While reading the Prophecy of the Popes, I noticed that the entry for the 111 Pope in the series reads: Glory of the olive (Gloria oliviae).

Wikipedia's article on this subject states:

Proponents of the prophecies generally try to draw a connection between Benedict and the Olivetan order to explain this motto: Benedict's choice of papal name is after Saint Benedict of Nursia, founder of the Benedictine Order, of which the Olivetans are one branch. Other explanations make reference to him as being a pope dedicated to peace and reconciliations of which the olive branch is the symbol.

The olive is considered the symbol of peace.

The use of a dove and olive branch as a symbol of peace originated with the early Christians, who portrayed the act of baptism accompanied by a dove holding an olive branch in its beak and also used the image on their sepulchres. The dove appears in many funerary inscriptions in the Roman catacombs, sometimes accompanied by the words in pace (Latin for "in peace"). - Peace symbols (Wikipedia)

When Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio became Pope, he took the papal name of Francis in honor of St Francis of Assisi.

Furthermore St Francis of Assisi is also one of the patron saints of peace.

My question is quite simple:

Are there any known Catholic authors who have tried to interpret the papal reigns of Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis as being a single reign in order to make both of them fit into St Malachy's Gloria oliviae of his Prophecy of the Popes?

To be crystal clear, Pope Francis holds the keys of St. Peter and not Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

“That is what I have said, indeed, that – if one wishes to specify it – it is very clear, the Plena Potestas, the Plenitudo Potestatis [full power, incarnate authority] is in the hands of Pope Francis. He is the man who has right now the succession of Peter. And then there are no difficulties left, as I also have said it. These two are also not in a competitive relationship. That is where one has to make use of common sense, as well as the Faith and a little bit of theology. Then one does not have at all difficulties to understand properly [sic] what I have said.” - Interview: Archbishop Gänswein on Benedict, The Two Popes, and Prophecy

  • 1
    This does not look to me like an opinion-based question. It is not asking whether the reigns of these popes are a fulfillment of the prophecy, but whether there are any Catholic authors who have attempted to interpret them that way. This is a matter of objective, if recent and rather particular, history of Catholic interpretation. Commented Nov 2, 2016 at 17:15
  • 1
    Please note that there are no evidence that this prophecy is really of St Malachie: the oldest known proof of existence is of the 16th century. E.g. in Mgr Léon Cristiani's Nostradamus, Malachie et compagnie.
    – Luc
    Commented Nov 5, 2016 at 17:11

2 Answers 2


Are there any known Catholic authors who have tried to interpret the papal reigns of Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis as being a single reign in order to make both of them fit into St Malachy's Gloria oliviae of his Prophecy of the Popes?

The answer is YES. The papal reigns of Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis was understood as a single reign, it is called "expanded Petrine Ministry".

Are there any known Catholic authors who have tried to interpret it this way? I think there was a book already released and it's author is an italian journalist.

The Secret of Benedict XVI: Is He Still the Pope?

ANTONIO SOCCI, a native of Siena, is an Italian journalist and the director of the Perugia School of Journalism. His most recent books from Rizzoli are The Final Prophecy (2016), The House of Young Heroes (2017), and Betrayed, Subjected, Invaded (2018).

The Connection to Fatima and St.Malachi prophecy:

Socci concludes his work with Part Three, entitled “Fatima and the Last Pope.” He draws on his prior extensive study of the message of Fatima, seeing it as a key to understanding the present moment in the Church, and reminding his readers that the message of Fatima emphasized the strong link between the intercession of the Mother of God and the protection of the pope. At the center of the vision of Fatima, there are two persons: “the ‘bishop dressed in white’ and an old pope,” and Socci ponders whether perhaps this vision could refer to the present situation, noting that on May 21, 2017, while visiting Fatima, Pope Francis called himself “the bishop dressed in white.” Socci sees in Benedict a figure similar to the pope in the children’s vision: “half tremulous, with faltering steps, afflicted with pain and sorrow, crossing a large, half-ruined city” (p. 182). Socci undertakes a detailed examination of overlooked words of the children of Fatima, stating that the Blessed Virgin told them that if humanity did not do penance and convert, what would happen was “the end of the world” (p. 195). Sister Lucia declared in an interview in 1957 that “Russia will be the instrument chosen by God to punish the whole world, if we do not first obtain the conversion of that wretched nation” (p. 198). Implicit in Socci’s analysis and reflection is the sense that the outcome of the present crisis is of the utmost importance for the fate not only of the entire Church, but also of the entire world.

Socci’s final observation is that the medieval “Prophecy of Malachy,” which proposed to give a mysterious title to each future pope, ends with Benedict XVI. After this pope, it mysteriously says that there follows “the final persecution of the Holy Roman Church” and the figure of “Peter the Roman.” When asked in 2016 whether this prophecy could mean he is “the last one to represent the figure of the pope as we have known him up until now,” Benedict mysteriously replied, “Tutto può essere [Everything can be].” Further asked if this means he would be seen as the last pope of the old world or the first pope of the new world, Benedict replied, “I would say both. I do not belong anymore to the old world, but the new one in reality has not yet begun” (p. 213). Socci understands these astonishing comments to mean that both the world and the Church are on the cusp of epochal upheavals, inviting his readers to further reflection on the various prophecies in Scripture of the destruction of the Temple and on paragraphs 675-677 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church regarding the final trial of the Church. - In New Book, Antonio Socci Speculates on the “Secret of Benedict XVI”

But if there is one person who can shed light on the expanded petrine ministry, he is none other than the secretary of Pope Benedict XVI, his name is Archbishop Georg Gänswein. Why? If there is a person that would know or familiar with the mind & heart of Pope Benedict XVI it would be his secretary.

