor Randolph Scott and producer Harry Joe Brown on seven B westerns that have become very well regarded among film historians and cinephiles. Seven Men from Now was the first of the these films and it featured the largest budget of the series thanks to the involvement of executive producer John Wayne and his Batjac production company.
Randolph Scott starred in the film as a former sheriff name Ben Stride who is seeking revenge upon the seven men responsible for the murder of his wife during a Wells Fargo robbery. Gail Russell co-stars as Scott’s love interest and the great Lee Marvin appears in the film as an adversary to Scott in tracking down the seven men.
Randolph Scott in a still from Seven Men from Now
Although this premise sounds like the shopworn plot of countless western genre films, the film reveals this to be a deceptively simple premise. The audience learns that Stride had lost his job as sheriff and his wife was working for Wells Fargo to support him at the time of her death. Russell’s character is married and begins making romantic advances toward Stride as he voluntarily escorts her and her fragile husband through a particularly dangerous stretch of Apache country. Of course, Lee Marvin is simply Lee Marvin - an actor with immense charm as well as a sinister edge in every single performance in which he has been captured on film.
These are complicated characters for a western from the 1950’s. In fact, it becomes difficult to determine whether any of the characters in the film conduct themselves in a moral fashion - they all have dark secrets that are slowly revealed over the course of the film.
However, it is the style of the film that truly sets it apart from most westerns. Action is more important in the film than dialog - though Lee Marvin has a fantastic monlogue that sets all of the other character's blood to boil in the middle of a rainstorm. The film's tense opening features Randolph Scott taking shelter from a thunderstorm under a rock overhang with two other men and within a few words it is becomes very apparent that these two men will figure in his quest for vengeance.
The editing of the film is also fantastic. There are several shootouts in the film and although we see Randolph Scott draw his six shooter on numerous occasions, the film always cuts away before he fires his gun. Boetticher leaves his audience to decide whether this editing choice is a comment on the speed of Ben Stride with his pistol or a sly comment on the moral turpitude of Stride's quest for vengeance.
John Wayne's involvement with the film as the executive produces led Seven Men from Now to become entangled in his estate long after his death. The film was never screened on television and only became available on home video in 2005. For fans of the western genre, Seven Men from Now is definitely worth a viewing.
We all do some sort of research on the internet, whether it be looking up information for a school report or personal enlightenment. Some search results can leave us scratching our heads, wondering why we yielded links that are far from what we had in mind, and some results are just simply lacking. Here are some tips that can help your search be more efficient and succinct.
- Enter as many keywords as possible. If you do this, you are likely to yield more results. It’s best to try five to seven keywords to help narrow your search field.
- Use nouns as keywords. Words such as “a” and “the,” pronouns such as “she” and “he,” and prepositions such as “over” and “to” slow down the search engine and often produce irrelevant results. Some search engines actually ignore these words.
- Use exact phrases when searching. Quotation marks should surround each phrase. The ability to search for exact phrases can be extremely useful in locating material online.
- Use Auto-complete. Sometimes search engines will display helpful results in a drop-down list. Selecting the appropriate item as it appears will save time typing.
- Don’t Capitalize. Most search engines ignore capitalization.
- Get better results with Boolean commands. “Boolean searching” can narrow your search results and increase the likelihood that relevant results will be displayed. This searching technique involves using Boolean commands: AND, OR, and NOT.
- The AND command will only return documents that contain all the keywords listed. For example, if you search for “Birmingham” AND “Library” AND “Hours,” the results displayed will include all of these terms.
- The OR command will return documents that contain any of the keywords. If you search for “Paris” OR “vacation” OR “ airfares” the search engine will display documents that contain even one of these keywords or phrases.
- The NOT command will return documents that do not contain the keyword listed. If you complete the same search for Bahamas, but this time included NOT “Vacation” the results displayed would not include any reference to the Bahamas Vacations.
- Some search engines automatically include the AND command in searches and process the plus (+) and minus (-) signs as another way to express AND or NOT.
- The wildcard operator (*) is also known as the “fill in the blank” operator. For example, “star *” will return pages with "star" and any other term(s) the search engine deems relevant. You can’t use wildcards for parts of words. So for example, "star w*" is invalid.
