I believe that we are on the threshold of the first part of the tribulation.
According to the three Popes prophecy of Garabandal, the end times begin during the reign of the current Pontiff, Pope Benedict XVI.
St. Malachy’s prophecy of the Popes calls Pope John Paul II ‘from the labor of the sun’. What labor does the sun do? Ostensibly, the sun labors by constantly traveling around the world. Pope John Paul II’s Pontificate was distinguished by his constant travels around the world. He was by far the most traveled Pope in history.
St. Malachy’s prophecy calls Pope Benedict XVI ‘from the glory of the olive’. What is the glory of the olive? Peace. The olive tree is the symbol of peace. Pope Benedict XVI’s Pontificate has been marked by his efforts toward peace and reconciliation — between nations, between religions, and among Christians. He is a Pope of Peace prior to a world war, just as his predecessor, Pope Benedict XV, was a Pope of Peace prior to a world war.
The last Pope on St. Malachy’s prophetic list is not the last Pope ever, but only the last on the list. This next Pope reigns during the start of the tribulation. St. Malachy describes this Pope with a full sentence and plain assertion, rather than with a cryptic phrase:
“In the final persecution of the Holy Roman Church there shall reign Peter the Roman who will feed his flock amid many tribulations, after which the seven-hilled city will be destroyed and the terrible judge will judge the people.”
So what St. Malachy says agrees with the prophecy of Garabandal: the tribulation begins soon.
The next Pope is the one called ‘Peter the Roman’. But this does not imply that the next Pope will be called ‘Peter II’. No Pope has ever dared to take the name of the first Pope, the Rock chosen directly by Christ. Instead, the expression ‘Peter the Roman’ — like all the other expressions used by St. Malachy to describe future Popes — refers to his Pontificate.
This next Pope will emphasize the supremacy of the Roman Catholic Faith over all other religions, and the authority of the Roman Pontiff over the one true Church. He will rebuke apostasy, heresy, and schism. He will drive unrepentant heretics from the Church. He will show that the Roman Pontiffs who succeeded Peter have the same full authority as Peter. Thus, he will deserve the name ‘Peter the Roman’.
But he will take the name Pope Pius XIII. For Pope Saint Pius X predicted that this would be his name:
“Pope Pius X saw a vision of a successor of his, who had the same name (i.e. Pius), fleeing Rome over the dead bodies of members of the clergy. According to my interpretation of Sacred Scripture, the next Pope, i.e. Peter the Roman, (i.e. the pope after Pope Benedict XVI) will flee Vatican City and Rome during World War 3; many members of the clergy will be killed during that time period. When he flees, the city will be half in ruins, due to the civil disorder, violence, and rioting that occurs during the war. He will escape Rome, but he will soon be captured and blinded, and he will die in a prison in Iraq with no one to rescue him. I believe that Peter the Roman (Cardinal Arinze/Pope Pius XIII) is the Pope foreseen by Pope Pius X.” (Conte, The First Part of the Tribulation, p. 51).
The successor foreseen by Pius X must be the next Pope, for the tribulation is about to begin. And the next Pope will not only reign during the tribulation, but also just prior to the destruction of Rome. So if a Pope is to be martyred after fleeing Rome, it would have to occur prior to the destruction of Rome.
The next Pope will be Pope Pius XIII, and he will reign at the start of the tribulation, and he will die a martyr. But which man will be this next Pope? One of the Brides of the Most Blessed Trinity had a vision of Cardinal Arinze with Pope’s hat on his head:
Claire Rose: “During this Holy Mass I had two visions. The first I saw Cardinal Francis Arinze` with the Pope’s Hat on his head. The tall hat. He was smiling! The second vision, I saw Mother Theresa of Calcutta. She, too, was smiling. Later as we were having lunch I was telling the two priests of my two visions. Fr. Jude began to smile. I was very surprised to learn that he knew both Cardinal Arinze and Mother Theresa! Only those who were present were told this.” (vision of June 1, 2003)
But if Arinze is to become Pope, he must be the next Pope, since he is advanced in age.
Cardinal Arinze will turn 79 in November of 2011. Only Cardinals under 80 years of age are permitted to vote in the papal conclave. However, there is no age limit to be elected Pope.
Would the Cardinals really choose a Pope who was as old as Arinze? Yes. After the long Pontificate of Pope John Paul II, it is said that many Cardinals prefer older candidates for Pope, so that his reign can be anticipated to be not too lengthy. Pope Benedict XVI is one of the oldest Popes, by his age at election. When he dies, he will be one of the oldest Popes, by his age at death. It is probable that the Cardinals have not changed their minds, over the past few years, about preferring older candidates for Pope.
Would the Cardinals really elect a non-European Cardinal as Pope? Yes. Formerly, the Pope was almost always Italian. But Pope John Paul II was Polish, and Pope Benedict XVI is German. So the Cardinals have shown that they no longer adhere to the custom of electing an Italian Cardinal. And it is said that, given the prevalence of non-European Cardinals (and non-European members of the faithful) in the Church today, many Cardinals would like to see a non-European Pope, especially one from the developing world: either from South America or Africa.
Would the Cardinals really elect a black man from Africa as Pope? Yes. Three previous Popes, in the distant past, have been from Africa. But we do not know if they were black or not. The Roman empire extended into Africa for a long time, bringing many non-Africans into Africa, and so a Pope from Africa may or may not have been black. There does not seem to be any record of the ethnicity of these three African Popes, perhaps because it was not an issue at the time. The faithful want their Pope to be holy; they do not care about his race or ethnicity.
Furthermore, the election of U.S. President Barack Obama has given new impetus to this long-discussed possibility of another Pope from Africa. Those Cardinals who are more liberal would favor a Pope who was black and who was from the developing world, rather than from the wealthy developed nations. Liberal Catholics tend to emphasize overcoming racial bias, and assisting the poor and needy of the world.
Those Cardinals who are more conservative would perhaps favor a more traditional choice for Pope, someone from Europe. But Cardinal Arinze is a very conservative Cardinal; his work as the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (CDW) found favor with conservatives in the Church. He prefers a more literal translation of Scripture; his office worked with the editors of the RSV second Catholic edition. He opposes liturgical abuses and various types of innovation and experimentation with the form of the Mass. He is one of the more conservative Cardinals.
So liberal Cardinals will vote for Arinze because he is black and from the developing world. But conservative Cardinals will vote for him because he is conservative. Therefore, Cardinal Arinze is very electable (very ‘papabile’, as they say).
And the prophecy given to the Brides of the Most Blessed Trinity agrees that he will be Pope.
As for my prediction of circumstances of the martyrdom of the next Pope, this is based on my interpretation of Sacred Scripture. Perhaps I will post on that topic in the future. But I have already explained this interpretation at length in my books of eschatology.
For much more about the tribulation, see my books: