Spirit Daily


Was Current Natural Upheaval Foreseen By An Austrian Monk In The Middle Ages?

In the annals of prophecy, in the apocrypha, perhaps in the mythology, is an Austrian monk who reportedly lived between 1204 and 1257. His name was Johannes Friede. And, it is said, he left the following enthralling prophetic word:

"When the great time will come, in which mankind will face its last, hard trial, it will be foreshadowed by striking changes in nature.

"The alteration between cold and heat will become more intensive, storms will have more catastrophic effects, earthquakes will destroy great regions, and the seas will overflow many lowlands.

"Not all of it will be the result of natural causes, but mankind will penetrate into the bowels of the earth and will reach into the clouds, gambling with its own existence.

"Before the powers of destruction will succeed in their design, the universe will be thrown into disorder, and the age of iron will plunge into nothingness.

"When nights will be filled with more intensive cold and days with heat, a new life will begin in nature. The heat means radiation from the earth, the cold the waning light of the sun. Only a few years more and you will become aware that sunlight has grown perceptibly weaker. When even your artificial light will cease to give service, the great event in the heavens will be near."

And of course this all takes us aback in light of the events we have seen during our own time, especially since 1989-1990.

Can we put stock in the alleged prophetic word? It comes to us from the same realm as reputed prophecies from figures such as St. Malachy. And if the dates are correct, it derives from the High Middle Ages, an era of dramatic change and disasters, when seers and prophets were rising on all sides -- many claiming the end of the world and the Second Coming were nigh.

Let us run this quickly down: first of all, Johannes lived at a time when there was a similar period of warmth (known as the Medieval Climate Optimum), and similar upheavals in nature -- which served as a prelude, a century later, to the "Black Death."

In fact, the period of about 1000 to 1300 was remarkably like our own time, with what is believed to have been a one-degree-Celsius increase in global temperature, powerful storms from the oceans, major quakes (even rocking Europe), an increase in sunspots, melting glaciers, heightened El Ninos, grapes cultivated far up the English highlands (where it is usually far too cold), corn in Norway, and farming even in Greenland.

That was followed by decreased sunspot activity and a sudden drop in temperatures that ruined crops in the 1300s, caused famine and migrations, and weakened the populace for the bubonic plague -- which struck after major storms, great floods, "subterranean thunder," and quakes in China, where the bacteria and rodents that killed a quarter to a third of those in Europe may have originated. It led to what is known as the "Little Ice Age."

The comparisons are obvious: whatever the cause of the current shift in climate (natural, human, or a combination of both), we too are now watching nearly identical events. Glaciers are melting at an unprecedented rate. This year, an Arctic region six times as big as California opened into sea. The Northwest Passage will soon be open to ships. Nations are even ready to haggle over the Arctic. Polar bears have no more ice. Huge shelves of frozen water are collapsing in Antarctica, and record warmth -- along with drought, storms, and wildfire -- are reported with unnerving regularity on every habitable continent.

This is what is discussed in a prophecy we often mention from 1990 -- just before the onset of sharp upturn in warmth.

"Intensive storms." Katrina. Ivan. Andrew. "Striking changes in nature." Mexican butterflies in Canada. "The seas will overflow": as in India, as in China, and as in Bangladesh -- where the displacement of tens of millions due to monsoon flooding has become an annual event, as during the High Middles Ages.

Has mankind "penetrated into the bowels of the earth" (is that a reference to oil drilling)? As for reaching "into the clouds": this of course could be anything from our jets and astronauts to our airwaves, to our microwaves, to our technology -- which the prophecy in Tower of Light says will "break down" before some kind of towering manifestation of Jesus, just as the Friede prophecy calls for "the age of iron" (we could take this as technology) plunging into "nothingness."

Will our infrastructure collapse as God seeks to bring us into a more natural way of life, and will the end of the technological era -- foreseen in the 1990 prophecy -- run parallel to what Friede said in uttering the words, "When even your artificial light will cease to give service, the great event in the heavens will be near"?


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