The Next Pope: Prophecies of Nostradamus and St. Malachy

Some of you may not be aware that I have already written a book on the matter of future papal succession.

The Last Pope: The Decline and Fall of the Church of Rome, is the book in which I detailed the St. Malachy prophecies regarding the succession of the Popes. Below I give a synopsis of that book. My latest addition to this important fault line in the Catholic cosmology is the sequel to the Last Pope:

The Last Pope Revisited. Find it here at Hogueprophecy Store.

Here is a brief synopsis of “The Last Pope”:

In 1139 St. Malachy set out from Ireland on a harrowing pilgrimage to Rome. On sighting the Eternal City he fell to the ground and began murmuring cryptic Latin phrases, each signifying the future destiny of the popes. For four hundred years the manuscript was locked in the labyrinth of the Vatican. On its rediscovery in 1595 it was rejected by the Church authorities as fraudulent but the content of the prophecies remains remarkably and chillingly accurate: to this day 90 percent have come true.

In examining the context of St. Malachy’s life, his pilgrimages and his miracles, “The Last Pope” presents a fascinating account of the fates of the popes and eight hundred years of Catholic prophecy; including those of contemporaries, Hildegard von Bingen, Joachim de Fiore and the 16th-century Catholic seer, Nostradamus, whose vision of the papal succession closely resemble that of St. Malachy.

In this first complete study of St. Malachy’s prophecies in over a hundred years, “The Last Pope” provides new revelations regarding the authenticity of the Latin mottoes. As the Roman Catholic Church continues to witness an eclipse in papal power this work uncovers the truth about St. Malachy’s prophecies and reveals their significance as an account of the papal progression which Vatican policy makers have found too threatening to acknowledge.

St. Malachy prophesied an end to the Roman Catholic Church and predicted the fates of the popes until Judgment Day. Pope John Paul II has died. Only two popes remain on the doomsday list. Are the Catholic prophecies warning humanity of a great chastisement and apocalypse at hand? “The Last Pope” tries to answer these questions from outside of doomsday dogma’s box. The end times may presage something unexpected and wonderful for Catholic and non-Catholics alike.


The conclave to elect the next to last pope will begin a week from the writing of this article (18 April). Today, I wish to briefly go over those parallel prophecies about the next pope written by the 16th-century French prophet, Nostradamus. If he is speaking about “Gloria Olivae” (Glory of the Olive)–the Latin motto St. Malachy uses for the next pope–does Nostradamus provide a hint from where in the world the next pope comes?

A new interpretation, if correct, of Century 5 Quatrain 49 of Nostradamus’ prophetic masterpiece “Les Propheties,” would cool the ardor of odds makers who bet that the next pope will be a Latin American. Nostradamus’ inference to Spain includes candidates arising from her former colonial territories, such as Cardinal Carrera of Mexico, Cardinal Maradiaga of Honduras or Cardinal Hoyos of Columbia. Hence, the new pope will not hail “from [the empire of] Spain [as Nostradamus knew it] but from ancient France.”

Nul de l’Espaigne mais de l’antique France,
Ne sera esleu pour le tremblant nacelle,
A l’ennemy sera faicte fiance,
Qui dans son regne sera peste cruelle.

Not from Spain but from ancient France,
Will be elected for the trembling ship [the bark of Peter],
He will make a promise to the enemy,
Who will cause great plague during his reign.

Back in 1986, I surmised that a candidate hailing from within the borders of “ancient France” could include southwestern Poland, the birthplace of John Paul II. It lies within the outer frontiers of Charlemagne’s early medieval empire.

What if this prophecy instead pinpoints his successor? And rather than the broadest extent of France’s oldest Empire, the poetry meant us to look for the successor in the “oldest” and earliest holding of France?

The most ancient plot of French territory would be the holdings of the Merovingian Dynasty of the 5th and 6th century. Paris along with Reims was their chief city. The current Archbishop of Paris is Cardinal Lustiger, one of the late John Paul II’s closest theological disciples. The late pontiff made Lustiger Archbishop of Orleans in 1979. Orleans is another region of “ancient France.” John Paul II made him Archbishop of Paris in 1981.

Lustiger can be applied to my earlier interpretation of this prophecy as well. Like John Paul II, he comes from the frontiers of Charlemagne’s ancient 8th-century Carolingian empire. Lustiger was born to Jewish parents in southwestern Poland. He survived the Holocaust, became a French citizen and converted to Catholicism. Today he remains a dark “Jewish” horse candidate for the next pope. His Jewish origin, however, and his age (79 years old) makes him a long shot. The Vatican avoids responding to what it calls polemicists (like myself) who might infer that their choice of a Jewish born pope fulfills some end-time prediction for the papal succession. If the first pope (the Apostle Peter) and the last pope should be both Jews, it closes destiny’s circle, ending the papal succession.

