In the extreme 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 terrible judge will judge his people. The End.
Those are the chilling words of the final passage of St. Malachy’s Prophecy, the infamous 12th century vision that revealed all of the Pope’s. All of this, of course, leads up to today (an interestingly foreboding date of 3/13/13), when the white smoke rose into the sky to confirm that the council had indeed agreed on a new Pope, the one expected by believers of the prophecy to be the last one. This comes on the heels of the unexpected resignation of Pope Benedict. Prior to his resignation, many believed the final crowning moment for St. Malachy’s Prophecy may still be several years down the road, but now it is upon us. So, did Malachy get it right all the way to the end. Does the new Pope fulfill the prophecy or tear it down at last? And what does it mean for the future? Is this really the final Pope?
The new Pope is Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the 76-year-old archbishop of Buenos Aires. He is rumored to have been the runner-up to Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) back in 2005. He’s a pretty natural selection and explains why the conclave was able to come to a decision relatively quickly. Latin America also is home to the largest portion of Catholics in the world, making it a symbolic choice as well. He is the first Pope from South America and the first ever to not be from Europe. This could symbolize a moving away from tradition in an attempt to reform and modernize the Catholic Church.
All of that is fun to talk about, but let’s get to the point. What name did Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio select to start his reign? The name of Francis makes history. Pope Francis is Pope Francis I, and the very name is an indicator that the new Pope has reform and changing the image of the Catholic Church on his mind. After all, Francis of Assisi was synonymous with church reform and the rebuilding of the church in a very turbulent time. He also was a champion of humility and charitable works. He was such an influential figure in the annals of Catholicism that many believed no Pope would dare take his name because it would be considered almost sacrilegious. And yet, Bergoglio has done just that. Could it be because the end of the line of Pope’s is soon at hand?
We will be analyzing where this Pope announcement fits in the St. Malachy Prophecy. At first glance, there seems to be no connection. However, in the history of the prophecies, often it is some overlooked detail that allows people to find a way to make a case that Malachy was right again. We will have more on this later this evening as more research on Bergoglio is completed. At this point, the only connection that we can come up with to the prophecy is that the Cardinal selected a name that was a first. The name of Peter was considered the same way as Francis…untouchable. That was the meat of the prophecy, that the last Pope would cast aside all of that and take that name. Perhaps this Pope taking Francis, a first, is a roundabout fulfillment of the prophecy. But that’s just reaching right now and knee-jerk reaction. Better to wait until more research, opinions, and actions unfold to see what the real connection might be.