Yes, it's time once again for BPL's Summer Reading Program. Well, get with the beat, grab your library card and follow me for what promises to be a spectacular summer.
The Birmingham Public Library (BPL) is excited to launch its 2013 Adult Summer Reading Program beginning on May 13 at all BPL locations. This year's theme is "Birmingham's Beat." The program is available to adults ages 18 and older.
Music is a fantastic theme since Birmingham boasts an exciting music scene and hosts many fantastic live music acts. Groups perform at the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center, Boutwell Auditorium, Sloss Furnace, Alabama Theater, as well as Oak Mountain Amphitheater and various local clubs and festivals. The steamy south has a little something for everyone from cool jazz to down-home blues and country tunes. So, sit back and enjoy those sweet melodious and soothing tones.
While you're having fun this summer , don't forget to visit the Freegal site and download three free tunes a week. The music is yours to keep and never has to be returned. Just visit www.bplonline.org and type in the barcode that is on the back of your library card.
I would like to invite everyone to please visit and "like" the "Birmingham Public Library Adult Reading" Facebook Page. This will later become the Facebook page for BPL's Adult Summer Reading Program. We will have some great prizes to award those who "like" the page and read books this summer. Also, the page will have news, book reviews, and other interesting posts about summer reading.
So, if you would enjoy taking part in the summer reading program by Facebook, check out this page. We would like to increase the numbers of individuals taking part in this program. I have provided the link below. If you have any trouble finding the page, just let us know by placing a comment below.
Birmingham Public Library Adult Reading Facebook Page
BPLYP Tonorey Callins
What is your full name, age, and occupation? Tonorey Bishop Callins, 27, Development Assistant at Red Mountain Theatre Company.
What is your favorite place to eat in Birmingham? Slice.
Why did you get involved with the BPLYP? I have always spent a lot of time in the library including spending my summer breaks volunteering at the Five Points West Library as a kid. So when the opportunity arose for me to give back to the library as a young professional, I had to take it.
Which is your favorite (or most frequented) library branch? Springville Road.
Name some of your favorite books as a child or teenager. Black, White and Jewish by Rebecca Walker, The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, White Oleander by Janet Fitch, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath.
What genres do you read the most as an adult? Biography, Historical Fiction.
Who are some of your favorite authors? Alice Walker and Toni Morrison have always been my favorites, but since I have been reading a lot of biographies lately, it varies.
What is your wish for the city of Birmingham? To continue to grow and prosper as one of the country's most emerging cities.
Do you have a special talent? If so, what is it? I do praise dance at my church, but I'm not sure if that counts as a talent.
What is your favorite quote or inspirational saying? I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Phil. 4:13
BPLYP Maree Jones
What is your full name, age, and occupation? Maree Jones, 28, Digital PR Coordinator at KC Projects, a PR firm.
What is your favorite place to eat in Birmingham? Slice Pizza—best in Birmingham!
Why did you get involved with the BPLYP? From toddlers to adults, the library has fantastic programs in place to empower citizens through reading, education, and resources. I love to be a part of that!
Which is your favorite (or most frequented) library branch? Central.
Name some of your favorite books as a child or teenager. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle and The Giver by Lois Lowry.
What genres do you read the most as an adult? I studied Theater in college, so I love reading plays. I’ve also come to appreciate poetry more as an adult.
Who are some of your favorite authors? I have a wide range—everything from Shakespeare and Anton Chekhov to modern poets, such as Nikki Giovanni.
What is your wish for the city of Birmingham? To be able to compete and win. Birmingham is a beautiful hidden jewel, but it shouldn’t remain hidden forever. We need to showcase our talent, abilities, great minds, and great food to the world!
Do you have a special talent? If so, what is it? I love to act.
What is your favorite quote or inspirational saying? “You get what you get, and you don’t pitch a fit”… my 4-year-old son picked this up from his school, but I’ve found it is applicable to most any situation.
Art Bacon is known by many as an artist, educator, and scientist. However, art has always been his passion. He was born in West Palm Beach but lived in several places in and outside of Florida. Recognized early for his artistic talent, he won many prizes and awards long before he graduated from high school. Now retired from Talladega College where he was named Professor Emeritus of Natural Sciences and Humanities, he is painting more than ever and occasionally writes and recites poetry. His newest exhibition titled The Art of Art Bacon, Artist and Activist is scheduled to open on Thursday, May 16, 2013 in the Fourth Floor Exhibition Gallery of the Central Library. An opening reception is scheduled for Sunday, May 19 from 3:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. in the Fourth Floor Board Room. The exhibition runs through June 21, 2013 and is on view during regular hours of operation.