Archbishop Gänswein: Benedict XVI Sees Resignation as Expanding Petrine Ministry

Speaking at the presentation of a new book on Benedict’s pontificate at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome May 20, Archbishop Gänswein also said that Pope Francis and Benedict are not two popes “in competition” with one another, but represent one “expanded” Petrine Office with “an active member” and a “contemplative.”

Archbishop Gänswein, who doubles as the personal secretary of the Pope Emeritus and prefect of the Pontifical Household, said Benedict did not abandon the papacy like Pope Celestine V in the 13th century but rather sought to continue his Petrine Office in a more appropriate way given his frailty.

“Therefore, from 11 February 2013, the papal ministry is not the same as before,” he said. “It is and remains the foundation of the Catholic Church; and yet it is a foundation that Benedict XVI has profoundly and lastingly transformed during his exceptional pontificate.”*

He further stated the following reflections;

But in his speech, Gänswein insisted "it was fitting" for Benedict to resign because he "was aware that the necessary strength for such a very heavy office was lessening. He could do it [resign], because he had long thought through, from a theological point of view, the possibility of a pope emeritus in the future. So he did it.”

Drawing on the Latin words “munus petrinum” — “Petrine ministry” — Gänswein pointed out the word “munus” has many meanings such as “service, duty, guide or gift”. He said that “before and after his resignation” Benedict has viewed his task as “participation in such a ‘Petrine ministry’.

“He left the Papal Throne and yet, with the step he took on 11 February 2013, he has not abandoned this ministry,” Gänswein explained, something "quite impossible after his irrevocable acceptance of the office in April 2005.“

Instead, he said, "he has built a personal office with a collegial and synodal dimension, almost a communal ministry, as if he had wanted to reiterate once again the invitation contained in the motto that the then-Joseph Ratzinger had as Archbishop of Munich and Freising and naturally maintained as Bishop of Rome: "cooperatores veritatis", which means ‘co-workers of the truth’.”

Archbishop Gänswein: Benedict XVI Sees Resignation as Expanding Petrine Ministry

But what is the significance of Pope Benedict XVI symbol gloria olivae and Pope Francis choosing the name of St.Francis as both of this symbolizes and represents Peace?

The significance of the symbol is connected to Our Lady of Fatima who is calling for Peace and it will end up in Medjugorje the Our Lady Queen of Peace.

The Call to Peace: the heart of the message of Our Lady of Fatima

Our Lady of Medjugorje (Croatian: Međugorska Gospa; also called Queen of Peace and Mother of the Redeemer) is the title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary by those who believe that she appeared in 1981 to six Herzegovinian teenagers in Medjugorje, Bosnia and Herzegovina (at the time in SFR Yugoslavia). Local Diocese as well as the Catholic Church have not recognised the apparitions as either supernatural or authentic.

...On May 13, 2017, a papal response came when Pope Francis declared that the original visions reported by the teenagers are worth studying in more depth, while the subsequent continued visions over the years are, in his view, of dubious value. - Our Lady of Medjugorje

The Two Great Popes reigning as one in our era representing peace symbol and link to the two Great Marian apparition in the span of century imploring the praying of the holy rosary daily for peace in the whole world is the preparation for the Church before it can enter to the New Era of Peace.

  • This question asks for the interpretation of the specific prophecy of St. Malachy. You have no source to indicate a single Catholic author that mentions the Prophecy of the Popes as such. You seem more to beet around the subject. You have given no Catholic author’s interpretation in your response.
    – Ken Graham
    Commented Sep 27, 2019 at 11:06
  • I gave you the italian author of a book Antonio Socci, detailing the issues sorrounding papacy of Pope BXVI. And i give you A.Ganswein who gave a more direct interpretation of St.Malachi prophecy stating "expanded Petrine Ministry" which is the equivalent of two popes of peace reigning as one. Its the best factual link to St.Malachi prophecy. Commented Sep 27, 2019 at 12:34
  • Your sources say nothing of the Prophecy of the Popes. I am looking for an explicit link to the prophecy of the Gloria oliviae of St. Malachy and not one’s interpretation as such.
    – Ken Graham
    Commented Sep 27, 2019 at 21:42
  • 1). Antonio Socci devote a chapter in his book connecting Fatima vision with St.Malachi prophecy. 2) Ken there are Two Pope and Socci called Ratzinger "A pope, but not a pope" but the better term was given by Ab.Ganswein "expanded Petrine Ministry"; one active & one contemplative; Two Pope united as One. 3) I only said Two Great Marian Apparition imploring "PEACE" and I did not mentioned the word "approved" Commented Sep 28, 2019 at 3:57
  • ”To complete his apocalyptic warnings, Socci reflects on the fact that in the medieval prophecy of St Malachy Pope Benedict XVI is the final pope in the list. He struggles to identify Francis as “Peter the Roman” and finds an obscure link between the author of the Malachy prophecy and the Italian town of Bergoglio. This is a stretch.” - Is Benedict XVI Still The Pope?
    – Ken Graham
    Commented Jun 30, 2020 at 1:01

Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis and the Prophecy of the Popes?

