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§733 The Messina-Reggio Earthquake of December 28, 1908 (2): VIII-84.

 VIII-84 (§733):

The Pope shall hear cries of Sicily,
All the reserves of the gulf of Trieste,
That shall be heard even in the Three-Caps.
So many ships free yourselves from the horrible plague.

(Paterne orra de la Sicile crie,
Tous les aprests du goulphre de Trieste,
Qui s'entendra jusques à la trinacrie.
De tant de voiles fuy, fuy l'horrible peste.
) (№ 10)

NOTES: Paterne: The Pope Pius X; « PATERNE (du latin paternus, paternel), the Pope.» (Vignois, 1910, p.459).

Orra: « future of the verb ouïr, entendre (to hear).»
(Vignois, id.).

Crie: = grand cri (cries); « crie, s.f., proclamation (proclamation), cri public (public cry).» (Godefroy).

Aprests: = Reserves; « apreste, s.f., apprêt (preparation), préparatif (preparative).» (Godefroy).

The gulf of Trieste: representing the whole Adriatic Sea, which in its turn symbolizes the Adriatic coasts of Italy far from the damaged South-West. The featuring of the name of Trieste, which is condemned by P. Guinard as irrelevant to the theme of the earthquake of the south-west Italy (Guinard, 2011, p.137), implies effectively that even the Adriatic districts of the Balkan Peninsula far off the epicenter of the earthquake experienced in fact the quake of the earth: « Early in the morning on 28 December 1908, just a few days after Christmas, a severe earthquake struck the Messina Straits, a rather narrow sound that separates Sicily from Calabria, in southern Italy. The shaking was distinctly felt in Albania, Montenegro and the Greek Ionian islands, about 400 km to the east and northeast of the Straits; in Malta, about 250 km to the south; and as far as Ustica Island, about 220 km to the west.» (Pino et al., 2008, Introduction).

All the reserves of the gulf of Trieste: The reserved money and necessities of the compatriots of the Adriatic coasts to be offered in aid of the suffering.

The Pope shall hear cries of Sicily, All the reserves of the gulf of Trieste: « The earthquake of Messina ... three o’clock in the morning, an earthquake destroyed in thirty seconds the cities of Reggio and of Messina. Pius X was the first who sent the relief and the total sum he made reach with the aid of the Catholics amounted to almost 7 million francs. » (Vignois, 1910, p.459).

The Pope Pius X: « All the calamities that befell the world awakened his sympathy, earthquakes, floods, fires, railway accidents, no matter what. The sufferers were comforted with kind words, and as far as possible with material help. It rejoiced him on these occasions to hear of acts of heroism, of Christian charity, and of piety. Even the papers and those least favourable to the Church noticed his personal and fatherly interest in the joys and sorrows of his people. His appeal to the charity of Catholics on the occasion of the Calabrian earthquake in 1908, which in few moments totally destroyed Messina, Reggio, Sille and the surrounding villages, burying more than 100,000 people in the ruins, met with magnificent response. The sum of 7,000,000 francs, which was generously offered, served to supply the immediate needs of the unfortunate survivors, who in many cases were left totally destitute. But it was not only to make others give that the Holy Father exerted himself; he gave himself to the utmost of his power. The very day after the Messina disaster he sent number of men with Monsignor Cottafavi at their head to investigate and report, to search out the victims most urgently in need of help and care and to bring them to Rome. Trainloads of sufferers arrived daily and were taken to the Papal hospice of Santa Marta, the Pope making himself responsible for over five hundred orphans. His Christlike compassion, his grand initiative and masterly organisation of relief, won burst of praise in which even the anti-clerical Syndic of Rome joined; while the nations of Europe expressed their admiration. This Pope, of whom it was said that his sole policy was the Gospel and the Creed, and his sole diplomacy the Ten Commandments, fired the imagination of the world by his apostolic fearlessness, his humility, his simplicity, and single-minded faith."» (Forbes, 1918, p.146-147)

That shall be heard or extended (Qui s’entendra): The French verb entendre has two senses in Nostradamus as « ouïr (to hear), écouter (to listen)» (I-15, IV-49, V-53, VI-29 and VII-23) or as « tendre (to stretch), étendre (to extend)» (§130, IX-81: Le Roy rusé entendra ses embusches).

The Three-Caps (la Trinacrie): = « Sicily, because of its three caps by which it is terminated.» (Vognois, id.). In the context of the quatrain, the Three-Caps indicates in fact the two (western and southern) remoter from the Straits, the one (northern) being near there.

Cries of Sicily, That shall be heard
[or extended] even in the remoter districts of Sicily: « They said terrifying the cries of the survivors buried beneath the ruins and of the half-nacked and starving miserables when they distributed to them clothings and foods.» (Vognois, id.); « Messina, while by far the greatest sufferer, was not the only city devastated. The gruesome roll of the dead elsewhere in the stricken region equalled, in the aggregate, if it did not exceed that of the city by the straits.» (Mowbray, c1909, p.76).; « The earthquake was catastrophic in the epicentral area and was immediately followed by fires and by a large tsunami. Messina (Sicily) and Reggio Calabria (Calabria), two significant cities located less than 10 km apart on the two facing shores of the Straits, were almost completely destroyed and buildings were severely damaged over an area in excess of 6,000 km2. A significant fraction of the population, numbering 140,000 at Messina and 45,000 at Reggio Calabria, was reported dead. Assessing the total number of victims has been problematic, as fatality estimates range from 60,000 to over 100,000, yet 1908 was undeniably the deadliest European earthquake ever and one of the deadliest worldwide.» (Pino et al., id.).

