Valeriano Vestini (Valerian I, 1990-1995) was born Olinto Vestini, taking the name Valeriano when he joined the Capuchin order. He later became superior of the Mater Domini monastery in Chieti. In 1983, a local woman called Rita claimed to have dreams which featured Vestini as a representative of Padre Pio. The dreams included a divine command: that the group around her should work for the salvation of souls, joining forces with the seers of Lourdes, Fatima and Medjugorje. Rita left the group in 1989, and the role as the voice-box of heaven was taken over by Nicola Di Carlo and Alessandro Di Donato.
In 1990, the movement became known as the Missionary Order for the Salvation of Souls. At the same time, the two seers revealed that Fr. Valeriano was elected pope by divine intervention. His papal name became Valerian I.
In 1991, Pope Valerian created 24 cardinals, and by virtue of his papal power, he excommunicated, canonised and proclaimed dogmas. Still, there are very few sources that give any detailed information about the development. In the same period, he began to ordain women to the priesthood, and through the Order’s journal, Presenza Divina he initiated a campaign against the Roman Catholic Church and Antipope John Paul II.
In 1993, Vestini was suspended a divinis by the Provincial Superior of the Capuchins. However, by September 1995, he clearly distanced himself from his earlier papal claims, left the Missionary Order for the Salvation of the Souls and returned to the Capuchins in Avezzano, where he was welcomed back.
After their pope had left, his old followers changed the group’s name to Opera Divina Provvidenza and turned to the sedeprivationist Istituto Mater Boni Consilii to get spiritual succour, but it did not work out well. Later the community approached the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X, but, not surprisingly, found them to be modernists. Around the turn of the millennium, the Opera Divina Provvidenza had some 40 members.
“Antipapi e pretendenti a un futuro ruolo di Papa”, in Massimo Introvigne & Pierluigi Zoccatelli (eds), Le religioni in Italia. (www.cesnur.com)
“Antipapi e conclavisti (dagli anni ’60 del XX secolo)”, Dizionari del Pensieri Cristiano Alternativo, http://www.eresie.it/it/Antipapi%20XX%20secolo.html