Lord of the Rings: Apocalyptic Prophecies
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Lord of the Rings: Apocalyptic Prophecies
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Table of Contents:
In the End Times: the Great Monarch and the Angelic Pontiff
A Hidden King ~ Descendant of a Great Lineage
Absolute Monarchies ~ Approved by Heaven
The Bible and Prophecies: Inspiration for Tolkien’s Great Epic?
Aragorn and the Prophecies of the Great Monarch
The Angelic Pontiff
Lord Sauron ~ Veiled Malice
The Great Period of Peace
Illustration Credits

“ ‘These are indeed strange days,’ he muttered.
‘Dreams and legends spring to life out of the grass.’ ”
~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers

Darkness covers the land, war and rumours of war threaten the lands of Middle Earth, the powers of evil are rising, the earth itself is convulsed, yet there is hope; a small band of courageous souls enter upon a nigh impossible quest to quell a diabolical enemy, while a hidden king comes to claim his rightful throne through the turmoil of battle as foretold by prophets of old and rebuilds his kingdom laid waste by his enemies.

The plot of J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic High Fantasy epic, Lord of the Rings, is it not? However, the above narrative may be more than a fantastic story. Is it possible Tolkien was inspired by astounding Roman Catholic prophecies yet to be fulfilled? In fact, not many Catholics are aware of these prophecies, and for those who have read them do not believe, for they indeed sound surreal as though penned by a fiction author despite having been imparted by approved saints and mystics of the Church.

Why, the reader may ask? These little known prophecies may sound fantastic, but in truth are downright frightening, condemning the sinful corruption of both the Church and the secular world alike. One may dare to suggest these foretellings have been suppressed from the majority of the faithful due to the damning nature of the warnings from Heaven despite receiving Church approval. Yet, the prophecies are available for those who seek, and Tolkien being a devout Catholic may have woven threads of these revelations into his famous epic, which we shall now explore.

In the End Times: the Great Monarch and the Angelic Pontiff

For centuries, saints and mystics of the Church foretold that near the End Times, Satan would be given a period to test mankind, also foretold in the Book of the Apocalypse: “And after that, he must be loosed a little time.” (Apoc. 20, 2) Pope Leo XIII (pontificate 1878-1903) experienced a vision displaying the liberty that would be granted to Satan, and was shown that the devil and his followers would be given the time he demanded to tempt the world: about seventy-five to one hundred years. The mystic and stigmatist Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich (1774-1824) has even provided the faithful with a date for when this horrific ‘Age of Satan’ would commence. According to her revelations,* the devil and his minions would be allowed this period of freedom fifty or sixty years before the year 2000 AD and they would begin to prepare the earth for this age long before the year ever arrived.

Ominous, is it not?

Other mystics fill in considerable details about this dark time: corruption would cover the earth, sin would be so great that the land will rebel against man and the seasons would no longer be discernible. Morals would become nonexistent, impurity would be so terrible that there would be hardly any virgin souls left on earth. Hedonism would grow more rapid than in the pagan times. The Church itself would become corrupt from within and would abandon its holy traditions as they had been practised for centuries, (often perceived to be the revolutionary reformations of the Vatican II Council), and that Heaven would be forced to send cataclysmic misfortunes to the earth in an attempt to bring mankind back to its senses such as previously unknown plagues, famines, catastrophic earthquakes, three World Wars, the threat of Muslim invasions in the western world and the complete destruction of Paris to name a few. When these fail, the last and greatest punishment would be the Three Days of Darkness when all Hell would literally and physically be let loose, destruction would come in a rain of fire, and those not properly prepared for these chastisements would be struck dead. Two-thirds, or in some prophecies, three-quarters of the human race would be annihilated, those remaining would be left to repopulate and rebuild the earth.

After these horrific days have passed, there would be a great period of peace the like of which was never witnessed before in history. Heresies will be wiped out, world wide conversions will take place. All Christian churches separated by heresy or schism would come back to the Roman Catholic fold, which would be completely reformed back to its former Latin traditions under the guidance of a great pope, an ‘Angelic Pontiff’. In union with the Angelic Pontiff, the secular world would be ruled by a Great Monarch who will be chosen by Heaven to restore all the absolute monarchies of Europe that would then rule under his sceptre as in the days of the Holy Roman Empire. This great period of peace would last for about thirty years until the death of the Great Monarch, after which the Antichrist will reveal himself and attempt to corrupt the faithful once more before Christ shall appear from Heaven with His Angels on the Last Day and commence the General Judgement. This appears to be the general outline of the various prophecies.

Concerning the Great Monarch, who is he? From whence shall he appear? From the numerous prophecies, the time of his appearance is difficult to discern— he will be a man of war, driving back enemies that will have invaded Europe. The miracles that will appear at his coming and his own personal holiness will be so great he will convert many and his enemies will be quickly defeated. From this we can assume he might come during a great war before the harrowing Three Days of Darkness with its Rain of Fire, although it is still possible he might come after. However, there is no doubt from what country he will take his throne: he will be a descendant of the Merovinginan dynasty, Charlemagne and the slaughtered Bourbons. He will be the last and greatest of the Kings of France.

* Bl. Catherine Emmerich’s revelations were recorded by the author Clemens Brentano, and unfortunately it is noted he introduced several of his own embellishments to her testimony making it impossible to discern her prophecies from his additions. That being said, Catholics continue to read her revelations as recorded by Brentano and Tolkien may have also been influenced by what was attributed to her, hence her prophecies are also included in this study.
A Hidden King ~ Descendant of a Great Lineage

     Arguably, the most detailed and astounding number of prophecies concerning the return of the Monarch to France were revealed by the Church approved French stigmatist, Marie-Julie Jahenny (1850-1941), a peasant from Brittany, yet few outside of France have heard of her until now despite the numerous visions and prophecies she received.1
     According to her, the Great Monarch would be a hidden descendant of the “King and Queen martyrs”, apparently Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette that were murdered during the republican French Revolution. He would be the last and greatest of the Bourbon line, yet would remain 'hidden' for his own safety as the powers ruling France and the world at the time will stop at nothing to ensure that an absolute monarchy will never be restored. However, despite their venomous malice, he would come forth out of hiding when the time was right accompanied by great miracles in the sky that would declare his coming. The miracles that will appear will be so great that the like of them will not be seen again until the Last Days, these wonders will even include resurrections of the dead. Weary of civil and world wars, in addition to corrupt democracies ruled by demonic elements that do nothing but secure their own party interests to the detriment of the citizens, the people of the earth will at last recognise they have no true freedoms under their republics and cry out for the absolute monarchies to be re-established.

     At first, three aristocratic contenders will come forward in an attempt to claim the French throne, including the Orleans branch, but they will all fail. The true king will come out of hiding and will be ridiculed in the beginning, but will succeed in claiming the throne after the various miracles will appear proving his royal claim. After purging France of its enemies, he will come to the aid of Europe still gripped in the ravages of war. The new king will first come to the rescue of the Angelic Pontiff, who will be held captive in Rome, and after freeing him, this great king will be crowned Holy Roman Emperor by the Angelic Pontiff and rule over the other kings of Europe for a time. All countries of the earth will be influenced by his just and holy rule.

     For centuries saints prophesied that France is destined to reform a corrupt world near the end of time, but why is the monarchy of France chosen for this great mission? To find the answer, we must look back to the coronation of King Clovis I (c.466-511 AD), the first King of the Franks (France), and his miraculous conversion.

1 For a detailed account of her revelations and those of other approved saints and mystics of the Catholic Church concerning the Days of Darkness, the Angelic Pontiff, and the Great Monarch, see We Are Warned: The Prophecies of Marie-Julie Jahenny (December 2011: www.scribd.com/doc/74402052 )

Absolute Monarchies ~ Approved by Heaven

     Before the time Clovis came to power in the latter half of the 5th Century, Europe consisted of multiple tribal kingdoms and principalities, which included the land of the Franks (the future France). A number of these tribal kingdoms were still under pagan rule, while the majority of them were converting to Arianism, a heretical doctrine denounced centuries earlier at the first ever Ecumenical Council of the Church at Nicea 325 AD. The Arians believed that while Christ was the appointed saviour of mankind, they denied that He was of the same nature as God, declaring He was created. According to the Arians, Christ was nothing more than a highly favoured mortal man and was not divine. This reinterpretation of the Saviour was completely against the Traditional teaching of the Church upon which the Christian Faith rested, and was in fact considered an Antichrist doctrine, for according to the teachings of the Apostle St. John, those who attempted to deny the divine or the human nature of Christ were forerunners of the Antichrist, hence the condemnation of Arian doctrines by the Church. However, while the Council of Nicea declared that the divinity of Christ was an article of faith, the Arian heresy continued to spread rapidly as mentioned.

     Returning to Clovis I, although not an Arian, he was still a pagan who was married to the Roman Catholic princess of Burgundy, St. Clotilde. Despite her attempts to convert him, Clovis remained sceptical of the Christian faith until threatened with war and the loss of his kingdom to the Alemanni tribes near Cologne. As tradition states, he made a pact with Christ that if he won the battle, he would become baptised. He defeated the Alemanni and fulfilled his oath to become a Roman Catholic Christian. On his baptism Christmas Day 506 AD his conversion was sealed by a miracle ~ the Holy Spirit appeared in the form of a dove bringing sacred chrism for Clovis’ coronation and a lily from Heaven, a symbolic representation of the Trinity, the doctrine of which the Arians rejected. Henceforth the sign of the French monarchy became the Fleur-de-Ly.
     This miracle from Heaven was of paramount importance to the establishment of the kingdom for this was no mere recurrence of the conversion of the Emperor Constantine who only saw a cross in the sky. Clovis had received heavenly-made oil, his anointing mirrored the anointing of kings as seen in the Old Testament, such as King David’s anointing by the prophet Samuel and King Solomon by Zadok the priest. Furthermore, with the appearance of the Holy Spirit, Clovis’s miraculous anointing and ascension to the throne was seen to be a metaphorical symbol of Christ’s anointing by the Holy Spirit. P. Christian Klieger notes the tremendous impact Clovis’ conversion and anointing had on Western Europe:

“Rather than being a Roman emperor who was divine in his own right, the new universal ruler served in Christ’s stead on earth, and ruled by His right. (...) The oil brought forth by the dove was the new Palladium, the source of all legitimacy. It was to serve as the model of absolute monarchy in Western Europe until the Enlightenment. (...) While Constantine was consecrated by St. Sylvester, and later Charlemagne by Pope Leo, throughout the history of the West, only Christ and Clovis are witnessed as being anointed by a literal epiphany of the Holy Spirit. The ‘Divine Right (of Kings)’ of all European monarchies has its origin in the anointing of Clovis. More than any other action, the baptism symbolised the fusion of Greco-Roman, German, and Judeo-Christian worlds in a new concept of universal empire. The Sacred Ampulla itself (the vessel of oil brought by the Dove) became among the most holy relics of the French monarchy, securing for the king the style, ‘Most Christian’ and ‘Eldest Son of the Church’ until the very end of the Ancien Régime. The French monarchy had become one of the great pillars of the Papacy. (...) Clovis’ embracing of orthodox Roman Catholicism was a severe blow to the Arianism of Gaul (i.e. ancient France). The Frankish king’s profession (of faith) helped establish the primacy of the Bishop of Rome in matters Christian.”2

     We may ask why Clovis was so favoured with an epiphany of the Holy Spirit? Tradition also states his royal bloodline had descended from the Tribe of Judah and the House of David, and thus the Kings of France were believed to be distant descendants of Christ’s Royal House: a sign that Christ’s kingdom was indeed visibly present on earth in both the Church and in a holy secular empire established by Heaven itself. The miracles do not cease there: according to tradition, from that day forward Clovis and his descendants were all empowered with many mystical gifts, including the gift of healing.
     Eventually, Clovis also defeated Alaric II, king of the Visigoths in 507 AD near Poitiers, and established Paris as the capital of his kingdom, thus uniting the lands that include most of present-day France and south-western Germany.
     In conclusion, the French monarchy, a blessed and divinely-favoured blood line, had saved Europe from perilous heresy and was paramount in establishing Roman Catholicism in Europe. According to the prophecies, the last of this favoured royal line would also come forth out of hiding in a miraculous manner to save Europe and the Church one last time before the appearance of the Antichrist.