People are Bacon’s subjects of choice especially older and neglected people whose experiences show in their faces. In the early days, he worked almost exclusively with ink washes and lines—very little color. He was a minimalist and believed that color interfered with his expression of feelings. Bacon now uses more color and acrylics and a number of other media and techniques, often combining several. However, he still like lines and his palette is still limited. A leading art critic describes Bacon’s work as “social commentary with a bold vitality.”
Works by Bacon can be found in many private collections including those owned by Bill Cosby, U.S. Congressman John Lewis, and Hank Thomas. Institutions owning pieces by the artist include Alabama State University, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Mobile Museum of Art, Heritage Hall Museum, University of Maryland, Comer Museum, and Opryland. He has been featured in Southern Living and Lakeside magazines, Black Art in America, an online journal, and other publications.
ABOUT ART BACON
After finishing high school, Bacon went to Talladega College and majored in biology. However, art became a strongly competing involvement. Bacon enhanced his artistic skills by enrolling in art courses as electives—they were taught by David Driskell, a notable artist and later a leading authority on African American art. He earned the College’s Armstrong Award for Creative Ability.
During his senior year at Talladega, Bacon was severely beaten for sitting in the “wrong” waiting room at the Southern Railways train station in Anniston, Alabama. The incident took place on January 1, 1961 and helped to increase his determination to succeed at both art and science.
In graduate school at Howard University, Bacon's involvement in art was limited to illustrations for scientific papers. He received the M.S. and Ph.D. in 1963 and 1967, respectively. He is credited with discovering a new species of protozoa.
Following a year as the first Black postdoctoral researcher at the University of Miami, Bacon returned to his alma mater as a science administrator and member of the biology faculty. He immediately resumed painting and exhibiting his work. Under his leadership as Dean of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Peterson’s Guide to Colleges and Universities included Talladega College in its publication on the “Top Two Hundred Undergraduate Science Programs in the Country.” In his first professional art competition, he won second prize and sold thirty works. Since that show, he has exhibited in many places and won numerous prizes.
Joyce Brooks is a self-proclaimed "Mompreneur" and author of Self-Inflicted Overload. She has had the opportunity to achieve two very important goals: Becoming her best so that she may give her best to her family, children, friends,etc.; and sharing her experiences and knowledge with others so they can do the same.
It has been said, "You can't give, what you do not have." If you desire to give your best to your family, relationships, career, children, community or anything else you think of, you must first be your best. Committing to minimizing the overload and achieving work-life balance is an excellent start! Please see her website www.selfinflictedoverload.com. Wednesday, May 8, noon.
Feed your body and mind at BPL's Brown Bag Lunch Programs. You bring the lunch and we'll bring the drinks. Central Library, Linn Henley Research Building, Arrington Auditorium, 4th floor. For more information call 226-3604 or visit www.bplonline.org.
Due to uncertain weather conditions predicted for tonight, the monthly Bards & Brews event will move indoors to the Avondale Regional Library. Originally scheduled to take place in Avondale Park's Amphitheater, the festivities are scheduled to get underway in the library at 6:30 p.m. with live music by the Too Tones. The poetry starts around 7:15 p.m.
For more information, please visit the blog: http://bplolinenews.blogspot.com/2013/04/bards-brews-at-avondale-park-to-benefit.html.
Birmingham Public Library’s (BPL) popular Bards & Brews poetry performance/beer tasting series will travel to the Avondale Library on Friday, May 3, 2013. Usually held the first Friday of each month, the May 3 Bards & Brews will be a fundraiser for BPL’s Teen Poetry Initiative. The festivities start at 6:30 p.m. with live music, and poetry performances start at 7:00. In case of inclement weather, the event moves inside to the Avondale Regional Library located at 509 40th St. S. The program is free and open to the public.
Craft beer will be available for sampling courtesy of Avondale Brewing Company, and light refreshments will be served. Attendees must be 18 years or older to be admitted, and 21 years or older to be served. IDs will be checked.
