Photo: St. Peter’s Basilica, one of the holiest Catholic churches, hours after Benedict XVI’s shock announcement
‘Petrus Romanus’ – a phrase used by Saint Malachy to describe the last Pope. Saint Malachy, an Archbishop from 12th century, had a vision where he saw next 112 popes and used cryptic Latin phrases to describe each of them. According to him 112th pope(from his time) would be the last pope and he described him as –
“In the final persecution of the Holy Roman Church, there will sit, Peter the Roman, who 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 people”
Here, ‘Peter the Roman’, is the last Pope, ‘city of seven hills’ is Rome and the dreadful judge is considered as The Christ.
The newly elected Pope, Jorge Mario Bergoglio is the 112th Pope and based on Malachy’s prophecies would be the last Pope. Jorge Mario Bergoglio and ‘Petrus Romanus’, let’s see how they are connected: all the popes are considered successors of Peter. Simon Peter was one of the most prominent apostles during the Jesus ministry and is often considered the first Pope. Also Bergoglio chose the Papal name Francis in honour of ‘Saint Francis of Assisi’. Saint Francis was born as ‘Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone’, his name has Pietro, which translates in Greek as ‘Peter’. Hence, Pope Francis fits comfortably in the description of Peter. Though he was born in Argentina, but his bloodline is purely Italian, making him in Malachy’s words – ‘Petrus Romanus’.
Malachy’s description of Popes is very cryptic. Pope John XXII was described as ‘Shepherd and Sailor’, it turned out that he belonged to a family of shepherds. Pope Benedict XV was referred to as ‘Religion Destroyed’, when he became Pope it was difficult to understand its relevance, but World War I and Russian Revolution made it quite clear. Pope John Paul I was described as ‘of half moon’, he was elected Pope on the day of half moon and died later on half moon. Pope Benedict XVI, who resigned recently was described as ‘Glory of the Olive’. The relation between his papal name ‘Benedict’ and ‘Olivetan order’ (a small Roman Catholic order) explains this phrase – Benedict’s choice of papal name is after ‘Saint Benedict of Nursia’ , Founder of Benedictine Order, of which Olivetans are one branch.
These prophecies were published in 16th century. The original manuscript was never printed before and was deposited in Vatican Secret Archives. It was forgotten until 1590, when it was rediscovered and published by a Benedictine named Arnold Wion. Various historians believe that these prophecies are forgeries because the ones made before 1590 were exact and the prophecies made later were inaccurate. But the connections between the Pope and the prophecies, sometimes even vague, have been formed over the years. It is similar to the number 23 syndrome, when you start searching for it, you find it everywhere.
Some even believe that Saint Malachy’s prophecies refer to the Apocalypse and some believe that it refers to a single world government. It would be interesting to see which tribulations he is referring to and how Pope Francis handles them. And who would be the dreadful judge and what would be his judgement? And yes! The most important question, Is Pope Francis I, the last Pope?