2 P. Christian Klieger, The Microstates of Europe: Designer Nations in a Post-Modern World. (United Kingdom: Lexington Books, 2013), pp. 139-140.

The Bible and Prophecies: Inspiration for Tolkien’s Great Epic?

     Tolkien did not write Lord of the Rings first, it originated as a sequel to his famous fantasy work, The Hobbit, which he wrote for his children. At first, Tolkien continued the tale of the magical ring introduced in The Hobbit mostly to indulge his linguistic interests, inventing a history to explain the evolution of the Elvish languages, never dreaming that people might be interested in his new project until requests from readers wishing to find out more about hobbits and their adventures become more prolific. From there, the story of the One Ring grew until it became a mighty epic featuring the history of not just one fictional kingdom, but several realms with various races, plus thousands of years of history, culture and lore.
     Although the majority of his great epic was written during the ravages of
World War II, Tolkien insisted the fantasy battles he penned in  were not based on that terrible time, and indeed, he declared that he did not intend to impart any hidden meaning or message in his text, that it was not even allegorical or topical, rather, he solely wished as a tale-teller to “... try his hand at a really long story that would hold the attention of readers, amuse them, delight them, and at times maybe excite them or deeply move them.” 3 However, Tolkien did admit that, “As a guide, I had only my own feelings for what is appealing or moving.”4 In other words ~ he wrote about what interested him ~ and despite his protestation of including anything allegorical into his tale, Catholic history and mystic prophecy obviously received its fair share of attention in addition to Norse and Germanic myths featuring fabulous rings of power.
     No doubt those already familiar with Tolkien’s tale that takes place in ‘Middle Earth’ already see many of the links between the Catholic prophecies stated above and his famous text. In fact, the term ‘Middle Earth’ is not Tolkien’s original invention but a reference derived from Mediterranean, the inland sea that marked the ‘Middle of the Earth’ according to ancient maps until the discovery of the New World.
      Needless to say, it is a daunting challenge to summarise the vast ‘history’ of Tolkien’s fictional world complete with an interpretation of its possible symbolism within a few pages, but for the sake of understanding the various plots and how they link to Catholic prophecy, in particular, with divinely chosen kings of the past and the Great Monarch of the Latter Days, we shall make the attempt.
     In the Appendixes of Lord of the Rings, Tolkien provides vast time lines and chronicles recounting the formation of his fictional kingdoms, and how the various struggles of their inhabitants after many centuries leads to the decisive War of the Ring. From the beginning, we can see Tolkien was not only inspired by medieval history and Norse-Germanic mythology, but also by the Old Testament, namely Genesis and its account of the first kingdoms of the ancient world in the Middle East. Although not apparent at first, there are important links with the Old Testament and the visions of Catholic mystics which Tolkien also seem to have included in his narrative that we must examine first in order to understand the framework on which the epic rests.
     Far beyond the borders of Tolkien’s fictional Middle Earth lies a land across the sea known as the Blessed Realm ruled by the Valar, the Guardians of the
World, an immortal race with great mystical powers. Apparently, the land is also inhabited by the immortal Elves also known as the Eldar, although they do not seem as powerful as the Valar. Commentators have often noticed this Blessed Realm is symbolic of Heaven or Paradise, the Valar representing the angelic beings of heaven, while the Eldar Elves may be a symbol of a race not yet touched by original sin, similar to Adam and Eve.5 Within this Blessed Realm are two mystical trees called Telperion and Laurelin that give light to the land of the Valar, which seem to bear a close resemblance to the Trees of Life and Knowledge in the Garden of Eden. Fëanor, one of the greatest and learned of the Eldar Elves makes three fabulous jewels called the Silmarilli, in which he encased the light of the two trees. These powerful jewels were coveted by an evil entity called Morgoth the Enemy, and after destroying the two mystical trees, he steals the jewels from the Land of the Blessed and brings them to his tower across the sea in the mortal lands of Middle Earth. Despite this destruction, Telperion bore fruit before it was poisoned, and from the seeds a likeness of this tree was preserved in Middle Earth through its descendants from age to age, a detail which will become important later in Lord of the Rings.
     Filled with anger and pride, Fëonor defies the wishes of the great Valar and leaves the Blessed Realm to hunt down Morgoth in an attempt to recover the jewels by force, bringing a great number of the immortal Eldar with him into exile in Middle Earth, perhaps based on the account of Adam and Eve thrust out of Paradise. A race of mortal men on Middle Earth called the Edain become allies with the newly arrived Eldar Elves and help Fëonor in his quest, although it is a hopeless war and they are defeated by Morgoth.6

     However, a rare handful of mortal elves wedded with men during this time, and their descendants continued to battle the evil Morgoth. One of the elven race who married a mortal was the Princess Lúthien. With her husband Beren of the mortal Edain, she eventually succeeds in wresting back one of the stolen Silmaril jewels from Morgoth’s crown. The one jewel is passed to their descendants until it comes into the possession of Princess Elwing, who marries Eärendil the Mariner, another descendant of Elves and Men. Eärendil succeeds in gathering the two races of Elves and Men once more and together as allies they defeat the evil Morgoth, yet despite their valiant efforts the other two Silmaril jewels are lost forever. Although the reason is not mentioned in the Lord of the Rings chronicles, Eärendil was not permitted to return to the mortal lands of men, but his ship was allowed to sail into the heavens bearing the light of the last Silmaril thereby becoming a star, thus giving hope and light to those mortals still oppressed by the Great Enemy and his evil servants on Middle Earth.
     Through Eärendil’s the Mariner’s sons, Elros and Elrond, a distinct race of semi-immortals is born called the Peredhil or Half-Elven, a remaining remnant of the High Elven Kings that originally journeyed to Middle Earth. In recognition of their Elven heritage, the great Valar of the Undying Lands grant Elros and Elrond a choice: they could remain immortal as the Elves, or choose to become mortal men. Elros chose to become mortal, although he and his descendants were granted thrice the lifespan of other men due to their lineage with the Eldar and the great men of old, thus setting them apart so to speak from the ‘lesser-men’ of Middle Earth, a ‘chosen’ race of mankind. In addition, the Valar wished to reward Elros and his mortal race for their sufferings and valour in defeating the enemy Morgoth, and grant them a new kingdom beyond the shores of Middle Earth, the Isle of Elenna far removed from the pains and toils of other lands. On the Isle of Elenna stands a magnificent mountain that affords a view of the immortal Eldar kingdom. After following the Star of Eärendil to the new land promised them, the Men of Edain establish the Kingdom of Númenor with Elros as its first King. Despite the favours received from the great Valar, once Elros had made his choice to accept mortality, his descendants had to remain mortal and their fate could not be altered with the exception they were given the grace to choose the time of their death.
     In contrast to Elros, Lord Elrond, who we will see again in Lord of the Rings, decided to remain immortal like the Elven Eldar, a choice which was also granted to his immortal descendants. Lord Elrond and his descendants were also granted a boon by the Valar as a reward for their bravery in defeating Morgoth: if during the course of their immortal lives they grew weary of the pains of Middle Earth, they would be allowed to sail once more back to the immortal Undying Lands of the Blessed at a special time appointed and remain there forever. Yet there was also a condition attached to the reward: if the descendants of Elrond did not wish to return with him when the appointed time came, they would become mortal and eventually die on Middle Earth. The Valar also laid down one final condition on the mortal race of King Elros known as the great ‘Ban of the Valar’ ~ the mortal Númenors were forbidden to sail past their own borders and seek the Undying Lands for they had made their choice, and the Valar could not take back from mortal men the Gift or the Doom of morality. Any attempt to sail to the Undying Lands like Elrond and the Eldar would be an act of open rebellion and bring
disaster upon their kingdom. In all, we can see Tolkien’s development of ‘chosen’ people and the concept of a ‘promised land’ similar to Abraham and his descendants in the Old Testament. From here Tolkien begins to construct the history of the kings of Middle Earth and how they arrived on that land, the folly of their descendants, and the promise of a faithful king who would return to restore all that had been lost.
     Continuing Tolkien’s tale, in the first days of their reign, a time of great peace and prosperity existed between the two Kingdoms of the blessed immortal Eldar and the mortal but great Númenoreans. However, a new evil power appears on Middle Earth, Lord Sauron, the principal evil character in Lord of the Rings, who
begins to oppress and enslave the lesser races of men. Nevertheless, he fears the new race of the Númenoreans and devises a plan to ensnare them, but he must first
seduce the wise and far-seeing Eldar if possible. Feigning friendship, he teaches them the art of making empowered objects through smith work and they begin forging the various Rings Power. Over time we learn that three of the Rings were for the Elven kings, seven for the dwarf lords, and nine for the kings of Men. Yet unknown to them, Lord Sauron forges a new Ring that will control all the others. The Eldar eventually discover his evil designs and the Elves make war upon Sauron, he is defeated and the Three Rings made for the Elven kings are hidden from him. The dwarfs also ensconce themselves in their underground kingdoms with the result their rings are either stolen during wars or lost in the mists of time. The Nine Kings of lesser-men are not so wise: they are enslaved by their nine rings and become the feared Nazgûl, or Ringwraiths, demonic witch-pawns of Lord Sauron.
     Afterwards, Sauron continues to oppress the lesser men of Middle Earth, and at first, the Númenoreans came to their aid, but they eventually grew greedy for power and wealth as their generations pass until they also become tyrants. As they grow in discontent, the mortal descendants of Elros come to regret their ancestor’s choice and yearn for immortality ~ the magnificent view of the Eldar Kingdom from the mountaintop no doubt makes them covet the Eldar’s immortality all the more, (a borrowing from the account of the Tower of Babel and King Nimrod’s challenge to God?) As time passes, the people of Númenor are divided: the majority following the corrupt kings that envied the immortal Valar and Eldar, and the few who continue to call themselves the Faithful and who adhere to the Ban declared by the immortal races. In their envy and growing hatred for the Eldar, the corrupt kings began to abandon their High Elven names and language, and even persecute the remaining Faithful. The situation grows more dire as future generations discover that their very fear of death is decreasing their gifted longevity and this realisation fuels their desire to cross into the Undying Lands more than ever before. Rebellion is rife. However, they continue to fear the warnings of the Valar, Guardians of the World, and this alone prevents them from breaking the Ban.
     Eventually their fear is overcome by the deceitful wiles of Lord Sauron. Filled with pride and vainglory, the last king of the Númenoreans yearns for conquest and gatherers a great fleet to sail against Lord Sauron on Middle Earth in an attempt to gain supremacy over the mortal kingdom. The power and splendour of his army is so mighty that even Sauron’s servants grow fearful, they desert him and the evil lord is captured. However, Lord Sauron is shrewd: he senses the king’s pride and his people’s growing rebellion against the Valar and Eldar. Bewitching the king, he convinces him that the Ban to cross the sea to the Undying Lands was nothing more than a ploy to keep the mighty race of the Númenoreans from surpassing the Valar. If he boldly went and conquered the Undying Lands, immortality would be theirs.
     The king is swayed by his evil council and mustering the greatest army that was ever gathered on Middle Earth, his mighty fleet sets sail to challenge the Ban only to bring forth an unimaginable punishment ~ as soon as he sets foot on the Lands of the Blessed, the Valar relinquish their Guardianship and call upon ‘the One’, symbolical of God, whereupon the ancient world is punished through great cataclysmic events. The island kingdom of Númenor with its great mountain is thrown down into the sea and the immortal Lands of the Blessed are removed from the circles of the world so that only the Eldar may still set foot on them. The Evil Lord Sauron does not escape the chastisements and is also punished: he is caught in the great shipwreck as the ocean consumes Númenor and his physical nature is destroyed. He survives as a malicious black spirit filled with hate and venom, unable to assume a shape that men may gaze upon and remains a shapeless form of terror. Fleeing to his bleak realm of Mordor in Middle Earth, he hides for a time until he discovers that a remnant of Númenoreans whom he hated the most managed to survive the catastrophe ~ a handful of the descendants of the Faithful led by Elendil, who despite having suffered years of persecution from their own corrupt kindred, had still held fast to the Ban of the Valar. They had escaped the destruction of Númenor on ships and now found themselves exiles on the mortal lands of Middle Earth.