Barry Marks, current president of the Alabama State Poetry Society, will serve as co-host along with our usual emcee Brian “Voice Porter” Hawkins. Marks, 1998 Alabama Poet of the Year, is encouraging fellow poets to donate two books of poetry each. Proceeds from sales of the donated books will go toward the teen poetry initiative. Featured poets include Andrew Glaze, Alabama Poet Laureate, Robert Collins, former director of creative writing at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, and Irene Latham, award-winning poet and children’s book author. The poets will read selections from their books. The line-up also includes powerful performances by area spoken word artists and past winners of the WORD UP! Student Poetry Slam.
Your contributions will help send a team of talented teens to the Brave New Voices international poetry competition in Chicago this August and also fund a year’s worth of poetry workshops and other poetry-focused activities led by the Real Life Poets.
Bards & Brews is usually held on the first Friday of the month at various locations around town. Look for us on June 7, 2013 at the North Birmingham Regional Library located at 2501 31st Avenue North. Check out the Bards & Brews page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
This program is made possible by grants from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Joyce Brooks is a self-proclaimed "Mompreneur" and author of Self-Inflicted Overload. She has had the opportunity to achieve two very important goals: becoming her best so that she may give her best to her family, children and friends; and sharing her experiences and knowledge with others so they can do the same. It has been said, "You can't give what you do not have." If you desire to give your best to your family, relationships, career, children, community or anything else you think of, you must first be your best. Join Joyce Brooks to learn how to minimize life’s overload and achieve work-life balance. Please see her website www.selfinflictedoverload.com. Wednesday, May 8, noon.
Feed your body and mind at BPL's Brown Bag Lunch Programs. You bring the lunch and we'll bring the drinks. Central Library, Linn Henley Research Building, Arrington Auditorium, 4th floor. For more information call 226-3604 or visit www.bplonline.org.
Researchers, writers, readers, and anyone interested in the history of the Civil Rights Movement will want to pick up a copy of the newly published novel March with Me by Birminghamian Rosalie Turner. Turner is receiving critical praise for this coming-of-age story portraying two young women—one black and one white—who experience segregation in Birmingham from different perspectives. The Birmingham Public Library will host Rosalie Turner on Sunday, May 5 at 3:00 p.m. in the Richard Arrington Auditorium of the Central Library located at 2100 Park Place in downtown. Turner will speak about her wish for racial reconciliation and her hope that this novel will continue this important discussion. The program is free and open to the public. Copies of the novel will be available for purchase.
March with Me’s climax centers around the Birmingham Civil Rights Movement’s pivotal Children’s March, when hundreds of school students marched in downtown Birmingham in May of 1963 to protest Jim Crow laws. Many students were arrested. It’s during this event when the lives of Turner’s two fictional young women, Letitia and Martha Ann, become entwined.
Turner did much of her research at the Birmingham Public Library—mainly in the Archives Department, which holds the largest collection in the world of documents and photographs related to the Birmingham Civil Rights Movement. Turner’s research at BPL and at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute laid the groundwork for a fictional story based on actual historical events. Turner also relied on oral histories of black and white Birminghamians who remembered life before and during the Civil Rights Movement.
The novel has received praise from several noteworthy individuals. Alma Powell (wife of Colin Powell and daughter of R.C. Johnson, former Principal of Birmingham’s Parker High School) called the book “a realistic, authentic, and compelling narrative of a crucial period in our nation’s history [about] brave young people who changed the world.” Former Mississippi Governor William Winter, who founded the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation, said that this book makes “a significant contribution to the cause of racial reconciliation in our country . . . It will give everyone who reads it a more enlightened perspective on race relations in America.”
In the program Barnard College and Columbia University professor Jonathan Rieder and Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Diane McWhorter discuss Rieder’s new book Gospel of Freedom: Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Letter from Birmingham Jail and the Struggle That Changed a Nation. Called “A sparkling reconsideration” by Booklist, Gospel of Freedom delves deeply into Martin Luther King’s Letter, examining its timeless message and its crucial position in the history of civil rights.
The class will cover how to get your thoughts down on paper, overcoming writer's block, copyright issues, self-publishing, how to perform, and more. The Friends of the Birmingham Public Library funds the workshops.
