There has been end of the world prophecies as far back as time immemorial. From the world ending predictions of the second century of the Montanism movement to the 2060 AD event predicted by Sir Issac Newton, there are plenty of apocalyptic lore to keep the masses entertained. However, one that intrigues the minds of many enthusiasts and scholars alike involves the current sitting pontiff in the Vatican.
This end of days event is commonly referred to as “The Last Pope” or “Petrus Romanus.” There is a multitude of speculation behind the Petrus Romanus meaning, but before we explore this in further detail, it is pertinent to find out the details behind this Petrus Romanus prophecy.
Petrus Romanus Definition and Background
Petrus Romanus literally means “Peter the Roman.” According to the 1913 edition of the Catholic Encyclopedia, the most famous last pope prophecy is attributed to Saint Malachy writings in 1139. On his journey, to Rome to give audience to the then Pope Innocent II, Malachy experienced a series of prophetic visions. Through these visions, he produced and presented to the Pope a list of future pontiffs to lead the Catholic Church. He named one hundred twelve (112) in all.
Ultimately once the last pontiffs reaches his ascension, the end of times would occur. Initially lost for 400 years, Malachy’s findings were rediscovered and published in 1590 AD by Benedictine monk Arnold de Wyon. It is during our present time in history that many experts believe we have come to the end of the prophecy with Petrus Romanus the final pope being Pope Francis.
According to Malachy, the pope will reign over the “Great Tribulation” whereby there will be a great persecution of the Holy Roman Church and the destruction of the “City of Seven Hills” (Rome) leading to judgement of both the good and wicked. Although most experts arrive to this basic conclusion, there are many interpretations to the “signs” that will usher in the time of tribulation or revelations.
Expert Interpretations of the Last Pope Prophecy
Theologian Ronald Conte Jr. quoted in his book “Petrus Romanus: The Final Pope is Here,” “During the reign of Pope Peter the Roman, the great apostasy begins and the pope will mark the first part of the tribulation during our lifetime.” He further says, “This apocalypse beginning in 2012 when, as he sees it, (Pope) Benedict suddenly dies or steps down and is replaced by Petrus Romanus….(which) is followed by a series of cascading events… resulting in WW3 , which is triggered when Iranian backed terrorists explode a nuclear bomb in New York City.”
Furthermore, Conte predicted, “…by July 2013, Rome (be) destroyed when struck by a nuclear missile.” For the record, Pope Benedict (the 111th pope) did indeed resign his papacy in 2013 one year after the publication of Conte’s book. And as of this writing, both New York City and Rome continue as vibrant cities.
In the Jewish holy book, The Zohar, in the section, “Signs Heralding Messiach: The Coming of the Messiah,” marks the year 5773 equivalent to the date beginning September 2012 and ending 2013 a period which leads to the destruction of Rome and more importantly, the appearance of Messiah. These prophetic words were written 700 years ago. Importantly, these ideas from The Zohar coincide with those of Malachy.
Another expert, researcher Dr. Tom Horn, argues that Pope Francis himself has eluded to being the last pope. Francis has stated, “It is a vague feeling I have that the Lord chose me for a short mission…I am open to that possibility…” This brief comment has setting off speculation that he is referring to the prophecy. With this, Horn suggests the current pope indeed accepts the fact that he may be the last pontiff.
Dr Horn adds clues supporting the last pope predictions found in the words uttered by St. Francis of Assisi, the pope’s namesake. St Assisi prophesied, “At the time of this tribulation a man, not canonically elected, will be raised to the pontificate, who, by his cunning, will endeavor to draw many into error and death.”
Horn also presents as additional support to the last pope, the message behind a vision of the Virgin Mary by the Portuguese children of Fatima in 1917. This vision revealed describes a city (believed to be the Vatican) under attack whereby many priests and the pope are killed by fighters. To date this has not occurred. However many speculate the attackers to be possible Islamic forces that will ransack the holy city.
Most recently, Dr. Horn mentioned that Pope Francis may not be pope that fulfills St. Malachy’s prophecy. According to Horn,
Of course, there are many skeptics that refute this prophecy. There is evidence to support the prophecy of Malachy a forgery. Many believe it was Wyon who penned the document. Others say the epithets themselves provide proof of illegitimacy. The interpretation of the meaning for the 112 epithets are a stretch at best. One example used is that assigned to Pope Benedict XIV. He is referred as the “rustic animal.” But his real background suggests this reference is farther from the truth. He was anything but a country boy. He was a scholar.
These are truly remarkable times. One only needs to open their eyes to see the world going through changes socially, politically, economically, climatically and most important spiritually. I am certain these events will impact our lives and future generations. Whether this last pope prophecy come to fruition remains to be seen. Only time will tell.