3 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Foreword, (Great Britain: HarperCollins, 1993), p. 10.
4 Ibid.

5 The one major departure from Sacred Scripture is that Tolkien has the ‘angelic’ Valar help finish the creation of world instead of the ‘One’ Creator as we learn from his other writings. However, since Tolkien was a traditional Catholic, it is highly unlikely he intended to support a theological error. We have to keep in mind that as a creative writer Tolkien wished to create a great mythical world in the tradition of the ancient epic-poets of the past, so of course not everything could follow Scripture. Despite this, many Biblical themes exist throughout the text. At least his concept of the Valar is not that much different from the traditional Catholic teaching of angels in that after God created the world, He gave each and every angel of the lower Choirs a task to accomplish in the material world, either to keep the heavenly bodies set in their course, or to be appointed as guides of mankind.
6 Tolkien tells the full tale of the jewels in another work, The Silmarillion.

     No doubt Tolkien derived his plot from the account of Noah and the purification of the ancient world by water in addition to the fall of Babel. We may even observe a link between the Númenoreans’ longevity, the shortening of their lifespan, and the section of the Old Testament recording God’s decision to cut short the years He first gave to men on earth such as Mathusala who lived up to the ripe old age of nine hundred and sixty-nine before he died. (Gen. 5:27). Of interest, Tolkien’s tale of the One ‘God’ removing the Lands of the Blessed from the circles of the world also sounds surprisingly familiar to Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich’s other biblical revelations in that she was shown the fall of humanity and how Adam and Eve were exiled from the place of their creation in the Garden of Paradise. According to her, they were driven downward to the lower realm of creation while Paradise appeared to be lifted up higher and higher like a cloud until it was separated from the earth and floated above it, rising mystically with the rising sun each morning far out of reach of fallen man.7 The catastrophic fictional events of Númenor also bear a resemblance to Catholic prophecies that state in the Latter Days only a few faithful would remain true to Heaven’s commands while the rest of mankind will perish amidst cataclysmic punishments that will end the ‘Age of Satan’, bringing a Great Age of Peace, but only for a brief time.

     Of course, we have yet to come to the chronicles in which the story of the Lord of the Rings actually takes place, but the following history now sets the scene. Elendil the Faithful and his exiled descendants establish a new kingdom in Middle Earth called Gondor and other allied realms near the very borders of Lord Sauron’s dark realm in Mordor, which throws him into a rage. The evil lord devises war upon the new kingdoms of his enemies who dare to challenge and thwart his rule in that circle of the world. We have already learned that Sauron had persuaded the Elven Kings to forge the various rings of power, however, he deceives the various races of Middle Earth, for in secret he brings forth from the fires of Mount Doom the One Ring that controls them all. Confident of his success, he battles against Elendil, his sons, the Faithful Númenorean Exiles and the immortal Eldar. Yet, despite his possession of the One Ring, the Dark Lord is overconfident and goes to war before his evil power is fully recovered, while the might of the High Elf Gilgalad had increased as the years passed. Thus, in the last Great Alliance of Men and Elves, Elendil and Gil-galad lead their armies to war and manage to overthrow Sauron but are unable to kill him and are slain for their efforts, while Isildur, Elendil’s eldest son seizes the hilt of his father’s famed sword Narsil, which was shattered as Elendil fell upon it, and attacks Sauron with the broken blade. Isildur gains possession of the One Ring, but the famed royal sword of kings remains broken, ending the Second Age of Middle Earth. In the end, Isildur’s victory is an empty one, for the majority of Sauron’s power resides in the Ring and he is only defeated not slain. The black lord escapes once more to his stronghold made indestructible through the power of the Ring and bides his time, plotting vengeance on Gondor and the complete subjugation of Middle Earth. All he needs is the Ring, which Isildur had taken, but is soon lost. For centuries Sauron awaits its return.
     We discover as the tale unfolds in Lord of the Rings that the Ring is not in inanimate object and possesses an evil attraction: it will answer to no one but its master. While it will grant invisibility to anyone who wears it and unnaturally prolong their life, it will eventually gain control of the bearer in an attempt to have them relinquish it back to its rightful owner, often tormenting the wearer with an unquenchable desire to possess it only to find themselves betrayed in the end, for after driving them to commit heinous deeds to keep it, the Ring will eventually play the traitor and will abandon those it uses to find another host more capable of bringing it back to its Master. The bearers often come to a terrible end as the possession of the Ring marks them for life. In this manner, Isildur fails the test to destroy the Ring when he has the opportunity and is eventually slain. The Ring is then lost to time, waiting for the right person that can be manipulated and thereby find its way back to its master.

     At long last, we arrive at the main narrative of Tolkien’s epic Lord of the Rings, the tale of the One Ring and the saving of Gondor, a plot that appears derived from Catholic prophecies as mentioned earlier ~ the return of a great hidden King who will restore his royal house at a dark time in history when all hope seems lost.
     Centuries pass, Sauron continues to plague the descendants of Númenor and their allies with war and pillaging orcs, trolls, and other fell creatures of his own diabolical breeding that he sends into the land. As if these troubles were not enough, the kingdom suffers from time to time from the ravages of deadly
     Eventually during one of the many battles recorded, the direct Southern scion of the royal lineage of Gondor is extinguished. It appears from the context of Tolkien’s chronicles that in such an event or emergency the Steward of the King may assume the role of regent, for now we find that the Steward Pelendur has the authority to speak to the people of Gondor and he manages to convince them to reject the rightful claim of the Northern Line, declaring that according to the laws of the south, they may only recognise the kingship passed through Elendil to his eldest son Isildur, not his younger son from which the Northern line descends. Pelendur advises the men of Gondor that they must seek another and sole surviving but distant royal descendant of the southern kings, who then happens to be a general of the army. The Steward’s cunning advice is followed, and as the people of Gondor unanimously agree to accept the general as their new king, the descendant of the Northern line refrains from pressing his claim further to prevent civil war. However, after he is crowned king, the general leaves only one heir who dies without issue, and by right the throne should return to the surviving Northern Branch of Elendil, but Pelendur the Steward of Gondor remains resistant to the legitimate Northern line and the throne of the South is practically usurped by him as he takes upon himself the rule of the kingdom.
     From whence does this audacity arise? Before the line of the southern kings died, it was their royal custom for the kings to choose for their stewards sons of the previous stewards before them as they too had descended from the great Númenorean race. However, the hereditary honour of becoming the King’s Steward obviously made Pelendur thirst for the ultimate nobility of royal kingship, for he continued the custom of hereditary ascension to the title. As a result, the legitimate Northern line of Elendil is thrust into exile. As time passes, their northern kingdom dwindles and the royal lineage is hidden from the knowledge of men until it is believed that the northern line has also died out, while the southern Kingdom of Gondor continues to be ruled by the Stewards and their heirs for almost a thousand years.
     As the generations pass, the Stewards smirk at their title of regent and the ritual oath to “hold rod and rule in the name of the king, until he shall return.”8 Their oath becomes mere ritual words, for in the longevity of their reign, they have grown accustomed to the respect and power they enjoy, living literally like kings. In their pride, they even abandon the custom of using High-Elven names, a practise that reminds us of the corrupt rulers of old who despised the Eldar Elves and rebelled against the Ban of the Valar. However, despite their honoured position, a steward can only remain a regent, they are not a royal scion of Elendil and can never become king. In fact, they dare not sit on the ancient throne, they do not wear a crown, nor wield a royal sceptre ~ the mark of kingship to the Númenoreans. This forever reminds them of their inferior position despite their authority, and prophecies foretell that the rule of the Stewards will not last forever as the surviving branch from the royal house of Elendil the Faithful will one day come to light and be restored, prophecies to which the future Stewards harden their hearts, for they still dread the day when they will be compelled to relinquish their power notwithstanding their oath.
     After centuries of waiting, the prophecies soon become legends and dwindle into songs and old wives’ tales. The days grow ominous, darkness covers the land for Sauron’s might is rising once more. No one knows if any survivors of the Northern Scion still exists, the people doubt that the kingdom of Gondor will ever be restored to its former glory and fall into despair, while the Stewards remain smug in their borrowed absolute power yet fear their rule may indeed be numbered, assuming that Gondor may inevitably fall to Sauron as few of their former allies come to their aid to defend the land. The Ring also grows restless as it senses this change in the earth and it begins to seek its true master. Fell creatures proliferate and gather for battle, evil men from the South and East are rallied to the call of Mordor, war is in the air, the destruction of Gondor and with it the last of the Númenoreans seems eminent.
     At this point Tolkien brings in the numerous Catholic prophecies concerning a once blessed kingdom bereft of it’s rightful king and plagued with uncertainty similar to the political situation of France upon which many of the prophecies revolve. Once unified by an absolute monarchy chosen by Heaven, France is now tossed on the tides of opposing political parties and ruled by a president whom the people look upon almost like a king,* but who can never be king similar to the
stewards of Gondor. The mystic Marie-Julie Jahenny revealed that France would suffer greatly because it has no king, or rather, rejected its legitimate ruler.9 “Ever since Louis XVI died on the scaffold, France is threatened with danger and misfortune.”10 However, as Heaven promised in the prophecies the restoration of the legitimate monarchy of France at one of humanity’s most darkest hours, Tolkien now sets in motion the restoration of Gondor’s rightful king albeit from the most humble and unlikeliest of places just when the black power of Mordor is reaching its height.
     Returning to Lord of the Rings, we learn there are other people in Middle Earth not descendants of the Eldar or the different races of Men, namely, hobbits from the peaceful Shire, small men-like beings that have gone practically unnoticed in the annuals of the land. The hobbit Bilbo Baggins stumbles upon the One Ring of Power by accident during one of his adventures, and after using it to get out of various scrapes, he leaves it to his nephew Frodo. During his travels Gandalf the wizard learns that it is in fact the One Ring fashioned by the evil Lord Sauron. However, he has dreadful news: Lord Sauron knows it has once again been found and has sent the evil Nazgûl kings to seek the current bearer. If it should ever return to its master, Gondor and the whole of Middle Earth is doomed.
     The immortal Lord Elrond summons a council to be held at his regal home in the elven valley of Rivendell, and it is decided that the reappearance of the Ring may in fact be the opportunity the people of Middle Earth have been waiting for. If the Ring is destroyed, not only would the temptation for others to wield it be removed, but Sauron would ultimately lose his power and could be defeated once and for all. It seems an impossible task, for there is only one way to destroy the Ring ~ to throw it back into the volcanic fires from which it was forged in Mount Doom situated within the very borders of Mordor itself. After much deliberation it is decided that if there is to be any hope of success in this perilous mission, a small band or Fellowship must be formed that would have the advantage of stealth on its side. Frodo steps forward and declares he will carry the Ring, since it has fallen to him as his burden he refuses to relinquish this doom to another. Three other hobbits, Sam, Pippin and Merry, agree to go with him, as well as Gandalf the wizard, Boromir, the eldest son of the current Steward of Gondor, Legolas the elf, Gimli the drawf, and an itinerant soldier-hunter or Ranger who is simply called ‘Strider’ in the beginning of the tale, but whom we immediately discover is Aragorn son of Arathorn, last of the Northern Line of Númenorean Kings.
     As their journey progresses, the members of the Fellowship are eventually separated. Gandalf is lost in the underground caverns of Moria battling an ancient fire-demon of the depths, Boromir is slain by orcs, Frodo and Sam journey on to Mordor in a near hopeless attempt to destroy the Ring, while Aragorn returns to Gondor amidst the ravages of battle to claim his throne and in the process distract Lord Sauron from the two hobbits attempting to make their way to Mount Doom. Aragorn’s journey features several adventures that include Legolas, Gimli, Pippin and Merry as his own quest to reclaim his throne is fulfilled, each member of the Fellowship playing their part to aid the forces of good in Middle Earth and thereby destroy the evil power of Sauron.

