The Irish prophet Saint Malachy has predicted that the next Pope after Benedict will be the last and he will be "Peter the Roman, who will nourish the sheep in many tribulations; when they are finished, the city of seven hills will be destroyed, and the dreadful judge will judge his people. The end."
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The prophecies of the Irish saint Malachy, the 12th century bishop of Armagh have thrilled and dismayed readers for centuries. He has stated there will be only one more pope after Benedict, and during his reign comes the end of the world.
The prediction in full is "In the final persecution of the Holy Roman Church there will reign Peter the Roman, who will feed his flock amid many tribulations, after which the seven-hilled city will be destroyed and the dreadful Judge will judge the people. The End."
Experts say it could refer to an Italian pope who would take Peter's name.
Read more: Could Cardinal Timothy Dolan from New York be the first American pope?
In 1139, then Archbishop Malachy went to Rome from Ireland to give an account of his affairs. While there he received a strange vision about the future that included the name of every pope, 112 in all from his time, who would rule until the end of time. We are now at the second last prophecy.
His predictions are taken very seriously. As one report states: " In 1958, before the Conclave that would elect Pope John XXIII, Cardinal Spellman of New York hired a boat, filled it with sheep and sailed up and down the Tiber River, to show that he was "pastor et nautor," the motto attributed to the next Pope in the prophecies."
As for the prophecy concerning the 111th pope, Pope Benedict, the prophecy says of him, "Gloria Olivae," which means "the glory of the Olive."
The Order of Saint Benedict is also known as the Olivetans which many claim makes Malachy's prophecies correct. The next and final pope then should be "Peter Romanus".
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