Let us look again at the last three lines of the prophecy:

…[he] will be elected for the trembling ship [the bark of Peter],
He will make a promise to the enemy,
Who will cause great plague during his reign.

John Paul II trembled with Parkinson’s disease and died as a result of complications from that illness. In my earlier interpretations, I noted that a great plague did appear during his pontificacy–AIDS. But if this prophecy is about the trembling John Paul’s successor, then perhaps we face at last the long overdue visitation of a global pandemic during the new pope’s reign.

Signs are already there that hemorrhagic fever plagues are on the rise in Africa. Doctors at the CDC (Center for Disease and Control) openly admit that the Bird Flu from South East Asia and China could mutate at any time from a bird-to-human to a human-to-human contagion. A form that can spread the deadly infection rapidly around world killing tens of millions.

What if the plague is manmade?

Another post John Paul II interpretation would imply that the future pope who St. Malachy calls “Glory of the Olive” makes a promise to enemies in a future war. This motto invokes the symbol of a dove of peace with olive branch in beak. The next pope could be a great peace maker. Taking Nostradamus’ final line in mind, the next pope, in the name of peace reaches out to radical Islam. Unfortunately, the enemy turns on him, and the great plague foreseen comes out of biological or chemical weapons of mass destruction used by terrorists. A number of Nostradamus’ prophecies infer such attacks on Rome will take place, forcing the evacuation of a future pontiff.

Gloria Olivae begins his reign as a pope bearing the “olive” branch of peace, but later he becomes the pontiff enduring Christ’s apocalyptic prophecies from the Sermon on the Mount of “Olives.” In other words, his reign marks the beginning of apocalyptic wars and rumors of apocalyptic wars spreading out from the Holy Land across the whole world.

Century 5 Quatrain 92 gives us another clue to the next pope. My interpretation made back in 1997 for Nostradamus: The Complete Prophecies remains unchanged:

Apres le siege tenu dixsept ans,
Cinq changeront en tel reuolu terme:
Puis sera l’vn esleu de mesme temps,
Qui des Romains ne sera trop conforme.

After the [Holy] See kept for seventeen years,
Five completed terms will exchange within [the Vatican]:
Then one will be elected at the same time,
Who will not be too conforming to the Romans.

This is what  said then:

“This could be about modern popes. Pius XI (1922-1939) ruled the Vatican for 17 years. The five successors would be Pius XII (1939-58), John XXIII (1958-63), Paul VI (1963-78), John Paul I (1978), and the current pope, John Paul II. When he dies a new pope will be elected that will not please the Vatican status quo. Perhaps he will be as revolutionary as Pope John Paul I.”

For St. Malachy’s motto for the next pope:

(Glory of the Olive)

If the College of Cardinals convening on 18 April takes the short-lived caretaker route in their balloting then Cardinal Ratzinger has the best chance. My sense is the reign of this 77-year-old will be short. Maybe just four years. He will exhaust himself–as would any other elderly candidate in their late seventies–trying to keep up the pace that John Paul II set in his globe trotting ways.

St. Malachy’s prophecies often describe the details of a pope’s family arms or Papal heraldry. If the coat of arms of a candidate for Gloria Olivae should bear olives and olive branches, then expect it to be the current Archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Tettamanzi (his name means “bull’s tits”). Then again we may toast the new pope with a Martini–a Cardinal Martini, that is. He is the previous Archbishop of Milan and noted Biblical scholar who now lives in Jerusalem for half of each year. Both the current and former archbishops of Milan are in play because the seal for the Archbishop of Milan bears olive branches.

I think the chances for a Latin American are quite high, but I believe European cardinals in the Conclave will see to it a European, if not an Italian, will be the next pope.

The top conservative Italian candidates include Biffi, Tettamanzi and Sodano. Tettamanzi’s association with Opus Dei is key to an Italian conservative takeover. Then again, Tettamanzi has been best at hedging his spritual-political bets by also warming up to more liberal Catholic organizations. He at least has put on a good show as a moderate.

Of course we cannot rule out the importance of the Israeli connection with prophetic symbols of the olive and olive branch. Martini spends half of each year in Jerusalem and his potential candidacy enjoys that ever popular word play in prophecy: the double entendre. Read the “olive” branch of Israel along side the “olive” branch in the coat of arms as the previous Archbishop of Milan and it could equal “Gloria Olivae.”