7 Clemens Brentano, Carl E. Schmöger, ed., The Life of Jesus Christ and Biblical Revelations: From the Visions of the Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich as recorded in the journals of Clemens Brentano ~ Volume I (Illinois: Tan Books and Publishers, Inc., 1986), pp. 25-26.
8 ‘The Stewards’, Appendix A, Lord of the Rings, p. 1089.
* During the recent presidential campaigns in France, i.e. the elections of Presidents Sarkozy and Holland, people interviewed on the street explained they did not view their president as the Americans did, i.e. simply as an elected man with limited years of power. In contrast, the French consider their president a temporary king.
9 We Are Warned, Locution dated April 27, 1877., p. 54.
10 Ibid. Christ to Marie-Julie, May 28, 1877, p. 56.

Everything in blue is from me.

Aragorn and the Prophecies of the Great Monarch

Turning to Aragorn, was his character actually inspired by Catholic Tradition and prophecies? In the third book in the Lord of the Rings called The Return of the King, we immediately discover that there is a distinct link between the fictional king of Gondor and the historical Clovis I, the first King of France from whom the Great Monarch of the Latter Days would descend.** As stated earlier, after Clovis’ conversion to Christianity, he and the descendants of his blessed royal bloodline were said to have been granted many mystical powers, especially the gift of healing. In Tolkien’s work, we discover this is one of the principal signs that would announce the appearance of the hidden monarch to the people of Gondor.
     Aragorn enters the capital city for the first time after the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, but as the war with Mordor is far from over, Aragorn refrains from entering as king or making his claim to the throne until he can ascertain the current situation. Instead, he conceals his outward tokens of royalty, namely, the royal banner and the Star of the North Kingdom lest they be challenged before the time is ripe, and orders he be announced in the city simply as a captain of the Rangers. However, Gandalf urgently requests his assistance: Lord Faramir, son of the Last Ruling Steward is dying, and Aragorn immediately attends to the worded lord,
saving his life. Immediately the prophetic sign is recognised:

     “Thus spake Ioreth, wise-woman of Gondor: The hands of the king are the hands of a healer, and so shall the rightful king be known.”11

     Wasting no time in helping his people, Aragorn together with the immortal sons of Elrond immediately set themselves to work, healing all who had been wounded in the battle or had fallen under the evils of the Black Shadow, a freakish paralysing dementia inflicted by the Nazgûl witch-kings. News of his healing powers spreads rapidly:
“And word went through the City: ‘The King is come again indeed.’ ”12

     Aragorn heals the wounded using a humble-looking herb called athelas. The plant also bears the regal name kingsfoil, or ‘king’s leaf’, which is a curiosity as the people are unaware it has beneficial properties and think it is nothing more than an herb that is useful to freshen the air, but in Aragorn's hands its full power is released and the meaning of the name is made clear.

“Then taking two leaves, he laid them on his hands and breathed on them, and then he crushed them, and straight-away a living freshness filled the room, as if the air itself awoke and tingled, sparkling with joy. And then he cast the leaves into the bowls of steaming water that were brought to him, and at once all hearts were lightened. For the fragrance that came to each was like a memory of dewy mornings of unshadowed sun in some land of which the fair world of Spring is itself but a fleeting memory.”13
     Earlier in The Fellowship of the Ring, Aragorn reveals that the simple plant has a noble origin, that it was brought to the mortal lands of Middle Earth from the ancient Isle of Elenna, the lost homeland of the Númenoreans, hence its efficacy in his healing hands as the heir of Elendil.
     Of interest, we find in the prophecies of the Catholic mystic Marie-Julie Jahenny that the use of certain herbs will be important in the times of the chastisements leading to the Days of the Great Monarch. Due to the evilness of the times, deep black depression will afflict many and hitherto unknown plagues will strike the earth, and according to her revelations Heaven was reminding mankind that there are healing properties in herbs that will allay the symptoms when human medicines will fail: “You will take the infusion of St. John’s wort (this is a mistranslation, it should be Ground Ivy, it is called Herb St. John in French because they associate St. John with the Ground Ivy herb), especially during crisis (mental crisis?), sufferings of the chest and violent headaches. Hawthorn for cholera. For unknown fevers, the humble violet, the perfume and virtue of humility will have effect.”14 According to a locution given by the Mother of God, the white hawthorn (note: I do not know why they put white hawthorn because in French She just says hawthorn) is of particular importance as it will be the only cure for one previously unknown plague that will strike:
“There will be serious diseases that human art cannot alleviate. This malady will attack the heart first, then the mind, and at the same time, the tongue. It will be horrible. The heat that will accompany it will be a consuming fire, so strong that the affected parts of the body will be of an unbearable redness. After seven days, this malady, like the seed sown in a field, will rise rapidly and make immense progress, (i.e. incubate quickly?). My children, this is the only remedy that can save you. You know the leaves of thorns that grow in almost any hedges, (i.e. the white hawthorn). The leaves of this thorn will stop the progress of the disease. You must pick the leaves, not the wood. Even dry, they will retain their effectiveness. Put them in boiling water and leave them there for fourteen minutes, covering the container so that the steam remains. When the malady first attacks, you must use this remedy three times a day. (...) The malady will produce a continual uprising of the heart, (blood pressure? Increased heart rate?) vomiting. If the remedy is taken too late, the affected parts will become black, and in this black, there will be yellowish streaks.”15
     Hence, as the athelas of Aragorn was considered a mean plant of little worth but releases a fragrant healing balm in steam whether the plant is fresh or dried, so shall the different tea infusions of St. John’s wort (Ground Ivy), the simple fragrant violet, and the humble hawthorn bush of ditches and hedges will prove a sign and a saving grace for mankind.
     Returning to Aragorn, we find that he not only shares the same gift of healing as the historical and divinely-blessed Clovis I, the first of the French kings, but he also shares similarities with prophecies of the Great Monarch who will become a great defender of the Faith similar to his ancestor. We recall Aragorn descends from the First King Elendil, who comes from a graced monarchy of Middle Earth, a remnant of the blessed Faithful of Númenor. Aragorn is the prophesied healer and restorer of his race similar to the Great Monarch foretold to restore our own ‘Middle Earth’:
“And Aragorn hearing him, turned and said, ‘Verily, for in the high tongue of old, I am Elessar, the Elfstone, and Envinyatar, the Renewer.”16
     We also see other similarities between Aragorn and the Great Monarch in that his royal lineage remains hidden from his enemies, especially from the Black Lord Sauron and his demonic minions until the time is right for him to reveal himself. In fact, Aragorn is ignorant of his own bloodline during his childhood. After the death of his father, he and his mother are brought to the house of Lord Elrond, who raises him as his own son and gives him the name ‘Estel’, eventually disclosing the truth of his parentage when he grows older:
“But he (Aragorn) was called Estel, that is ‘Hope’ and his true name and lineage were kept secret at the bidding of Elrond, for the Wise then knew that the Enemy was seeking to discover the Heir of Isildur, if any remained upon the earth.”17
     As mentioned earlier, Marie-Julie Jahenny had affirmed that the Great Monarch destined for the future would be a hidden descendant of the ‘King and Queen Martyrs’, that is, the guillotined King Louis XVI and Queen Marie-Antoinette.18 Her visions continually reveal that the Great King would remain hidden until the time was ripe for his appearance; “Poor child exiled, you will see your homeland, welcomed by your tears.”19 According to the prophecies, he will have many enemies, hence the necessity to keep his lineage hidden until the proper time, and we see Aragorn is compelled to remain hidden for the same reason.
** Tolkien may have also drawn inspiration from French secular and sacred history for another character in his epic, the heroic shield-maiden Lady Éowyn of Rohan, niece of King Théoden who was destined to slay the chief Nazgûl. Refusing to stay behind, she rides into battle disguised as a soldier and defeats the evil servant of Sauron whom no man may kill. Aragorn declares: “When I first looked on her ... it seemed to me that I saw a white flower standing straight and proud, shapely as a lily...” (The Return of the King, pp. 900-901). These details seem reminiscent of St. Joan of Arc (1412-1431), the ‘Maid of Orleans’, who was called by heaven to defend the French monarchy and the kingdom. Joining the soldiers and dressing in their attire, she rallied them to many victories against the invading English in the Hundred years’ War. She was ennobled by the king, her family name becoming ‘du Lys’, ‘of the Lily’. She was burned at the stake by the English in Rouen. “Rohan” is the anglicized word for Rouen.
11 Lord of the Rings, p. 897.
12 Ibid. p. 905.
13 Ibid. pp. 899-900.
14 We Are Warned: The Prophecies of Marie-Julie Jahenny, p. 578.
15 Prophecy dated August 5, 1880. Ibid. pp. 578-579.
16 Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, p. 897.
17 Ibid, Appendix A, pp. 1094.
18 Marie-Julie continually affirmed this revelation of the 'King and Queen martyrs' to the Marquis de la Franquerie, who assumed she meant Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette, and included this detail in his book, The Breton Stigmatist, p. 52. See We Are Warned, p. 432. The Marquis also assumed Marie-Julie meant there was a hidden bloodline waiting to be discovered, and Tolkien may have been inspired by this theory. However, Marie-Julie never mentioned a hidden bloodline, and in fact, already identified who the king was and would be: Henry V, the Count of Chambord (1820-1883) (Actually, from reading her prophecies in French, she was told by Jesus that the Great Monarch would descend from Louis XVII, son of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette. Also, she was told that the Great Monarch and Angelic Pontiff would come after she died and she died in 1941. Unfortunately, the Friends of Marie-Julie Jahenny wanted to have persons to associate with the Great Monarch and Angelic Pontiff prophecies and as a result they ended self-interpreting the prophecies to fit the people that they thought fulfilled them. If anyone is interested in knowing which books I got this information from please message me). According to her revelations, he is still destined to fulfill future prophecies. For more information, see the article, Marie-Julie Jahenny, the 'Breton Stigmatist', Her Life and Prophecies:

