Prophecies is the name given to the Biblical texts which are read in the Church of Rome on the day before Easter-Sunday, after the consecration of the paschal taper. They are the following: Ge 1:1; Ge 2:2; Ge 5:31; Ge 8:21; Ge 22:1-19; Ex 14:24; Ex 15:1; Isa 54:17; Isa 55:11; Bar. 3:9-38; Eze 37:1-14; Isa 4; Ex 12:1-11; Jon 3; De 31:22-30; Da 3:1-24. They are called prophecies, inasmuch as they are symbols of the redemption of mankind through Jesus Christ, and have a direct bearing upon the mysteries which the Church is at that period solemnly commemorating. The first prophecy relates the creation of the world: we are to remember here that Christ, by his death on the cross, became the originator of a new, spiritual creation. The second prophecy is about the flood, about Noah saved with his family in the ark: it must remind the faithful that the Redeemer saves through the waters of baptism all those who believe in him. The third prophecy brings before our eyes Abraham, whose faith was as firm as a rock, and invites to similar confidence in our Lord. The fourth prophecy relates the exodus from Egypt and the passage through the Red Sea, showing how Christians should leave the bondage of sill and follow their own god-sent leader. The fifth and sixth prophecies recommend constancy in our purpose, teaching — the former — that the Lord bestows eternal bliss upon such as follow him; the latter, that ruin awaits the sinner. To give us the necessary forces for the struggle we are to go through, God sends us the Holy Ghost: this is what we are reminded of by the vision of Ezekiel in the seventh prophecy. The eighth prophecy points out the eternal glory which awaits those who fight under the cross. The ninth prophecy is about the Jewish passover, the tenth about Jonah's preaching in Nineveh, the eleventh about the respect to be paid to the Pentateuch, and the twelfth about the three young men in the oven. The custom of extraordinary readings on Saturday before Easter is very ancient; it was made necessary by another custom which consisted in spending several hours of the Easter-night in the place of worship, more especially to await midnight there. Gregory of Nyssa (Orat. ii, De Resurr. Christi) speaks of these readings, only their number was not the same at all times. The Ordo Rom. i speaks of four lections, each of which was read in Latin and in Greek. According to Beleth (c. 106), there were at Rome twelve Greek and as many Latin lections; in other places twelve, or only seven. William Durand (1. 6, c. 81) knows of four, six, twelve, and fourteen of them. In some churches five were read, in others eight. Wetzer u. Welte, Kirchen-Lex. s.v. See Siegel, Christliche Alterthuner (Index in vol. 4); Riddle, Christian Antiquities (see Index).