The horrible plague
: « EARTHQUAKE disasters have followed each other with appalling frequency throughout the centuries, and have, as in the dreadful Italian catastrophe, proved a scourge of plague proportions; ... » (Mowbray, c1909, p.vii); The word Pest (peste), as well as the words pestilence, pestilent and pestifere (pestiferous), is figurative, non literal, for most of the expressions indicative of natural phenomena such as " earthquake, rain, tempest, dryness, inundation", etc. are not literal for Nostradamus, but figurative, describing metaphorically wars, revolts, social troubles, collective distress, etc., conditioned principally by human comportments (cf. Introduction §5). In fact, of 38 usages of the words « peste », « pestilence », « pestilent» and « pestifere », 32 are figurative for the warlike and social disasters and menaces, only 5 literal (II-19, II-37, II-46, II-53, II-65) and one for the real seism (VIII-84).

So many ships free yourselves from the horrible plague
: « This cataclysm that shocked so hard the whole Italy had as its central point the straits which separates Calabria from Sicily; it is the passage indispensable to all the ships connecting occidental Europe and the Levant.» (Vignois, id.); « Guidoboni et al. [2007] contend that 80,000 people were killed by the earthquake, including as many as 2,000 who died as a result of the tsunami. Waves up to 12 meters struck the shorelines south of Messina and south of Reggio Calabria, completing the destruction and displacing the rubble from collapsed buildings. All communications in the affected area were disrupted, and rescue operations had to rely on access from the sea.» (Pino et al., id.).

« “Help is arriving constantly from Catania and Palermo by sea to relieve the thirst and famine. The whole Calabrian shore for a distance of nearly thirty miles was torn and twisted by the convulsions of the earth and sea. Neither bridges nor ferryboats exist, all having been destroyed. The town of Villa San Giovanni was destroyed, and Scilla, Pizzo and Bagnara shared its fate, in each case the havoc of the earthquake being completed by the outbreak of fire.”» (Mowbray, c1909, p.72).

« A relief train dispatched toward Messina in the hope of aiding the earthquake sufferers was forced to return, being able to go only within ten miles of the stricken city on account of demolished tracks. The engineer said that all houses along the route showed effects of the earthquake. A torpedo boat on a similar mission was forced to return. While the destruction was due primarly to the earthquake, the tidal wave caused enormous damage. In the narrow strait the water formed into a huge wave forty feet high. It then drew back from the coast as if gathering strength for an onslaught that would obliterate the land. So violent was the motion of the atmosphere coincident with the tidal wave that several workmen engaged in digging a pit on the Calabrian side of the strait were carried bodily up into the air. Suddenly stopping in their backward sweep, the waters of the strait hurled themselves up on two coasts. Inexorably they advanced, and piers, houses and gardens were swallowed up in the flood. At some places on the coast of Sicily the waters swept over the earth for a distance of ten miles. The ground for a great distance trembled under the shock of the impact. A naval officer who witnessed this aweinspiring spectacle described it in these words: "It seemed as if two mountains, one of water and the other of land, fell furiously, the one towards the other, and as if the land vomited human habitations into the sea." At Catania, scarcely had the first spasm of terror passed when the tidal wave spent[sped] in from the sea. Shouts of warning arose, and the people, who had just fled from their houses, ran shrieking away from the docks and water front into the towns where a minute before the danger had seemed greatest. Where the sailors could get ashore, vessels of all kinds were abandoned[So many ships free yourselves from the horrible plague]. The waters came and left devastation in their wake. Many perished, but the water's rush carried everything before it. Scores of fishing boats were swamped, and steamships in the harbor were damaged.» (Mowbray, id., p.86-87).

Discussion:
P. Guinard proposes an alternative interpretation of this quatrain, but his conception of the word « voile », not as « ship », but as an old French « voil = désir (desire), volonté (will) » (Guinard, 2011, p.136) cannot find its lexicographical ground. For, the old French voil has indeed two meanings of « volonté (will), désir (desire)» and « voile d’un bateau (sail of a ship)» (Godefroy), but the text is undoubtedly « voile » which cannot be « voil » in any way. Then, his favorable maneuver of appeau voile (decoy-bird sail/will) cannot stand any more.
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© Koji Nihei Daijyo, 2017. All rights reserved.
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Author:Koji Nihei Daijyo
We have covered 143 quatrains (§588-§730) concerning the World Events in the 19th century after Napoleonic ages [1821-1900] in the Prophecies of Nostradamus, and 219 in the 20th [1901-2000] (§731-§949).

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