19 Words of Christ to Marie-Julie describing the King, (June 1, 1, 1877), We Are Warned, p. 58.

If you look at foot note number 30, I mentioned that I fixed the translation to better match the French version.    

     In addition, the Great but hidden King will not be recognised at first, the fact he remains true to the Faith and refuses to doubt the Divine promise he will be brought forth out of exile will cause him to be ridiculed as “incompetent” for the task. The Great Monarch will be slandered and mocked like the kingship of Christ was before the Crucifixion, he will be deemed the most “despised of men” and will have to bear the “mantel of abomination”, even his few loyal followers will be mocked in the same way before his claim to the throne is recognised and accepted.20
     In Lord of the Rings, we discover that Aragorn suffers similar abuse. After he learns the truth of his parentage, Elrond reminds Aragorn he must prepare for the test that lies ahead of him before he may worthily wield the royal sceptre. Therefore, Aragorn leaves the house of Elrond and for thirty years he enters the wild as a Ranger and leader of the northern chieftains, learning sword-craft and the arts of war in preparation for the destiny that awaits him, fighting valiantly against the evil plots of Lord Sauron in secret, joining the armies of other kings under various names. However, his anonymous life as a Ranger is a hard one, a homeless existence filled with restless wandering and many battles, a ‘man of the wild’ who is shunned by all ‘respectable folk’. This hard life takes its toll on his appearance, causing him to be severely misjudged. This is our first introduction to ‘Strider’:

“Suddenly Frodo noticed that a strange-looking weatherbeaten man sitting in the shadows near the wall, was also listening intently to the hobbit-talk. (...) His legs were stretched out before him, showing high boots of supple leather that fitted him well, but had seen much wear and were now caked with mud. A travelstained cloak of heavy dark-green cloth was drawn close about him, and in spite of the heat of the room, he wore a hood that overshadowed his face, but the gleam of his eyes could be seen as he watched the hobbits. (...) As Frodo drew near he threw back his hood, showing a shaggy head of dark hair flecked with grey, and in a pale stern face a pair of keen grey eyes.”21
     In some places such as the town of Bree, his mysterious presence under the name of ‘Strider’, plus his travel-worn apparel, earn him mistrust and the brunt of ridicule as a drifter among men, which ‘Strider’ grimly jokes about:
“No, I don’t think any harm of old Butterbur. Only he does not altogether like mysterious vagabonds of my sort.’ Frodo gave him a puzzled look. ‘Well, I have rather a rascally look, have I not?’ said Strider with a curl of his lip and a queer gleam in his eye.”22
     At first, even the hobbits think he is a highway rogue and are wary of him. Sam remarks: “He comes out of the Wild, and I never heard no good of such folk.”
     Nevertheless, ‘Strider’ is patient and quietly takes the slander and abuse of the townspeople:
“Over the hedge another man was staring boldly. He had heavy black brows, and scornful dark eyes, his large mouth curled in a sneer. He was smoking a short black pipe. As they approached he took it out of his mouth and spat. ‘Morning, Longshanks!’ he said, ‘Off early? Found some friends at last?’ Strider nodded, but did not answer. 'Morning my little friends!’ he said to the others. ‘I suppose you know who you’ve taken up with? That’s Stick-at-naught Strider, that is! Though I’ve heard other names not so pretty. Watch out tonight!’.”24
     Yet by now the hobbits have received a letter from Gandalf hinting at Strider’s true identity in verse, warning them not to mind outward appearances:
"All that is gold dos not glitter,
Not all who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.”25
     However, Aragorn is still mistrusted at times; his appearance looks anything but regal and the prophecies seem too much to believed, even during the great Council of Elrond when the weighty matters of the Ring are weighed. Boromir, son of the current Steward of Gondor, still doubts Aragorn’s words despite having seen with his own eyes the royal token of the Broken Sword that would one day be re-forged in addition to hearing Lord Elrond himself confirm Aragorn’s claim that he is indeed the true heir:
“(...) Now you have seen the sword that you have sought, what would you ask? Do you wish for the House of Elendil to return to the Land of Gondor?”(Aragorn) ‘I was not sent to beg any boon, but to seek only the meaning of a riddle,’ answered Boromir proudly. ‘Yet we are hard pressed and the Sword of Elendil would be a help beyond our hope —if such a thing could return out of the shadows of the past.’ He looked again at Aragorn, and doubt was in his eyes.”26
     Aragorn still forgives the proud lord of Gondor:
“ ‘For my part, I forgive your doubt, he said. ‘Little do I resemble the figure of Elendil and Isildur as they stand carven in their majesty in the halls of Denethor. I am but the heir of Isildur, not Isildur himself. I have had a hard life and a long; and the leagues that lie between here and Gondor are a small part of in the count of my journeys. (...) Lonely men are we, Rangers of the wild, hunters—but ever of the servants of the Enemy; for they are found in many places, not in Mordor only.”27
     Aragorn continues to describe the great service he and the Rangers of the North have provided the people of that region who are ignorant of the good they do, securing the peace and freedom for a time, yet they receive next to little or no thanks for their lonely life of toil and instead are slandered in return and given scornful names. Yet Aragorn and the last of his people in the Northern Kingdom do not regret their noble and chivalric mission to protect the weak: “If simple folk are free from care and fear, simple they will be, and we must be secret to keep them so. That has been the task of my kindred, while the years have lengthened and the grass has grown.”28 Silent, humble, brave and virtuous, rarely throughout the tale does Aragorn reveal his identity, only when need or duty demands it. Even Prince Imrahil, who recognises Aragorn’s wisdom in concealing his royal tokens, is dismayed that Aragorn should enter Minas Tirith, the city of Gondor, after their first victory without regal recognition paid him: “Yet I would not have you remain like a beggar at the door.”29 However, Aragorn insists on being announced as Captain of the Rangers, as mentioned earlier. In all, Aragorn for a time was hidden, mocked and deemed the most despicable of men similar to the how the Great Monarch will first be received.
     Of interest, we find that several prophecies concerning the Great Monarch of France are similar to Aragorn’s life as an unknown roving Ranger from the North: he will be a solider who defends his country, driving the enemies of France towards the south. Some say he will come from the east and work southward, but one revelation in particular mentions he will actually enter from the north of France and drive his enemies south, eventually coming to the aid of the Pope:
“(...) I will return to your subjects and your people who bear on their head the same flower that you love. This flower is the lily (fleur-de-lys), O King, child of the miracle, do not prepare to come from exile under a thick dust stirred up by the fury of the murderers of your country. (...) From the north of the borders your noble person will pass through the legions who only wait for you to raise vengeance. (i.e. legions of enemies). But, as in the day of darkness, their eyes will be veiled, the exiled will be returned and My Justice will be accomplished. You will pass to reclaim the sceptre of glory. You will temper the tip in the blood of the Romans, in the defence of the Sovereign Pontiff, the bond of all the faithful.”30
20 Christ to Marie-Julie. Ibid. p. 284.
21 Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, pp. 172-173.
22 Ibid. p. 180.
23 Ibid. p. 182
24 Ibid. p. 197.
25 Ibid. p. 186.
26 Ibid. p. 265.
27 Ibid.
28 Ibid. p. 266.
29 Ibid. The Return of the King, p. 895.
30 The Lord to Marie-Julie Jahenny, March, 22, 1881, We Are Warned, pp. 278-279. (Note: I fixed the translation of the message to better match the French)
     Of interest, we observe the Great Monarch with a ‘lily’ on his brow he will reclaim the ‘sceptre of glory’. According to French tradition, the title of king was already conferred by the Divine Right of Kings by God in Clovis I, hence the universal acclaim of ‘The King is Dead, Long Live the King’ after the death of the previous monarch was the official ‘coronation’ and recognition of the people, the crowning was a royal formality added later. In the numerous prophecies of Marie- Julie the lily or fleur-de-ly is often described as white, and represents his purity and his justice. We find a very close parallel in Tolkien’s work as the ancient Númenoreans regarded the sceptre the chief token of nobility, and like the Great Monarch with the White Lily, the Númenorean kings wore a white royal gem on their brow, obviously the white Star of the North Kingdom that Aragorn wears at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, but conceals before his entrance into Gondor:

   “The sceptre was the chief mark of the royalty in Númenor, (...) and that was so in Arnor (i.e. the Northern Kingdom), whose kings wore no crown, but bore a single white gem, the Elendilmir, Star of Elendil, bound on their brows with a silver fillet.”31

     Eventually, in Tolkien’s kingdom the practise of crowning the king was added later to the Númenorean ritual similar to the Kings of France from whence the Great Monarch will descend. Also, the Númenorean kings wore an unusual jewelled crown fashioned after a soldier’s helm, obviously paying tribute to their lineage as soldier-kings and defenders of Middle Earth; again, another possible link to the Great Soldier-Monarch of Catholic prophecy:

 “The crown of Gondor was derived from the form of a Númenorean war-helm. In the beginning it was indeed a plain helm, and it is said to have been the one that Isildur wore in the Battle of Dagorlad (for the helm of Anárion was crushed by the stone-cast from Barad-dûr that slew him). But in the days of Atanatar Alcarin this was replaced by the jewelled helm that was used in the crowning of Aragorn.”32

