Is the Next Pope the One From John Bosco’s Dream?

twopillarsdreamFor at least the next month, we will be bombarded with a myriad of theories, speculations, and predictions about who will be elected the next pope. One name you will hear a LOT about in the coming weeks is Cardinal Tarcisio Pietro Evasio Bertone, S.D.B., who currently holds two important and powerful positions in the Vatican, Secretary of State and Camerlengo.

Already, the speculators and conspiracy-theorists are theorizing that Cardinal Bertone will be the next pope because, at least according to the dubious “prophecy of Saint Malachi,” the next pope after Pope Benedict XVI will be known as “Peter the Roman,” in part because his middle name, Pietro, is Italian for Peter. Some of these theorists are saying, Cardinal Bertone was “born in Rome.”

False. He was born in the Northern Italian town of  Romano Canavese, in the Piedmont region, near the City of Turin.

Personally, I don’t buy into any of the hyped-up speculation about possible or probable papabili. My guess (and guessing is all anyone can do here) is that we will all be surprised by the election. For that matter, I’m not fazed by the speculation gyrations people are into right now. The Holy Spirit is in charge of this process and will write straight with the crooked lines we humans use.

Arm yourself against Pope-bashers--order Pope Fiction by Patrick Madrid today!

Arm yourself against Pope-bashers–order Pope Fiction by Patrick Madrid today!

So, all speculation and Saint Malachi stuff aside, I will point out something that I believe is a  genuinely interesting factoid about Cardinal Bertone : Namely,that he is a Salesian of Don Bosco, and Saint Don Bosco, as you will recall, had a prophetic dream about a future pope who will guide the Catholic Church through a fierce storm of attacks into a respite of calm and peace.

In his dream, Don Bosco saw the Church as a great three-masted ship being moored securely between two towering pillars representing the Holy Eucharist and the Blessed Virgin Mary. I think many Catholics today would agree that, however choppy the water may be right now, the Catholic Church seems to be headed straight into a dark and dangerous storm of gale proportions. Cardinal Francis George recently said as much when he commented prophetically that he expects to die in his bed, he expects his successor to die in prison, and he expects his successor’s successor to die a martyr’s death.

In several weeks’ time, once the new pope is elected, I may look back and laugh at this blog post. Very possibly someone completely unexpected will be elected (which, I tend to think is what will happen).  And yet, for the moment at least, I am simply taking note of the fact that Cardinal Bertone is a Salesian, a disciple of Saint John Bosco. When it’s all said and done and we have our new pope, wouldn’t it be just a tad remarkable if the future pope whom Don Bosco saw in his dream turned out to be one of his own sons?

Patrick Madrid


Patrick Madrid has authored many books on Catholic themes including Search and Rescue and Surprised By Truth 2. He also hosts EWTN Radio's "Open Line" heard nationwide on 200 stations and on Sirius Radio.

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  • I don’t buy into any of the dubious Malachi prophecies. However, though Bertone might not be from Rome, he’s lived there for a number of years. And, the city of his birth is Romano (Roman) Canavese, founded in 143 B.C. as a Roman military outpost, according to the city’s own website

  • Hi Pat:
    Cardinal Bertone is 78, though, the same age Benedict was when elected.
    Though not a disqualifier, I feel the electors may go for someone younger.

  • Fr. Steve Leake, SDB

    Patrick, it is also of interest that we Salesians have 4 Cardinal electors in the coming conclave: Cardinal Angelo Amato, Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez, Cardinal Farina and Cardinal Bertone. We Salesians have always been proud of our Cardinals but it was an especially proud moment yesterday when Cardinal Bertone gave his beautiful speech to the Holy Father at the end of Ash Wednesday Mass. Long live the Pope and long live Don Bosco!

  • Kay

    Sometimes I wonder if Bertone is a friend or foe. I can’t imagine he would be the next Pope. I think in this circumstance the Pope kept his enemies close…

  • Thank you Patrick for the insight. I did not know about Bosco’s dream. I can go home now; I’ve learned something today.
    Come, Holy Spirit! Pour out Your Wisdom on the cardinals that they may elect your man for this job. And please guide Your faithful to be the people you want us to be.

  • Nathan

    I don’t know much about this Cardinal, but as a youth ministry coordinator and someone who adores the work of St. John Bosco and the Salesians, it gives me peace to think our next Pope will have a close connection with Don Bosco and perhaps fulfill his dream. I will be paying attention to this for sure, very exciting.

  • Czap

    May God forbid that Bertone ever wears the fishermans shoes.

