Nostradamus, flesh and blood

Almost everyone has heard of him, the most famous prophet of all time, but there are few who know his life in depth and, much less, his work.

For many he is the most famous prophet of all time.. We are alluding to Michel de Nôtre-Dame (1503-1566), countryman of Abbe Eugène de la Tour de Noé, who was blessed by Pope Leo XIII in 1893, and better known by the Latin nickname he gave himself: Nostradamus. He composed the so-called “Centuries” (Centuries), prophetic collected in twenty-two volumes. Almost everyone has heard of him, but few know his life in depth, and even fewer his work. A simple paradox to understand, if one notices that Nostradamus uses an allegorical language that is sometimes reminiscent of that of the Bible itself, full of neologisms created by himself from Latin, Greek, Spanish, Celtic or Provencal roots, in addition to the use of apocopes , metathesis and anagrams. A real maze of riddles, sometimes incomprehensible.

He explained, in a letter to the King of France, Henry II, whose tragic death he predicted by the way , the real reason for his cryptic and mysterious texts: «To protect the secrecy of these events, it is advisable to use enigmatic phrases and words , although each one has a specific meaning, “he warned.

As a child, Michel learned astrology and mathematics from his grandparents , and his early knowledge of these sciences led him to state in writing, years later: “Everything is ruled and governed by the inestimable power of God, which manifests itself not in the midst of fury.” Bacchic, but in astrological relationships.

The probable fact of his Jewish ancestry, from the tribe of Issachar in particular, would explain his mastery of the Kabbalah. Jacob’s ninth son and Leah’s fifth, Issachar became the progenitor of his tribe, which occupied a territory in northern Palestine, southwest of the Sea of ​​Galilee.

Like Tola, one of the so-called “lesser judges”, or that Baasha, the king of Israel, successor to Nadab, the prophet Nostradamus would descend from the same tribe as Issachar, only his family ended up converting to Christianity , which was not an obstacle for him to create horoscopes, almanacs and even preserves and blushes for the ladies; or even for him to lend usurious money to dreamers like Adam de Craponne, the engineer of the first Canal de la Crau, in the French region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur.As a young man he became interested in medicine and obtained a doctor’s degree in Montpellier . But before that, at the age of twenty-two, he cured numerous patients with the bubonic plague as a result of the epidemic declared in the Narbonne, Toulouse and Bordeaux regions. Instead, he was unable to heal his own wife and his two children, which plunged him into a deep depression for some time.

Finally settled in Marseille, he remarried and undertook the writing of “The Centuries”, whose first edition was published in 1555 in Lyon, consisting of three hundred and fifty-three quatrains or poems of four verses each. After successive reprints, the last edition of the work was published during the author’s lifetime , expanded to nine hundred and forty-two quatrains grouped into ten centuries.

Violent death

Few know that Nostradamus predicted the violent death of Henry IV, King of France and Navarre, who already had some physical traits that would characterize his descendants: undershot jaws and what came to be called the “Bourbon nose” , a notably prominent appendage. While astrologers speculated about the end of the monarch, Francis Ravaillac took the lead and pierced the king’s chest with a double-edged knife on Wednesday, May 14, 1610.

Some astrologers of the time had already predicted that the monarch’s life was in danger of death. It is true that one of the most renowned, La Brosse, did not know how to anticipate the exact date of the crime, but it is also true that it was “vox populi” already then that 1610 was the climacteric year of the reign.

In Germany, since 1607, the tragic death of the king at the age of 59 was predicted in a book; book, by the way, that once introduced into France he was kidnapped and reduced to ashes by order of the Parliament of Paris. In Spain, without going any further, the theologian Oliva had established the death of Enrique IV for 1609.At that point, too late, many noticed a quatrain by Nostradamus, which went like this: «Five decades and seven will not stop the career / of the great Celtic lion, when a young lion / with his lioness, resorting to the Bear / furtive, of his rival will cut the spindle.” Nostradamus had thus prophesied that violent death.


Nostradamus, the astronomer whose resounding celebrity earned him the favor of Henry II of France, who introduced him to his court, or that of King Charles IX, to whom he was adviser and personal physician, had died 44 years before the brutal regicide, the July 2, 1566, at the age of 62. On his tomb an epitaph was carved in Latin, which translated into Spanish reads as follows: «Here rest the mortal remains of the most illustrious Michel Nostradamus, the only man worthy, in the opinion of all mortals, of writing with an almost divine pen, under the influence of the stars, the future of the world». Before his death, he had also predicted, in a prologue to his “Centuries”, a “renewal of the century” in 1792, just the year in which the Monarchy collapsed in France and the Republic was proclaimed, after the French Revolution. .