     Furthermore, Aragorn’s royal gem, the white Star of the Northern Kingdom, bears a striking resemblance to one of the mighty signs in the sky that will accompany the Great Monarch when he assembles his armies near the Rhine and begins to drive out his foes. This sign will arise and appear from the West:

 "Amid these bloody and frightening signs, (i.e. red signs in the sky like blood) there will be a white light that will surpass the beauty of the dawn. (...) A white sign to the west of France, surrounded by a curtain of diamond fringes, enormous, the space of three quarters of an hour. Your homes will be lit up as if by the sun. (...) It will be as an ornament in the sky, in the form of a square star, bearing in its middle a sceptre and a crown, that will be well distinguished by the people of the earth.”33

     Aragorn, who is also called a Dúnadan, Númenorean Man of he West,34 has similar miraculous signs that announce his arrival like the Great Monarch, such as the sign of the White Star of the Northern Kingdom. During the course of their journey, Aragorn majestically reveals himself to Éomer, Third Marshal of Riddermark, and although he does not wear the noble jewel, Prince Legolas the elf witnesses a royal sign hover over Aragorn’s brow:

“Gimli and Legolas looked at their companion in amazement, for they had not seen him in this mood before. He seemed to have grown in stature while Éomer had shrunk, and in his living face they caught a brief vision of the power and majesty of the kings of stone. For a moment it seemed to the eyes of Legolas that a white flame flickered on the brows of Aragorn like a shining crown.”35

     When Aragorn rides forth to battle in the Pelennor Fields, he wears the Royal Insignia of the Northern Star, he bears the Broken Sword now re-forged, which emits powerful Elven flames. His Royal Standard is now unfurled to the bewilderment of his enemies, and he is followed by a terrifying phantom host mustered from the Paths of the Dead as foretold in prophesy, a great and unconquerable army of dead warriors, former allies who had broken their oath to aid Gondor and were punished for their treachery. For centuries they were doomed to haunt the Paths of the Dead until an heir to the Kingdom came forth and demanded they fulfil their oath, after which they would finally be granted eternal rest:

“And all eyes followed his gaze, and behold! Upon the foremost ship a great standard broke, and the wind displayed it as she turned towards the Harlond. There flowered a White Tree, and that was for Gondor; but Seven Stars were about it, and a high crown above it, the signs of Elendil that no lord had borne for years beyond count. And the stars flamed in the sunlight, (...) Thus came Aragorn son of Arathorn, Elessar, Isildur’s heir, out of the Paths of the Dead, borne upon a wind from the sea to the kingdom of Gondor (...) But the hosts of Mordor were seized with bewilderment (...) and a black dread fell on them, knowing that the tides of fate had turned against them and their doom was at hand. (...) But before all went Aragorn with the Flame of the West, Andúril like a new fire kindled, Narsil re-forged as deadly as of old; and upon his brow was the Star of Elendil.”36

     Returning to Catholic prophecy, the Great Monarch will not only be accompanied by a great army aided by angelic hosts, according to several of Marie- Julie Jahenny’s visions and other mystics, he will have a great royal standard, the White Flag or Banner of the Absolute Monarchy to which no enemy could withstand, in addition to miraculous signs. St. John Bosco (1815-1888) also had a vision of a ‘great warrior’ king who would come from the north bearing a black standard that would turn white, in the middle of which was written, “the name of Him who is able to do all things,”37 which bears a striking mystical similarity with Tolkien’s royal black and white standard of Gondor.
     In Tolkien’s fictional kingdom, the various symbols on Aragorn’s royal banner represent the Exiled Faithful after the destruction of their beautiful island kingdom of Númenor and their arrival on Middle Earth. The White Tree stands for Gondor and also the royal house, for Elendil brought with them a blessed seedling: a descendant of Telperion, one the famed Eldest of Trees that gave light in the Undying Lands of the Valar from which the famed Silmarilli Jewels were made as we learned earlier from the chronicles. Although the evil entity Morgoth had poisoned the two trees, Telperion bore fruit from which its likeness was preserved in the circles of the world for age upon age. Henceforth, a descendent from the royal lineage of this tree was also planted in the royal courtyard of Gondor. The Seven Stars represent the First King Elendil and his captains vis the seven ships that each bore a Seeing Stone from Númenor, powerful crystals with which the kings and leaders of the Númenorean exiles kept in communication with each other.
     First, we must examine the legends of the tree. As mentioned, Tolkien’s two blessed trees may have been inspired by the Two Trees of Paradise: Knowledge and Life. One of Tolkien’s trees, Laurelin, is poisoned before it bore fruit, hence all likeness of the tree died when it perished, while Telperion’s descendants continued to beget a likeness of its parent throughout the ages and is associated with the blessed and Faithful remnant race of Númenor. This appears remarkably close to the fate of the Biblical trees: mankind was ‘poisoned’ by original sin in disobeying God by eating from the Tree of Knowledge, and therefore man was banned from approaching the Tree of Life until the Saviour was sent to redeem the human race. Throughout the Bible, the Tree of Knowledge is not mentioned again, perhaps represented by Laurelin that is wiped out forever, but the Tree of Life appears again in the Apocalypse—those who remain faithful to Christ and His rule are saved and shall be permitted to partake of its fruits in the Heavenly Kingdom, symbolised by Tolkien’s Telperion:
“And he showed me a river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street thereof, and on both sides of the river, was the tree of life, bearing twelve fruits, yielding its fruit every month, and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no curse anymore, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and his servants shall serve him. And they shall see his face; and his name shall be on their foreheads.” (Apoc. 22:1-4)

31 Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, Appendix A, (note 1), p. 1080.
32 Ibid.
33 The Virgin Mary to Marie-Julie Jahenny, (November 21, 1882), We Are Warned, pp. 339-340.
34 Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, p. 249.
35 Ibid. The Two Towers, p. 454.
36 Ibid. The Return of the King, p. 881.
37 We Are Warned, p. 559.
     Often the Cross is also described as the Tree of Life since by Christ’s sacrifice as the ‘Lamb of God’ on the ‘tree’,+ Heaven was once more opened to the human race. Hence, the name of Christ, God and Lamb, the “name of Him who can do all things” on the Great Monarch’s black and white banner as described by St. John Bosco is also symbolically represented by the White Tree of Gondor set upon a black background, a figurative representative of the Tree of Life.
     Yet, what about the seven stars? In the first chapter of the Apocalypse, we discover a direct correlation between Seven Stars, Seven Angels, and Seven Candlesticks representing Seven Churches before Christ the King, (Apoc. 1:20). These symbols represent both the Seven Archangels that stand before the heavenly throne of God and the seven principal bishops of that time, also called ‘messengers’ or ‘angels’ of God’s Kingdom on earth, a direct mystical image of Christ’s Eternal Kingdom in Heaven and the Church on earth. However, the Great Monarch to come is also represented in this symbol, for in accordance with the Divine Right of Kings his arrival on the earth will be a secular representation of Christ’s eventual return to earth. As Christ restored all, the Great Monarch will help the Church renew the face of the earth before the End Times. Hence, we also see a link between Aragorn and his title ‘the Renewer’ through his Faithful Númenorean ancestors symbolised by seven stars.
     We cannot help but notice that ancient maps of our own ‘Middle Earth’ depict the Mediterranean Ocean as a ‘tau’ or T-shape, and Tolkien may also have been inspired by this mystic representation with regards to the White Tree of Gondor. St. Isidore of Seville (560-636 AD) provided one of the earliest depictions of the earth in Western civilization in his famous encyclopaedia Etymologiae ~ the T-O Map ~ the World Circle represented by the ‘O’ featuring Jerusalem in the centre of the earth, with Asia (the East) situated on top, Europe (North) on the left, and Africa (South) on the right, all separated by the Mediterranean ‘Middle Earth’ Ocean and the rivers Nile and the Don, these bodies of water marking the letter ‘T’ or sacred ‘tau’ in the lower section of the World Circle. The Mappa Mundis or World Maps of Europe were drawn according to St. Isidore’s mystic plan of the earth, that is until the discovery of the New World and north was placed on the top of cartographer’s maps. Curiously, the ‘T’ in these Mappa Mundis bear a rough resemblance to a tree. Of interest, the tau was used as a symbol of Christ’s cross, the ‘Saving Tree’ of mankind, and in the medieval period a tau-cross was a sign of renewal adopted by the Franciscans. When compared with the ‘Seven Stars’ of the Seven Churches of the Apocalypse situated near the west coast of present day Turkey, we see the ‘stars’ are situated roughly in the middle of the tau-cross andfigurative ‘tree’ of the medieval Mediterranean Sea. In Lord of the Rings.