There are no Catholic authors that seem have tried to interpret the papal reigns of Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis as being a single shared reign in order to make both of them fit into St Malachy's Gloria oliviae of his Prophecy of the Popes?

All Catholic authors are writing about Pope Francis as being the last pope (112th) and not a pope sharing the prophetic nuances of the (111th) pope.

For example:

Archbishop Georg Gänswein's controversial remark on an “expanded Petrine office” with two pope does not make this a shared prophecy.

In fact Archbishop Georg Gänswein upholds that Pope Francis May indeed be the last pope making him the 112th pope.

Will the Papacy End With Francis? A Rare Interview With Archbishop Gänswein

The archbishop, who serves both Pope Francis and Benedict XVI, discusses the famous resignation, the allegations of ‘rivalry’ between the two and the prophecy about the pope at the end of the world.

What is Benedict XVI's own view of his historical resignation? What has the fallout been from his secretary Archbishop Georg Gänswein's controversial remark on an “expanded Petrine office”? What about the “Prophecy of St. Malachy,” which allegedly sees Francis as the last pope?

In a recent and candid conversation, veteran journalist and EWTN Rome correspondent Paul Badde sat down with Archbishop Gänswein, who gave his take on these and a number of other questions.

The German archbishop currently serves Pope Francis as prefect of the papal household, and he has also maintained his duties as secretary for the pope emeritus, Benedict XVI.

When a massive lightning strike lit up the top of St. Peter's dome on the evening of Feb. 11, 2013, many observers chose to interpret this as a divine reaction to the historical announcement of Pope Benedict's resignation, made that very morning. As his personal secretary, Archbishop Gänswein, reminisced about how both he and Benedict only found out about the lightning strike after the event, “the impression was one of a sign from above, a reaction,” he told Badde. When he showed Benedict images of the spectacular incident a few days later, the pope asked whether this was some kind of digital montage, Gänswein said, adding: “Nature had spoken.”

How Pope Benedict Sees His Decision to Resign Today

Archbishop Gänswein spoke about the painful emotional impact of Benedict's farewell from the papal office and household. “Indeed, I found myself compelled to openly cry,” he said. However, with three years having passed since, “there has been a lot of reflection, personal reflection included.”

He affirmed that “Pope Benedict was — and to this day, all the more is — very much at peace with his decision to resign and that it was the right step to take. That helped me personally to overcome my initial resistance and accept what Pope Benedict truly realized after much struggle and prayer, what he found to be the right thing and then decided on.”

Benedict's greatest joys since retiring, Gänswein said, are “to have time for prayer, for reflection and reading — but also for personal encounters,” despite also living “the life of a monk” at the monastery in which he now resides.

An 'Expanded Petrine Office'?

There are a number of cardinals, Badde said during the interview, that are “upset when hearing that the Church currently has two living successors to Peter. Recently, you spoke about an expanded Petrine office, which Pope Benedict is said to have introduced. Could you explain that a bit further?”

“I saw from among the reactions that I was imputed to have said a number of things that I did not say. Of course, Pope Francis is the legitimate and legitimately elected Pope,” Archbishop Gänswein said.

“Any talk of two popes, one legitimate, one illegitimate, is, therefore, incorrect.”

What he did, in fact, say, Archbishop Gänswein added, was that Benedict continues to be present in prayer and sacrifice, which bears spiritual fruit.

The archbishop also dismissed any talk of problems or even some form of rivalry. “When applying common sense, faith and a little theology, that should be clear.”

The 'Prophecy of the Popes'

During the interview, Badde referenced an old alleged prophecy that has recently gained traction in some clerical discussions: The “Prophecy of the Popes.” Also known as the “Prophesy of St. Malachy,” the prediction is attributed to the 12th‑century archbishop of Armagh; according to it, Pope Francis may be considered to be the last pope.

“Indeed, when looking at the prophecy, and considering how there was always a sound reference to popes mentioned in its history — that gives me the shivers,” Archbishop Gänswein admitted.

Once again there seems to be no Catholic authors suggesting that both Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis share the place of being 111th pope as the Glory of the Olive.

Notwithstanding all this lack of evidence that states that Pope Francis may be the “Glory of the Olive” along side Pope Benedict XVI, there exist as of November 28, 2020 a cardinal who is actually a Roman. Cardinal Augusto Paolo Lojudice was born in Rome on July 1st, 1964! This could possibly make him Peter the Roman (Petrus Romanus) if he gets elevated to the papacy as the next pope. Besides this, he was previously the auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Rome!

As for myself, I am leaving this an open question as time will tell.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .