Anecdotal Stories

A group of Franciscan monks traveling one day along a muddy road near the Italian town of Ancona suddenly saw the solitary doctor walking toward them. Nostradamus stepped aside to let them pass but, before they had done so, knelt in the mud in front of one of them, Brother Felice Peretti. The friars were puzzled by this. Peretti was of lowly birth and had been a swineherd before joining the Order of Saint Francis. Nostradamus told them, "I must cede myself and bend a knee before his Holiness."

The monks reacted with understandable amusement. Nostradamus must have appeared to be a madman. This probably occurred during the six years that he wandered through Europe after the Black Death had taken his family. However, forty years after this chance meeting on the muddy road and nineteen years after the death of Nostradamus, Brother Peretti was elected Pope Sixtus V.

While Nostradamus was visiting the chateau of Lord de Florinville, he had conversations with his host about prophecy. Florinville decided to put the prophet to a test. At the time, they had stopped during their stroll and stood before a corral enclosing two suckling pigs -- one black and one white. The host asked Nostradamus which pig would be served for dinner that night. "We will eat the black pig, but a wolf will eat the white," was the reply.

Florinville secretly ordered his cook to prepare the white pig for dinner that night. The cook followed the orders but left the door to the kitchen open while running out on another errand. When he returned, he found the chateau's pet wolf eating the already dressed white pig. Worried about the results of his error, the cook quietly prepared the black pig for the night's meal.

At the dinner table, Lord de Florinville smiled broadly at Nostradamus and announced, "We are not eating the black pig as you predicted. And no wolf will touch our dinner here."

Nostradamus was so sure that this was the black pig that his host summoned the cook to prove him wrong. Of course, Florinville was stunned when the cook delivered the bad news.

Century 1, Quatrain 65

The young lion will overcome the older one

On the field of combat in single battle

He will pierce his eyes through a golden cage

Two wounds made one, then he dies a cruel death.

This prophecy was already well known in 1559 when Henry II of France held a three-day knightly tournament in honor of the marriages of his sister Marguerite to the Duke of Savoy and of his daughter to King Philip II of Spain. Henry participated in the events, resplendent in full armor, carrying his great shield decorated with an ornate lion. After winning each round, he would raise the visor of his golden helmet to receive the praises of the crowd.

On the third day, at sunset, Henry prepared for his final bout against Count Montgomery. The bout ended in a draw and, when Henry insisted on a final match, the young count tried to excuse himself, aware of the prophecy. After Henry continued to insist, Montgomery relented.

During the second charge, there was loud crack of broken lances. A splinter from the count's broken lance pierced the king's golden visor and lodged behind his left eye, blinding him and penetrating deep into his brain. He lingered for ten days in agony before dying and fulfilling one of Nostradamus' most famous prophecies.

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