Translation by E.Leoni
The text of this letter is transcribed literally from a photographic reproduction of a copy made in 1714 of the original letter. The copy is in a fine script and thoroughly legible, but Nostradamus' syntax and general intelligibility are so bad that we have had to taice great liberties with the translation in many places so as to render it at least moderately readable and comprehensible. Nostradamus' Latin quotations have been italicized.
To my venerable Lords Messieurs the Canons of the Cathedral Church of the most ancient city of Orange
venerable lords: with respect to your inquiry concerning the specified and enumerated sacrilegious thefts, concerning theft and hoard hidden but not concealed.
According to the astronomical figure drawn above, you will see fully that it shows that the theft of the sacred objects has been perpetrated with the collusion of two of your brothers of the Church indeed, ones who have previously extended to you private counsel on several occasions as to what had befallen your silver. One of them gave his opinion that it had been taken to Avignon, the other that it had been taken some other place. Both were of the opinion that it had been sold, as indeed was their intention.
Booty to be divided among canons who are at present like soldiers. This opinion was not rendered as good and godly and commendable. Several would not agree with it, although some others were pleased though in the end not agreed on one point or the other. But all was halted as the silver was put in the house of one of your people and locked up; which was not done agreeably to some. One opinion held that it was necessary to melt it down into bars and sell it, storing it for the present in the home of one of them.
Then two or three came forth to say that this could not possibly be for scarcely any length of time, since the Roman Church would be involved in most sinister events. It was locked up, although with but two of them remaining of the opinion that it should be sold melted dovm and plotting secretly with one another.
There were only three, and they brothers of the Church, and they have ravished that which was without fault with the intention of stealing everything and not without the collusion of the custodian, for you entrusted the sheep to the wolf. As indeed Jesus Christ for some time committed His flock to long plunderings of His Church, also under the shadow of faith and of probity, as you have committed your silver, sacred and dedicated as it is to the sacred ornamentation of your temple, donated in ages past by Kings, monarchs, lordly sovereigns of the earth as true observers of the faith and of religion.
But note, my venerable Lords, that unless by those of your company who are not without knowledge of the day and the night when the theft of the sacred objects was perpetrated there be restored and replaced in full what was stolen, not only in its place and into the hands of those entrusted with its custody, but also returned into the temple, remembering the silver chalice, there will fall upon them the greatest misfortune that ever befell anyone, on them and on their family; and furthermore, pestilence will approach your city and within its ramparts as great as ever covered your city or was contained within your walls, and let them not object to the above. Priests are like comrades of propitious gods.
But they will see, as it is said, that God takes his vengeance on those who have profaned His holy temple and who have stolen what in ages past was donated by the observers of the Christian religion.
Therefore, let this letter of mine be read in the presence of all your people, as if not: opened until all are present, and then without fail the faces of those in collusion will change with great shame and confusion that they will be unable to repress.
Therefore, keep this my letter as a complete witness of the truth, time to come to bear witness to it, and rest assured, my venerable Lords, if that which was stolen is not brought back one way or another, that they will die the most miserable death, more lingering and more violent and of more inconceivable intensity than ever before occurred€unless everything is restored and replaced in its ancient repository, and thus you will find it to be.
I am grieved that the sheep has been entrusted to the wolf, as much to take note of it as to devise what message to send about it.
What I write you is according to astronomical judgment and, I protest, lacking in offense to anyone in this world. I am human and can err, be wrong and be deceived; nevertheless, be there anyone in your city familiar with the astronomical doctrine extending to the judicial, by the figure let him judge if he understands not that my saying contains the truth.
Have no fear whatever, sirs, but that shortly all will be found, and that if it be not thus, rest assured that their unhappy destiny approaches for those who have perpetrated sacrilege by their execrable crime.
Further I cannot write you for the present. God watch over you to restore you to your first state. Although there are several who would be displeased if they had to wear again the amice, several of them near you, and one there is who will not want to find himself accompanied by another of the same type. God guard you from evil. From Salon this 4th of February, 1562.
M. Nostradamus Salon-de-Crau in Provence