Martini is progressive so he is much more of a long shot. Tettamanzi is perhaps the late John Paul’s choice for successor. It is traditional for a pope in his final years of life to appoint his successor as Archbishop of Milan, the largest Catholic Archdiocese in Italy. For example, John XXIII appointed his successor, Cardinal Montini (Paul VI) to that post.

The inclination to a conservative or progressive future pope depends on whether the College of Cardinals meeting in the conclave seek to sustain John Paul II’s conservative agenda. If they do then do not expect John Paul III will heed to pressures from the laity and regional bishops to soften dictatorial control from Rome in their local affairs. Those who read the history of papal succession in my book, “The Last Pope,” cannot fail to notice how often a conservative or liberal pope tries to stack the college with his own theologically sympathetic cardinals. Then, after his death, they choose a successor from the opposite pole. As the old Vatican saying goes: “A fat pope is followed by a thin pope, is followed by a fat pope, etc…”

I guess that makes the corpulent Tettamanzi the man of the white smoking stove piped hour because John Paul II was thinner than Tettamanzi. The latter is a native of the Milan region. That brings greater emphasis to his olive branched coat of arms as the Archbishop. He is 71. His mother is still alive and well and in her early 90s. The long living gene pool of the Bull Tits clan could confer on Tettamanzi more than a short rule of a caretaker pope. He might rival John Paul II in longevity sitting upon St. Peter’s throne longer than a quarter century.

There is perhaps a deeper message hidden underneath the layers of peace making and a tie with Israel hinted in the cryptic motto “Glory of the Olive.”

Christ’s sermon on the Mount of Olives.

The next man in St. Peter’s chair, and the second-to-last pope on St. Malachy’s list before Judgment Day endures an apocalyptic pontificacy. This would be especially true if he does turn out to be one of the younger candidates from Latin America, such as   Honduran (Maradiaga), the Mexican (Carrera), or the European Schonborn the Austrian and Daneels the Belgian Cardinal. (UPDATE 4/14/05: For the record, I had a powerful vision dream on the morning of the 14th that the next pope would be Schonborn . We will see if that plays out.) There is also Hummes of Brazil, but Nostradamus made it clear that the next pope would not come from the Spanish Empire of his day. Brazil belonged to Portugal. In any case, the youngest is 60 (Schonborn), the eldest is 71 (Daneels). Like Tettamanzi, there are enough relatively youthful heir apparents in the short list for becoming the next pope who may not be so short lived. He can linger long enough to see his pontificacy enter the 2020s–the same decade of catastrophe that so many prophets date as the beginning of humanity’s true tribulation. Thus, the rule of St. Malachy’s last pope, Petrus Romanus (Peter of Rome) may be a long time off in the future. There is still time to make St. Malachy’s dire coda for the last pope a future avoided:

During the last persecution of the Holy Roman Church, there shall sit Peter of Rome, who shall feed the sheep amidst many great tribulations, and when these have passed, the City of the Seven Hills [Rome], shall be utterly destroyed, and the awful Judge will judge the people.

A detailed, line by line, interpretation of the dire days of the final Pope Peter of Rome can be read in pages 349-367 of THE LAST POPE.

John Hogue
(12 April 2006)

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  1. Six
    Posted 14 March 2013 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    John, is it possible that the measuring term for the 17 year period was meant to be Pius XII? He reigned for 19 years, but that’s pretty close. Plus, that prophecy seems to suggest pope #6 would come along during or at the same time of pope #5 (Francis and Benedict XVI).

  2. Seven
    Posted 12 February 2013 at 5:03 am | Permalink

    Good call so far. Ratzinger made it 8 years. Will be interesting to see who is elected next. I’m following the prophecies/plans from both sides and things are coming together now. God bless.

    THe papal pablum of the Vatican News Networks and the Disneyfied mainstream news networks are not going to tell you how Benedict’s near eight-year reign was such a failure that if he hadn’t “retired” certain dark forces in the Vatican would have helped him “go to god”, if you take my meaning. The sheeple would be shocked to know what intrigues are afoot behind the Vatican walls these days.

    • Six
      Posted 16 February 2013 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

      Ouellet is an ancient French name, my bet is on him to be elected next pope.

      • Six
        Posted 13 March 2013 at 6:07 am | Permalink

        Well Pope Francis still appears to fulfill Nostradamus’s prediction of a pope not from Spain, but from ancient France. Pope Francis is from a Spanish colony but calls himself Francis. I will be interested to hear John’s views about this and obviously the Petrus Romanus connections.

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