+ St. Peter described the cross as a ‘tree’ in Acts 10:39: “And we are witnesses of all things that he did in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem, whom they killed, hanging him upon a tree,” also in the First Epistle of St. Peter (2:24) “Who his own self bore our sins in his body upon the tree: that we, being dead to sins, should live to justice: by whose stripes you were healed.”
     Tolkien emphasises the Kings of Gondor were sea kings,** and considering his love of all things ancient, Tolkien may have hinted to this hidden map-symbolism of the ‘sea-tree’ with the seven stars in the Mappa Mundi of ‘Middle Earth’ in his fictitious royal standard of Gondor featuring the White Tree and the Seven Stars
     On other miracles or signs in Catholic prophecies, we further note that according to Marie-Julie Jahenny there would be ‘resurrections’ during these great and terrifying times when the hidden King will appear on earth: “There will be great signs in this reign, there will be resurrections, there will be wonders of protection for My souls that I want to guard to raise up the good, to (make them) flourish once again.”38 We note resurrections of the dead occurred when Christ established His spiritual Kingdom on earth in the Church, which took place at the Crucifixion: great signs occurred, there were earthquakes, darkness covered the earth, and “the graves were opened: and many bodies of the saints that had slept arose, and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection, came into the holy city, and appeared to many.” (Matt. 27:51-53) It would seem the Great Monarch shall have the same wonders attend the commencement of his reign. Possibly, Aragorn’s journey to the Paths of the Dead to raise an invincible army in order to rescue the City of Kings and claim his throne was inspired by these momentous signs and prophecies.
     Furthermore, Tolkien’s eye for detail concerning noble weapons and their exquisite craftsmanship in Lord of the Rings suggests he may have drawn inspiration for famous jewels of old. Is it possible Aragorn’s famed sword may have several symbolical connections with the Great Monarch’s weapon as future King of France and Holy Roman Emperor? Let us recall a sentence from a prophecy quoted earlier: the Great Monarch would bear a sceptre that would be used like a spear to “... temper the tip in the blood of Romans, in the defence of the Sovereign Pontiff.” The monarchs of France possessed a very unusual sceptre in their coronation treasury, the Main de Justice, or Hand of Justice; a slender rod on which sits a delicate figure of a hand poised in a gesture of blessing representing the Hand of God. No doubt the form of the sceptre represents the Divine Right of Kings miraculously revealed through Clovis I. St. John Bosco in his vision saw this Divine Right would be renewed in the Great Monarch to come, for the hand that supported the Royal Banner had written on it in mystical letters, “The Irresistible Hand of the Lord”. In a mystical form, the Great Monarch would have God’s authority as a weapon to save the Pope and uphold the authority of the papacy similar to his ancestors, the French Kings of old. Yet, the Great Monarch also has an allegorical ‘spear’, and this may indeed refer to an historical sword. According to tradition and legends of old, the Coronation Sword of Charlemagne called Joyeuse contained a fragment from the Spear of Longinus, the spear that pierced the side of Christ at the crucifixion. We note Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich explained the mystic significance of the spear-thrust through the side of Christ: “Jesus received the stroke of the lance in His right side, and the Church came forth fromthe same right side. When we enter the Church, we enter into the right side of Jesus, and we are in Him united to His Heavenly Father.”39 Hence, Christ’s spiritual kingdom on earth was initiated in a baptism of Water and Blood with the spear of Longinus, a piece of which is kept secure in the sword of French kings, a prized item among the surviving crown jewels of France.
     We may observe an important link with a second sword: when Imperial kings were crowned as Holy Roman Emperor, they also received an Imperial coronation sword. The Imperial Sword was decorated and embellished over the years, but it bears several interesting inscriptions in Latin: CHRISTVS : VINCIT :
CHRISTVS : REIGNAT : CHRISTVS : INPERAT , “Christ triumphs, Christ reigns, Christ rules”, which has also been interpreted as, “Christ the Victor, Christ the King, and Christ the Emperor”, a reminder that imperial rule comes from a divine origin. There is another inscription on the pommel: BENEDICTVS · DO[minv]S DE[v]S QVI DOCET MANV[s]: “Blessed be the Lord my God, who teaches the hand [to fight]”, which is an abbreviation of Psalm 143:1,40 Benedictus Dominus Deus meus, qui docet manus meas ad prælium, et digitos meos ad bellum (Blessed be the LORD my God, who teacheth my hands to fight, and my fingers to war). According to tradition, history and the prophecies, the French Kings and the Holy Emperors were duty-bound to protect the Church and defend the Faith and the Papacy. As the Great Monarch will be King of France and Emperor from the West, both swords will symbolise his reign and the great mission he will accomplish: a ‘sceptre-spear’ of kingly rule, the Hand of God that will smite the enemies of the Church, restoring both the secular and spiritual world.
     Yet, where is this mystic symbolism in Lord of the Rings? How does this symbolism of the ‘sceptre-spear’ link to Aragorn’s famed sword Narsil? Of course, the Royal sceptre and the Sword Reforged are symbols of Aragorn’s legitimacy, but we find additional clues linking them to a spear in Tolkien’s chronicles where the breaking of the blade is recounted. When the First King Elendil and the High Elf Gil-galad lead the battle against Lord Sauron after the Rings of Power are made, Gil-galad fights his enemy with a noble spear named Aiglos: both the spear and the sword are mentioned as important details in this chronicle.41 However, after the two heroes are slain, no more is heard about the spear, yet while Narsil may be shattered, it is not lost to history. The shards are kept by his heirs and eventually reside in the house of Lord Elrond until the time comes for the sword to be remade. The appointed time arrives when the Fellowship of the Ring is formed and Aragorn prepares to emerge from exile and fight his foes. Narsil is re-forged by Elvish smiths and they infuse new power into the blade. When striking an enemy or raised up on high, the blade sends forth white or red flames, thus Aragorn gives it a new name, Andúril, ‘Flame of the West’. Hence, as the French Sword of Charlemagne allegedly held a piece of the Holy Spear that impaled the Heart of Christ and established His spiritual Kingdom via the Church, it is possible the red and white flames of Andúril may symbolise the Blood and Water that poured forth from the side of Christ as the spear struck, for red and white rays are often used todepict the Blood and Water in religious art. The Great Monarch shall be a Great Renewer of the Holy Roman Empire and the Church.* Aragorn is a descendent of the Faithful Elendil and is called ‘the Renewer’.

** In addition to the stars representing the seven ships bearing a Seeing Stone, the sea was represented in the Royal Helm-crown of Gondor. On either side it bore wings in the shape of a seabird, “for it was the emblem of kings who came over the sea.” Also, the coronation declaration of the Kings of Gondor are an exact repetition of Elendil’s words as he and the Faithful Exiles set foot on Middle Earth; “Out of the Great Sea to Middle-Earth am I come. In this place will I abide, and my heirs, unto the ending of the world.” Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, pp. 1003-1004.

38 Christ to Marie-Julie, referring to the Reign of the Sacred Heart, which will also flourish in the era of the Great Monarch. (November 13, 1924). Ibid. p. 380.
39 The Life of Jesus Christ and Biblical Revelations, Vol. I, p. 84.

40 A psalm of David against Goliath. Numbering: Catholic Douay-Rheims edition.
41 Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, p. 264,
* The Imperial Coronation regalia of the Catholic Holy Roman Emperors also features a ‘Holy Spear’, but this is believed to contain the famous relic of the nail from the Crucifixion once owned by Emperor Constantine and a not a piece of Longinus’ spear. In fact, a piece of metal consistent with the shape and size of a first-century Roman nail has been found incorporated into the spearhead. Recent metallurgy tests show the Holy Spearhead was recast circa the seventh century, making it the oldest piece in the Imperial Regalia. There is an interesting theory that the Holy Spear actually featured in Charlemagne’s coronation as King of the Lombards in 774 AD, thus explaining how it came into the possession of the Holy Roman Emperors. The Lombard kings had a tradition of using an ancient spear in their coronation ceremony, and Charlemagne may have been crowned King of Italy in the same manner as the Lombards, i.e. grasping a spear. Considering that Milan was their capital as in the times of Emperor Constantine, it is believed that this spear does indeed contain the Nail of the Crucifixion. Of interest, historians have observed that in 585 AD the Merovingian (Frankish) king Guntram officially designated his nephew Childebert II his heir by handing him his lance; it is possible that a royal lance was a symbol of kingship among the Merovingian kings in addition to the sceptre. In all, Aragorn’s royal signs of legitimacy, the Númenorean sceptre and Andúril that bears mystical flames associating it with Longinus’ spear, display consistent links with the dual kingship of the prophesied Great Monarch of France and his restoration of the Christian Holy Roman Empire represented in the Holy Spear of the Imperial Regalia.

[Image: d722932f9e239c92de48540d3dc25faa.jpg]
 Main de Justice (c. 10th century), a surviving piece of the crown jewels housed in thetreasury of St. Denis. At one time the treasury had three: this could by the St. Louis sceptre, or
another main de justice that was allegedly made from 'unicorn's horn'.+

[Image: 170px-Weltliche_Schatzkammer_Wien_%28180%29-3-2.jpg]
The Imperial Holy Spear, the point contains a Roman nail believed to be the Nail of the Crucifixion.

[Image: Imperial_Sword_of_the_Holy_Roman_Empire.jpg]
The Imperial Sword of the Holy Roman Emperors and its gold sheath.

[Image: 1200px-Ep%C3%A9e_Joyeuse.jpg]
Charlemagne's Joyeuse, sword of the French Kings.

According to tradition, a piece of Longinus' spear is concealed in the pommel.

+ Dom Michel Félibien, Histoire de L'Abbaye Royale de Saint-Denys en France (1706).
     Furthermore, just like the Imperial Sword with its Latin inscription promising everlasting Victory to Christ through the Emperor’s rule, the High Elves of Lórien give Aragorn a priceless gift for his sword Andúril, a sheath overlaid with silver and gold flowers with runes listing the name of the sword and its noble lineage. It is promised that the blade drawn from that sheath would never be stained or broken in defeat. In addition to the promise the blade will never be broken again, Aragorn reveals that only the heirs of Elendil may touch or wield the sword, it appears to be protected by a deep power of ‘Old’ or ‘On High’: “Telchar first wrought it in the deeps of time. Death shall come to any man that draws Elendil’s sword save Elendil’s heir.”42 These details reveal Aragorn shall never know defeat and pretenders to the throne shall never again reign over Gondor similar to the promises concerning the Great French Monarch. It is predicted when his kingdom is established France will never lose the Faith and its royal rule would last until the end of time.43 Perhaps for Tolkien the shattered shards of the Broken Blade re-forged represented the relic-shards of the spear of Longinus that opened the side of Christ and brought forth the birth of the Church, which are currently scattered throughout the Christian world? Andúril is re-forged as a symbol of unity between the kingdoms of the North and South never to be defeated or broken again, just as the Faithful Great Monarch would reunite the various Christian churches under One Church as stated in the prophecies. In the end of Lord of the Rings, Aragorn unites both the North and South Kingdoms which had been divided for centuries, in addition to all the smaller kingdoms of Middle Earth that are permitted the royal boon to govern themselves yet under his rule as High King: a last link with the Great Monarch who will restore all the former kingdoms of Europe and rule over them as Holy Roman Emperor as Charlemagne in ages past.
     As we have seen, Tolkien’s character Aragorn bears a striking resemblance to the prophecies of the Great Monarch, which leads us to consider other intriguing questions: did the corresponding revelations concerning an ‘Angelic Pope’ also influence Tolkien’s development of another character? If so, who could it possibly be?

42 Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, p. 533.
43 Christ to Marie-Julie, (October 27, 1875), We Are Warned, p. 38
The Angelic Pontiff

     Is there a ‘pope’ in Lord of the Rings? To answer this, we would first have to determine if Tolkien found some way to represent the Catholic priesthood and its
hierarchy in his mythical world of elves, dragons, hobbits and semi-mortals without blatantly crossing the line into heresy, or stray too far into fantasy for that matter to where the links between fact and fiction are blurred beyond recognition. He would need to depict a ‘priesthood’ of sorts in his narrative, or how could any of his characters represent a Great Pope, the highest priest in the hierarchy of the Church after Christ?
     We detect Tolkien found a solution by keeping the ‘religious’ aspect of his narrative centred on the absolute concepts of Good inevitably triumphing over Evil, and avoided many thorny issues by interpreting the priesthood itself in very general mystical terms, portraying it in a manner without delving too deep into the details of Catholic ritual and doctrine. In fact, we hardly see an organized religion per se in Lord of the Rings, but we do find clues that an ‘idolatrous’ belief was replaced by a ‘true faith’, for there is evidence that the ‘lesser men’ of Middle Earth were pagans once under the Dark Lord before the ‘Greater Races’ converted them to the ‘One’ God at some point in their history as Lord Denethor remarks as he lights a funeral pyre: “We will burn like heathen kings before ever a ship sailed hither from the West.”44 Of interest, we see Gandalf attempts to reason with the despairing Denethor and prevent him from burning his son while he is yet alive, reminding him he is a descendant of the Faithful Númenoreans and must not fall into the errors of the ancient heathens:

“Authority is not given to you, Steward of Gondor, to order the hour of your death, and only the heathen kings,
under the dominion of the Dark Power, did thus, slaying themselves in pride and despair, murdering their kin to ease their own death.” 45

