Why do most religions believe in prophecy?

Nostradamus: Master of Prophecies

For more than 500 years, the gloomy predictions of the French Nostradamus have fascinated and frightened people. His followers believe to this day that the clairvoyant announced numerous catastrophes in mysterious verses, such as terrorist attacks, epidemics or even the Second World War. But critics oppose it and say: it's all nonsense!

Night has fallen in the French town of Salon. Everyone sleeps - except for one mysterious man: Nostradamus. Wrapped in a black coat, he sits in the attic of his house. He hopes the terrifying divine voice will speak to him again. That he falls into a kind of dream sleep and thus reveals himself to the future. A fortune telling bowl full of water stands on a brass stool in front of him. He carefully dips a laurel branch into it - and stares into the rippling waves ...

This is what she might have looked like, one night in the life of Nostradamus. In his “Prophecies” he wrote down the dark premonitions that came over the seer in his attic room in the middle of the 16th century. They reach far into the future, up to the year 3797. And they made Nostradamus world famous.

Even today, around five centuries later, millions of people read his predictions. And experts do everything in their power to decipher his mysterious verses. The dark rhymes are about dying kings, terrorist attacks, manslaughter and epidemics. Time and again, Nostradamus' supporters panic because a terrible disaster is said to be imminent. They even claim that the master predicted the world wars, the dropping of the first atomic bomb and the moon landing!

Who Was Nostradamus?

The enigmatic seer was born in 1503 as Michel de Notredame in France as the son of a notary. Even as a child, he was passionate about observing the stars. After completing his studies, he worked as a pharmacist and, as a successful plague doctor, healed the sick - under the name of Nostradamus. He roams through Europe and even brings a dead person back to life during this time, at least that's what legend says.

One thing is certain: In 1547 Nostradamus married a rich widow from the city of Salon. He no longer only works as a doctor, but also writes almanacs, i.e. annual horoscope calendars. In them he describes the phases of the moon and weather rules, but also uses the stars to predict future events.

The French nobility put their trust in Nostradamus

People back then are only too happy to believe such future predictions: They live in uncertain times and always have to reckon with wars, epidemics or famine. Wouldn't it be better if someone warned them of future dangers? Someone like Nostradamus? His horoscope calendars are a hit with the people. But powerful aristocrats also trust the “Seer of Salon”.

Catherine de Medici, the wife of the French king, even invited him to the court in Paris. She asks Nostradamus to create horoscopes for her children. All of this contributed to the seer's fame at the time. From 1555, Nostradamus also published the “Prophecies” that his followers study to this day: They are dark, mostly four-line rhymes - a mysterious, barely understandable mixture of Old French, Latin and self-invented terms. One of the most famous prophecies concerns - possibly - the French royal family ...

It is July 1st, 1559. At a knight tournament at the French royal court, two horses race towards each other. King Henry II is enthroned on one, Count Montgomery of Scotland on the other. His lance hits the king with a loud crack - and a piece of wood penetrates the helmet visor. It wounds Heinrich so unhappily above his eye that he dies a little later. What does this have to do with Nostradamus? Well, four years before the accident he had written:

“The young lion will overcome the old one, in a warlike field in individual quarrels. In the golden cage he will poke his eyes out, one of two fleets prevails, the defeated one dies a horrific death. He defeated the old lion, the king, by stabbing him in the eye. And the helmet is the "golden cage".

Total nonsense, disagree with experts who do not believe in Nostradamus' abilities. Neither Montgomery nor Henry II had a lion in their coat of arms. The accident did not take place in "armed forces" and the wound was above the eye.

This is how it is with all prophecies: They are formulated so vaguely and ambiguously that they can be translated and interpreted in very different ways. And Nostradamus almost never gives specific dates. One and the same prediction therefore fits the most varied of events - and is “fulfilled” over the centuries by chance, the critics explain.

In any case, Nostradamus make his predictions rich. But the last years of his life are a constant torment: He suffers from gout. The disease ensures that every movement hurts. On the night of July 2, 1566, when the stars were twinkling over the French town of Salon again, the "King of the Prophets" died - a year and a half earlier than he himself had predicted.

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