Michel de Nostre-Dame, known as Nostradamus, painted by his son Cesar.

One of these causes is the one that penetrates the mind and illuminates it with a supernatural light;  the other is that of a person who predicts by founding his affirmations on the doctrine of the stars and prophesies under the effect of the revelation received from God.

Thanks to this inspiration, the prophet is capable of understanding that this divine spirit is injected into him by the Creator by means of a natural suggestion.  Then, he knows that that which he predicts is true, that his prophecies come from Heaven itself and that, like the light and the little flame, they cannot be contested…

But, at this point in my demonstration, I must stop, for I do not want to strain your mind’s capacity.

I have discovered that the world, before the final conflagration, will suffer diluvial inundations following which no land will emerge any more.  These inundations will last so long that, with the exception of those living in the seas and on the mountains, all other beings will perish.

Before and after these events, the rains will be rare in numerous regions;  incandescent stones and balls of fire will fall from the sky and everything will be destroyed by fire.  All of this will occur without warning, before the final conflagration.

Although the planet Mars has to accomplish its cycle until its end, it was not given to me to know if, having finished it, it will recommence, for certain planets will be grouped in the constellation of Virgo for numerous years while others will be assembled in the constellation of Cancer for an even longer duration.

Now, we are under the influence of the Moon, according to the will of Eternal and Almighty God.  When it has accomplished its complete cycle, the Sun will come and then Saturn, for, according to the celestial signs, Saturn’s reign will be the one during which the world will approach a revolutionary period which will overthrow everything in the world.

This will commence, counting from the present time when I am writing, in one hundred and seventy-seven years, three months and eleven days, (that is to say 1732 which will be, according to certain historians, notably Doctor de Fontbrune, the date of the first arrival in Paris of Jean-Jacques Rousseau whose influence on the changing of ideas, no-one denies.) and will lead to the corruption of ideas and ways of life.  The world will then know deadly epidemics, long periods of famine, wars and terrible inundations;  between the beginning and the end of this time, immense damages will be caused and the human species will be decimated to the point that the survivors will no longer be able to cultivate the fields which will have become sterile.

One can see and read in the celestial movements that this will happen while we are still in the seventh thousand of years which will see the conclusion of everything.  When we are approaching the eighth thousand and the reign of the eighth sphere which will appear in the firmament (Saturn), then our God Eternal will put an end to the period of revolution and the celestial bodies will recommence moving.  It will be the same for all of the sideral movements assuring the stability of the earthly globe, which will not remain eternally inclined on its axis and will not always turn.  Then His will will be accomplished and it cannot be otherwise, in spite of all of the contrary opinions whose equivocal arguments are only illusions.

It happens that the Divine Creator, through the messages which he sends to us (the fire and the flame), proposes to our senses and, consequently, to our eyes, images of future events which are the matter of prediction;  He also gives the explanation of them so that he to whom he has revealed them can, in turn, make them known to other men.

For the presage which issues from an exterior vision ineluctably contains within it the conception of a fraction of Himself resulting from the vision received.  However, this fraction which has permitted the comprehension of the whole of the phenomenon, is nothing more, in reality, than the impression perceived by the mind.  The reason for this is evident, for all prediction comes from God;  the angelic spirit injected into the man who prophesies gives a sacred character to his vaticinations and illuminates him after his mind has been sensitized by numerous nocturnal apparitions.  As for the certitudes which are brought to him afterwards by the astronomical calculations that he will do during the day, it is up to him to put them in harmony with the elements composing the holy predictions concerning the future since these calculations depend exclusively on the man’s free will.

Let me now tell you what the calculations that I have made, according to the revolution of the planets, reveal to me on the subject of the revelations which I have received from the Divine Master.  The mortal sword is approaching us in the form of epidemics, plague and wars whose horror is greater than that which the last three generations of men have known.  It also takes the aspect of famines which will badly strike Humanity several times, as this flows from the conjunction of the stars.  For it is written:

“I will crush their iniquity with an iron rod and will punish them with the whip.”

God’s misericord will not manifest itself for as long as the major part of my predictions will not have been accomplished or are not in the course of being accomplished.  Then, during sinister tempests, the Lord will say:

“I will trample them under my feet, I will break them and I will have no pity for them.”

The waters and the continual rains will provoke many other events which I have described in detail in my other prophecies written in prose.  In these texts, I give the places and the duration of the phenomena, the date at which they will commence and that of their end, such as they have been fixed in advance.  So, the men who will come then, knowing the facts that have already occurred, will be able to determine those that are still to happen and that are described with the greatest precision.

Then, under the vault of the skies, minds will understand;  but this will only happen after the coming of the times that will see their ignorance dissipate.

My dear son, the moment has come for me to conclude.  Accept this gift which your father, Michel Nostradamus, gives you now in the hope that you are able to discover the sense of each of the prophecies that I have confided to the quatrains composing the present work.

I pray God, our Eternal Lord, to accord you a long, happy and prosperous life.

Salon, 1st March 1555.