Michael de Nostradamus is the most famous prophet in French history. He lived during the 16th century, and his abilities as a prognosticator earned him fame far and wide. He made many predictions of the future, including some applicable to our time, and it is for this reason he is of interest to us.
The following verse predicts a tribulation before the end of this century.
"After great misery for mankind "an even greater approaches "when the great cycle of the centuries is renewed. It will rain blood, milk, famine, war and disease: In the sky will be seen a fire, dragging a trail of sparks." (II-46)
The end of the cycle of the centuries is the year 2000 and this fits perfectly into the pattern of prophecies we have seen predicting a tribulation at the end of this century. War and famine are mentioned as expected. In addition, a fire dragging a trail of sparks could be the appearance of a comet as a celestial harbinger of things to come. Another possibility is that this is Nostradamus' description of a missile; something he would not have seen in the 16th century, and therefore would have no way of describing.
The following verse is important in that connection.
"In the year 1999, and seven months, from the sky will come the great King of Terror. He will bring to life the great king of the Mongols. Before and after war reigns happily." (X-72)
This is perhaps the most famous of Nostradamus' predictions. It not only foretells of a tremendous world revolution, instigated by the Antichrist and a ruler from the East; it also names the precise time to expect the occurrence: August 1999. At this time there will be a grand cross of the planets in the fixed signs relating to the four beasts of the Apocalypse -- Taurus the bull, Leo the lion, Scorpio the scorpion and Aquarius the man. Astrologers -- of whom Nostradamus was one -- believe that the stress of this unique grouping could generate extreme unrest, violence and natural catastrophe -- exactly what many quatrains predict.
This verse dregs up visions of the army of 200 million in the Book of Revelation that goes to war in the Middle East. Nostradamus may have been describing those verses from the Revelation, as he must surely have been a student of the Bible. In any case this verse come close to the picture of the future I have gleaned from other sources.