Taylor is one of the founders of Real Life Poets, a nonprofit creative writing program based in Birmingham. This summer he presented two workshops as part of BPL's adult summer reading program. Participants enjoyed the adult classes so much that they wanted to see them continue.
"We offered it this summer and the people wanted it back. That's why I wanted to do it,'' Taylor said. "We know it works. But it's cool when your community says, 'This is valuable.'''
For more information on the adult poetry class, contact Taylor at email@example.com or 205-585-8271. The Real Life Poets website is www.reallifepoets.org. The BPL contact is Haruyo Miyagawa, 205-226-3670. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
John Paul Taylor of Real Life Poets, Inc. is the coordinator. For more information, call Taylor at 585-8271 or email him at email@example.com.
What is your full name, age, and occupation? Cassandra Denise McLendon, 26, Data Specialist at Children’s of Alabama.
What is your favorite place to eat in Birmingham? Mugshots.
Why did you get involved with the BPLYP? I love the library, and reading is my favorite hobby. I also wanted to help in giving BPL a stronger presence in Birmingham.
Which is your favorite (or most frequented) library branch? Avondale.
Name some of your favorite books as a child or teenager. Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech & To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
What genres do you read the most as an adult? I’ll read just about anything! I particularly love contemporary fiction and suspense thrillers.
Who are some of your favorite authors? Jodi Picoult, David Baldacci, Robert B. Parker, and Maya Angelou.
What is your wish for the city of Birmingham? My wish for the city of Birmingham is to potentially become one of the cultural apexes in this country. This city has so much to offer in regards to the arts, including its rich cultural history, that I believe this can become reality one day.
What is your favorite quote or inspirational saying? Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. –Mark Twain
Please pardon our progress. On Wednesday, May 1, public computers at all Jefferson County Public Library locations will be offline as crews work on upgrades. Patrons will not be able to access Overdrive or databases from home. WiFi hotspots will still be available. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.
Sponsored by the Jefferson County Library Cooperative (JCLC), in partnership with the non-profit creative writing organization Real Life Poets (RLP), Inc., the publication will be unveiled during a program and reception on Tuesday, April 30 at the Birmingham Public Library’s downtown location. Several writers will read selections from their work during the event which begins at 6:00 p.m. in the Richard Arrington, Jr. Auditorium. The program is free and open to the public.
The “Voices from the Storm” project was open to all ages. Submissions of writings were made from October 2011 to March 31, 2012 at any public library location in Jefferson County or submitted electronically. All submissions were posted on the JCLC website at www.jclc.org. John Paul Taylor, Executive Director of RLP and Patrick Johnson, RLP board chair, selected the works that were included in the printed anthology. Toby Richards of the Birmingham Museum of Art worked with area schools and at Camp South Hampton Art Camp to encourage students to create artwork inspired by their storm experiences. Artwork by several students is included in the anthology.
An added component to Tuesday’s program will be artwork created during the Camp Alabama Storm Art Line Project. Volunteer experts conducted therapeutic art workshops in April 2012 with elementary school-age students in communities hard hit by the April 27, 2011 tornadoes. Students from Concord, Hackleburg, Tuscaloosa and the greater Birmingham area contributed artwork that expressed gratitude for receiving help in the storm’s aftermath.
On Thursday April 4, 2013, my oldest son had a terrible car accident. It was raining and the roads were slick. He and his younger brother were on their way to school and, of course, he was driving much too fast. The car hydroplaned, they hit the curve, side swiped a light pole, drove into a ditch, and hit a tree head on. The car was totaled, but both of my boys walked away from that wreck without a scratch (praise God!). Although I give God all of the credit for saving my boys, the really good news is that they were both wearing their seat belts.
Seat belts save lives! And it’s the law to wear them. For those of you out there who wear your seat belts on a regular basis, please continue. For those of you who choose not to wear them, I encourage all to please start. Wearing seat belts can make the difference between life and death.
To read more on seat belt safety check out this great website and these books: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seat_belt
Staying Safe in the Car by Joanne Mattern
Safe Sally Seat Belt and the Magic Click by Phyllis Gobbell and Jim Laster
Several male comedians have achieved success portraying female characters, but few have been more popular than Tyler Perry portraying Madea. Martin Lawrence made a couple of Big Momma’s House movies, but his character did not become a franchise like Perry’s Madea. His stage plays and motion pictures are some of the most popular DVD titles we carry at the library. In fact, it is not unusual for patrons to request all the Madea movies.
