Will Pope Francis I head the Catholic Church during the apocalypse?
The new pope was elected to the papacy on March 13, making him the 266th pope. He holds a number of firsts for the papacy, including being the first pope from the southern hemisphere, the Americas and Argentina.
But a vision of a 12th century Irish archbishop could cast a shadow over Francis’ papacy. Saint Malachy, then the Archbishop of Armagh, predicted that the last pope to preside over the church would be the 112th elected after the then-current pope, Innocent II. While visiting Rome, Malachy had a vision of these 112 remaining popes, and wrote down short descriptions of each pope, which have been startlingly accurate.
And as it turns out, we’ve now come to the 112th pope after Innocent II and if Malachy’s predictions hold true, this is it. Pope Francis will be the last pope (and the first named Francis!).
Of Pope Francis, Malachy wrote “Peter the Roman, who will pasture his sheep in many tribulations, and when these things are finished, the city of seven hills (Rome) will be destroyed, and the dreadful judge will judge his people. The End.”
Malachy’s predictions have held (somewhat) true for every pope elected since his Prophecy of the Popes was published in 1595 by Benedictine monk Arnold Wion. Pope Benedict XVI, who, according to Malachy, was the second to last pope, was described as the “glory of the olive,” which scholars have linked to his connection to the Olivetan branch of the Benedictine Order from which he takes his name. And Pope John Paul II was described by the Irish archbishop as “From the labor of the sun / Of the eclipse of the sun,” which scholars claim corresponds with the solar eclipses that occurred on the day of his birth (May 18, 1920) and funeral (April 8, 2005).
It’s still unclear whether Pope Francis is the “Peter the Roman” mentioned in Malachy’s Prophecy of the Popes, and some scholars believe that there may be many popes between the “glory of the olive” and Peter the Roman.
But as Pope Francis announced himself to the world, he spoke of his far-flung origin, which may hint at his end times rule, according to Russia Today. “You know that the duty of the conclave was to give a bishop to Rome,” it reads. “It seems that my brother cardinals went almost to the end of the world to get him. But here we are.”