  • Czap


  • Could the next pope be the last pope?

  • I’m thinking Cardinal Arinze, from Africa….Africa has been saturated with the Blood of the Martyrs for the past 40 yrs, (& more) Living under Communism gave JP II great insight & strength…just some thoughts…this will be the 7th Pope in my lifetime…all were great men!!

  • terik Ororke

    Next Pope will be called joseph.

  • patriotone

    Cardinal Bertone , wasn’t he the one involved with the scandal of the Vatican Bank. He also , with Cardinal Sudano, OPPOSED various popes in releasing the TRUE secret of Fatima.I believe these two cardinal’s in concert with other PROGRESSIVE/ LIBERAL’S within the Vatican had a hand in Pope Benedict’s ” resignation”. No POPE( with ALL the Bishop’s) since 1917 when Our Lady appeared before the three children in Fatima have FULFILLED Her request that RUSSIA be consercrated to her Immaculate Heart. Until this is done there will be no peace, no matter the Pope!.

  • moustacio


  • Mike

    The next pope can be Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco. Conservative and faithful to the church. Already received death threats from gay rights activists for his strong condemnation of same-sex marriage. His picture in wikipedia is attired in the traditional garb. Furthermore, his Italian nationality lends weight to the name Petrus Romanus, or Peter the Roman.

  • Mike Rizzio

    Patrick I was thinking the same thing when I read his online biography. We must not forget the two times that Pope Benedict XVI made the stern of a sea going vessel his witness to the Don Bosco prophesy. Both at WYD Cologne in 2005 and WYD Sydney in 2008 he guided the symbolic Barque of Peter safely to port. I was secretly hoping that he had one last voyage planned…Corpus Christi, USA right before the 2012 Election. He would have traveled under another Harbor Bridge., glowing with Rainbow Light as he passed between the Texas Aquarium and the replica of the Santa Maria from 1992.
    “Fight to the death for truth, and the Lord God will war on your side.”

  • Joe

    Isn’t Cardinal Arinze 80 years old? Whereas I like Cardinal Arinze, I personally would love to see either Cardinal Dolan, Burke or Ouellet become the next pope. Yes, the odds of Dolan becoming pope may be slim, but who thought Cardinal Woytyla would become pope? That said I do think the next pope will be Hispanic.

  • Joe

    Trust in the Holy Spirit to pick the right pope.

  • Joe

    Amen, Gil…Amen.

  • Joe

    “It is our task to cast our nets in faith–the Lord will do the rest.”

    -Pope Benedict XVI, Angelus Feb. 10, 2013

  • Maybe I misread, but I thought JPII was the one who anchored the Eucharist and Our Lady between the pillars…

  • Jay

    Yes, which means he cannot vote but CAN be voted for. I agree, Cardinal Arinze is a strong candidate. (Pope Benedict was 78, 2 years is not much time difference)

  • Spitual Warfare Consultant

    Cardinal Tarcisio PIETRO Evasio Bertone or ROMANO, Peter of Romano. If you look at photos of Bertone the last few years you will see huge round red rigs around his eyes and the eyes themselves have become extremely small and very black and lifeless. The light is gone from them. Any exorcist and spiritual warfare consultant will tell you precisely that this is almost complete possession by the devil. He couldn’t even look Pope Benedict in the eyes after he did the speech the other day (another indication) and the fact that during the speech and when Bertone went up to him, the pope had a strange look of “I know exactly who and what you are” on his face.
    The next pope is the anti pope, so called because he will take the thrown against the wishes of all true Catholics and, when the Vatican is destroyed by a massive earthquake; he will rebuilt it in Israel; sit on the thrown and say “I am God” which then makes him THE false prophet. When fully turned he becomes THE Antichrist. Watch out for signs when the new pope gets all overly friendly with Obama. America is now being severely punished by God for voting him back in as he is the one that helps the Antiichrist slaughter multi millions of Christians.

  • 0mni

    And Now The Ill Chaotic Hell Reins Into Saturn’s Throne.. and theirs will be peace for 9 years and ignorance from this will birth war .. may the elect one see the light and set them apart from the darkness and protect them .. time and will.. for all to be Judged by

  • LizEst

    Ah yes, there IS someone out there that no one, or very few, are looking at, who meets many or all of these criteria, someone orthodox, energetic, not too old and not too young. If the conclave selects this guy, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the world WILL be shocked.

  • LizEst

    I would be interested in reading about the small black and lifeless eyes to which you refer. Would you please cite a source so that I may read up on it? Thanks.