What is Madea’s appeal? Comedy is very subjective and each person has his own ideas about what he considers funny. I was a little skeptical about the Madea movies at first, but once I finally saw one, I understood why people like them so much. It’s not just that the movies are funny, they deal with sensitive issues and have a deeper message. One minute Madea is saying something to crack you up and the next minute she is giving advice that brings you to tears. As Tyler Perry has mentioned in interviews, Madea is one of those women you know, whether she is a member of your family or not. I think that’s the main reason the movies are so popular.
As a writer, producer, actor, and director, Tyler Perry is one of the most talented people working in the film industry today (my opinion). He has produced some incredible films including Precious (along with Oprah Winfrey) which won two Academy Awards. He writes, directs, and plays the lead role in all the Madea films, which typically hit the big screen after a successful run on stage. In addition to his own movies, he recently played the lead in the film Alex Cross, based on a novel by James Patterson. His next Madea project, Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas, will hit theaters in December 2013.
- A Madea Christmas: the play
- Madea gets a job, the play
- Madea's class reunion
- Madea's family reunion: the movie
- Tyler Perry's Madea goes to jail
- Tyler Perry's Madea's big happy family
- Tyler Perry's Madea's witness protection
Lignum Vitae, published in Venice in 1595 In 1595 a 12th century prophecy was discovered in the Vatican library. Allegedly written by the Archbishop of Armagh in the midst of a divine vision, sometime around 1143, the prophecy of St. Malachy purports to list every Pope from that year up to our own time. And, of course, the prophecy ends with an ominous warning. Petrus Romanus, qui pascet oues in multis tribulationibus: quibus transactis ciuitas septicollis diruetur, & Iudex tremedus iudicabit populum suum. Finis. (Sorry, Latin was the universal language back then.) This translates to "Peter the Roman, will pasture his sheep in many tribulations, and when these things are finished, the city of seven hills will be destroyed, and the dreadful judge will judge his the people. The end." Since ancient times the city of Rome has been known as the city of seven hills, and since this document first surfaced some readers have interpreted ‘the end’ to mean the apocalypse. And guess what, folks. If you tick off all names and descriptions on this list, Pope Francis is the last on the list.
The prophecy of St. Malachy is a series of short, cryptic epithets, or mottoes, the Pope’s regal name, and a helpful explanation of the motto. For example, the first entry reads "from a castle on the Tiber, Celestine II, someone who lives in Tifernum." (I’m sparing you from the original Latin, but if you’re interested see the digital image below.) This makes perfect sense. Celestine II was born in Citta di Castello, city of the castle, on the river Tiber. An even clearer example is the entry for Pope Urban III. This translates to "a pig in a sieve, Urban III, of the Milanese of the Cribella family, which displays a pig for arms." (In other words, the Cribella family has a pig in a sieve for their coat of arms.) In fact, most of the entries from 1150 to 1590 are comparatively clear and unambiguous.
The Papal predictions after 1590 are another matter. For one thing, the list lacks regal names; the writer suddenly loses the ability to predict which regal name a Pope will choose. More tellingly, the mottoes suddenly become incredibly vague and ambiguous. My favorite, ‘religious man,’ is pinned to Pope Pius VIII. Can’t we presume that most, if not all, Popes would be religious? And this leads to the obvious observation that the more vague the motto, the easier to connect the prediction to whoever was elected Pope.
And so I’m left with the question that if this is a hoax, what was its purpose? Some historians have suggested a conspiracy to elect a particular Cardinal. According to this theory, one particular Cardinal thought that if a motto describing him was on a list with past Popes, and the list was advertised as a divine vision, the conclave would feel compelled to vote him to the Holy See.
So when Pope Francis passes away will the world pass with him? I would respectfully suggest that instead of searching for the answer in a prophecy of questionable providence, to simply read the Bible.
Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
But of that day and hour no one knoweth, not the angels of heaven, but the Father alone.
For a more detailed analysis of the Prophecy of St. Malachy read Jimmy Akin’s article in the National Catholic Register.
Submitted by David Ryan
Business, Science & Technology Department