  • Jerome in Desert

    wrong: pope JP2 fulfilled Fatima request to consecrate Russia. Sr. Lucia said so. Wrong about Bertone or anyone elese have a hand in Benedict’s resignation. Benedict resigned bec of his physical and mental state. Get off the “Fatima Crusader” hype.

  • Jerome in the Desert

    I don’t know what in blazes u r talking about. R U smoking something strange??

  • Jerome in the desert

    U r wacko as can be “Spiritual Warfare” — U r the one who should be exorcised.

  • LizEst

    ps. His name has not been mentioned by Patrick or anyone else in these comments.

  • B

    I don’t mean to sound irreverent, but that was so epic I heard blockbuster music as I read.

  • chaco

    There is obviously alot of conjecture here. Jesus said that even He didn’t know the time of His return/ Armagedon/ Judgement. What is “Solid Ground” for us to stand on is knowing that 1) Our own judgement is always at hand 2)That only one christian church says a Hail Mary 3) Only one christian church defines thier communion/ Eucharist as a timeless continuation of Christ’s sacrifice through us; The Body of Christ on Earth, which brings about “The Kingdom” (see Colossians 1: 24).

  • Ronald

    JP2 consecrated
    the “world”, the blessed mother asked for “Russia”.
    Since Russia is included in the world, everyone feels that the consecration was done? I feel it should be “Russia”, with all the Bishops in agreement as our Blessed mother asked.

  • Moe

    I enjoy reading the Divine Office on a daily basis. So easy, rather than plowing through the books with all the ribbons and flagged pages. Thank you so much.

  • chaco

    Being as how Mary said Lucia would remain in this life to make the message known, isn’t it better to place more trust in Lucia’s opinion than your feelings ?

  • MJEB

    We all can speculate about our new Holy Father,yet it is the HOLY SPIRIT that inspires the cardinals and thus we are given a new Pope.We should all pray for these men as they will be under attack by the ‘evil one’. Truly we live in bad times, but the Eucharist and Our Lady’s Rosary will sustain us. Let us ALL be united in prayer for our Holy Church.

  • @Joe: I totally agree with you on Cardinal Burke. He got chewed up by the St. Louis media while he was archbishop there, for his valiant, steadfast defense of the Catholic faith! He even excommunicated an entire parish of rebellious Catholics! But he was also personally exceptionally holy and pious, and was a zealous advocate in his Archdiocese for Devotion to the Sacred Heart!

    Even though I used to be a huge Timothy Dolan fan (being from St. Louis, that’s not hard!), until he went to NY and caused scandal by not disinviting the #1 Persecutor and Enemy of the Catholic Church, Barack Hussein Obama. And he still refuses to excommunicate or publicly censure Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who’s living in sin with his concubine in the governor’s mansion, who has marched in Gay Pride parades, who is a fanatic for sodomite “marriage”, and to top it off, is one of the most abortion-obsessed politicians in the entire U.S.! Where’s “pope candidate” Cdl Timothy Dolan on enforcing Canon 915? What are Catholics-and non-Catholics in NY supposed to think by this deafening silence when a “Catholic” publicly thumbs his nose at the Church and then marches up to his sacrilegious Communions every Sunday?

    No, Joe, Dolan is defiinitely NOT Pope material!

  • ajk68

    Note that Cardinal Bertone’s coat of arms has a Chi-Rho and Marian M on them.

  • ajk68

    I’m pretty convinced that the reason Don Bosco had the dream is precisely because it was one of his spiritual sons involved.

  • ajk68

    I think he will take the name Pius.

  • Joseph

    Some nonsense spilling out here. HS will be present, but unless we pray for the Shepherds, a “human” element can distract this and who knows what. I believe it will be some one much younger and BXVI will help influence the right one even though he cannot vote. A wild guess is one of the Brazilian bishops.

  • The Old Testament book of Daniel states that the Antichrist will come from the people who destroy both the sanctuary (temple) and the city (Jerusalem). Of course, it was Titus, a Roman who did so in 70AD. This fits Cardinal Bertone and the book of Revelation that shows clearly the 666 will be a pope.

  • celtic_winds

    I agree this should have been directed to, wasn’t.

  • quisutDeusmpc

    I have heard some anti-Christian, anti-Catholic, indignantly bigoted statements before. This kind of malevolence is unworthy of a Christian, of any stripe.

  • Vero

    Pope Francis attended the school of St. John Bosco during his formative years.