     Hence, if there is a general Judeo-Christian ‘religion’ hinted at in Lord of the Rings, where is its priesthood? No doubt the reader may already be asking; surely, you are not suggesting Gandalf? A wizard? How can a wizard represent a Catholic priest let alone a pope? Is not magic condemned by the Church? However, if we consider how Tolkien used the word ‘wizard’, the answer becomes clear. In the Index provided in Lord of the Rings we discover that the term ‘wizard’ is used in two very different contexts; the first is when the ignorant, the vulgar, or the simple-minded confuse Gandalf’s powers and abilities with sorcery. The second context is discerned when Gandalf is properly referred to as a high-ranking member of the Istari, and consequently, as a member of the White Council. Together with the leaders of the immortal High Elves and Half-Elven, the members of the White Council are also called ‘the Wise’, hence we discover Tolkien was inferring the original significance of the word ‘wizard’, which according to the New Oxford Dictionary originates from the Middle English ‘wise’ + ‘ard’ meaning ‘philosopher’ or ‘sage’. It is a similar misconception with the Three Kings of the New Testament who followed the Star to Bethlehem. In history they have been called the three ‘Wise Men’, and also ‘Magi’, inferring that the kings belonged to a  priestly-caste in ancient Persia. Their wisdom, arts and skills were called 'magica' in Latin, derived from the Greek ‘magike’, ‘art of a magus’, which obviously was confused over time with the term ‘magic’ applied to sorcery and supernatural powers. Hence, it is the second context of Tolkien’s Istari we find the semblance of a ‘mystical priesthood’ and not necessarily ‘magic sorcerers’, their skills andknowledge misconstrued by the ignorant.
    Yet, what are the Istari? Tolkien weaves great mystery around them. Frodo describes them as: “... of a noble kind that we should not dare to raise our hands against.”46 They appear on Middle-Earth from the West across the sea about two thousand years before the action of the Lord of the Rings takes place during the ‘Great Years’ of 3018-3019 in the Third Age.♦ The Istari are great ‘blessed’ beings that obviously originate from the Undying Lands, however, they are not Elves or Men eventhough they take the shape of men. They were not ‘young-looking’ when they arrived, yet are not exactly immortal like the Eldar races of Elves and Halfelves, for the Istari age albeit very slowly. In fact, they have been granted powers and wisdom that seem even greater than that granted to the Elves. They are special ‘messengers’ sent to battle evil, to instruct and encourage the ‘good’ races. Tolkien writes very little about the origins of this mysterious ‘race’ of messenger-guardians:

“When maybe a thousand years had passed, (...) the Istari or Wizards appeared in Middle-Earth. It is afterwards said that
they came out of the Far West and were messengers sent to contest the power of Sauron, and to unite all those who had the will to
resist him; but they were forbidden to match his power with power, or to seek to dominate Elves or Men by force and fear.
They came therefore in the shape of Men, though they were never young and aged only slowly, and they had many powers of mind
and hand. They revealed their true names to few, but used such names as were given to them. The two highest of this order (of
whom it is said there were five) were called by the Eldar Curunír, ‘the Man of Skill’, and Mithrandir, ‘the Grey Pilgrim’, but by Men
in the North Saruman and Gandalf (respectively).”47

     Hence, through the narrative and the appendixes in Lord of the Rings, we  discover that the Istari do have a hierarchy that in later years form the White Council ruled by Saruman the White, which resembles a symbolical image of[size=medium] ‘church’ entrusted with the mission to teach and guide the ‘elect’ peoples of Middleearth when times begin to grow dark. In the beginning of Lord of the Rings, Gandalf appears to be second in command of the five highest ranking members of their order, his position marked by the colour grey. Of interest, we recall that the[size=medium] bishops of the Seven Churches of the Apocalypse were referred to as ‘angels’, or ‘messengers’, an apropos connection with Tolkien’s idea of a blessed group of messenger-guardians originating from the mystic Undying Lands of the angelic like Valar far across the sea.

44 Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, pp. 856-857.
45 Ibid. p. 887.
46 Ibid. p. 1056.
 The Third Age of Middle-Earth began with the defeat of Sauron by Elendil and Gil-galad, and ended with the death of King Aragorn and the departure of Legolas to the Undying Lands in the year 3141. Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, pp. 1121-1134.
47 Ibid. Appendix B, p. 1121.
Yet, we may ask, where are the references to a priesthood? The main role of a priest is to offer sacrifice and perform rites in an established church, and if Tolkien was wary of introducing ceremonies into a fantasy novel that could be misconstrued by readers to be something resembling a pagan or an occult rite, how could the priesthood of the Catholic Church possibly be represented? As mentioned, it would have to be in very general allegorical or mystic terms without portraying an actual ceremony, and Tolkien may have accomplished this by having the almost inexplicable arrival of his Istari resemble the ‘mysterious’ appearance of the High Priest Melchisedech to Abram yet to be called Abraham in the Old Testament. After Abram goes into battle in a woodland vale and victoriously frees his brother Lot who was held captive by warring kings, Melchisedech the king of Salem ‘appears’ with an offering of bread and wine to the Lord, and blesses Abram:

“But Melchisedech the king of Salem, bringing forth bread
and wine, for he was the priest of the most high God, blessed him
and said: Blessed be Abram by the most high God, who created
heaven and earth. And blessed be the most high God, by whose
protection the enemies are in thy hands.” (Gen. 14: 18-20)

     Of paramount importance is the observation that Melchisedech was a priest ordained by God long before the Hebrew nation and the Levitical rites were instituted, and according to the prophet King David, Melchisedech was of an ‘eternal order’ and therefore much greater than the Levitical one, a prophetic type of the Eternal Kingdom and Everlasting Priesthood of the Messiah that came to fruition through Christ and his Church:

“The Lord said to my Lord: Sit thou at my right hand:
Until I make thy enemies thy footstool.
The Lord will send forth the sceptre of thy power out of
Sion: rule thou in the midst of thy enemies.
With thee is the principality in the day of thy strength: in
the brightness of the saints: from the womb before the day star I begot thee.
The Lord hath sworn: and he will not repent:
Thou art a priest forever according to the order of Melchisedech.
The Lord at thy right hand hath broken kings in the day of his wrath.
He shall judge among nations, he shall fills ruins:
he shall crush the heads in the land of many.
He shall drink of the torrent in the way:
therefore shall he lift up the head.” (Psalm 109)

     St. Paul explains King David’s verses, declaring that Melchisedech’s mysterious appearance without any parentage recorded in the sacred texts displays the difference between the finite and imperfect Levitical rite of the Old Testament that could not redeem mankind and the Eternal and everlasting priesthood of Christ in the New Testament:

“For this Melchisedech was king of Salem, priest of the
most high God, (...) who first indeed by interpretation is king of
justice: and then also king of Salem: that is, king of peace: Without
father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither
beginning of days nor end of life, but likened unto the Son of God,
continueth a priest forever.” (Heb. 7:1-3)
     Hence, in Melchisedech we have a reference to a mysterious king-priest who is ‘everlasting’ ~ from whence he comes and where he goes, no one knows. Of interest, Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich was granted a vision concerning the prophetic appearance of Melchisedech, and that he appeared to Abraham “... in the same way as did the angels at different times.”48 She also notes: “I have often seen Melchisedech, but never as a human being. I have always seen him as a being of another nature, as an angel, as one sent by God.”49 Therefore it is possible Tolkien may have modeled the mysterious arrival of his ‘angelic’ Istari upon that of Melchisedech.
     Yet, where is the acceptable ‘sacrifice’ or offering in the Lord of the Rings that the ‘priesthood’ is to make if there is indeed a priesthood? We must examine the offerings of Melchisedech to find the answer: bread and wine. These early offerings were prophetic symbols of the bread and wine that would later be offered by Christ at the Last Supper and transubstantiated by His Divine Power into His Body and Blood that would be given up the next day, the perfect and spotless Eternal Sacrifice to the Father for the sins of mankind.
     Focusing on Gandalf, we find he indeed offers an ‘ultimate sacrifice’ like Christ. During their journey in their quest to destroy the Ring, the members of the Fellowship are compelled to take a perilous route through the underground Dwarf kingdom of Moria that in years past had been laid waste by goblins, orcs and other fell beings. However, the mine-kingdom is still inhabited by evil creatures. In addition to hoards of goblins, trolls and orcs, the small band of travellers are suddenly perused by a colossal Balrog, a terrifying fire-demon reawakened from the deepest recesses of the mountains. Described as an “evil of the Ancient World,” and a “Terror” feared almost as much as Lord Sauron by both Elves and Dwarves, it is a creature of shadow and flame that was and continues to be a servant of Morgoth, the Great Enemy of Old. The ferocious power of the Balrog is so mighty that even the other dark creatures of Moria fear it, and Gandalf is the only one of the Fellowship who has the skill and wisdom to battle with the foe. As the travelers escape, Gandalf stays behind and bars the way, preventing the Balrog from pursuing them over a black abyss. He engages in a dramatic sword fight, his white elf-blade smashing the Balrog’s flaming blade to molten pieces declaring imperiously, “You cannot pass!” The Balrog attempts to cross the bridge again, but Gandalf uses the full force of his powers as servant of the ‘Secret Fire’ and wielder of the flame of Anor. Shattering his staff against the land-bridge and raising up a blaze of light, he sends himself and his foe into the chasm, imploring the Fellowship to save itself. The travellers flee as he bids, thinking Gandalf is lost forever, having fallen to his death in a bottomless abyss with the evil Balrog.
     However, we discover later we have not heard the last of Gandalf’s adventures with the Balrog in the bowels of Middle-Earth. Gandalf eventually
reunites with Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli in Fangorn forest, and they are astounded at his reappearance, thinking he was dead. Now, he is dressed in a brilliant white and he explains his transformation from the Grey Pilgrim to the bright figure they see before them, destined to become the new leader of the White Council.**
     When the bridge collapsed and the Balrog snapped its whip around his legs, dragging him down with him, they fell for what seemed like an eternity down to the very roots of the mountains of Moria and into a great hidden lake. The water doused the evil flames of the Balrog, turning it into a hideous slimly creature, but Gandalf continued to fight his enemy, hewing it with his Elven sword as they struggled in the water. “We fought far under the living earth, where time is not counted.”50 The Balrog then turned and fled, making its way up through hidden stairs and passageways, attempting to reach the sun to reignite its flames and Gandalf followed him up to the very pinnacle of the mountain, engaging in battle once more with the monster, its flames now reignited:

“A great smoke rose about us, vapour and steam. Ice fell
like rain. I threw down my enemy, and he fell from the high place
and broke the mountain-side where he smote it in his ruin. Then
darkness took me, and I strayed out of thought and time, and I
wandered far on roads that I will not tell. Naked I was sent back ~
for a brief time, until my task is done.”51

     In the end we find Gandalf did give up his life to destroy the enemy, the coming of death described as the ‘darkness’ taking him. We see he was no longer in the temporal spheres of Middle-Earth for he strayed out of thought and time yet was ‘sent back’ for his mission was not yet accomplished.
     Hence, Similar to Christ who gave the ultimate sacrifice of His life to defeat Eternal Death brought into the world by Satan, Gandalf risks his life to save his friends, knowing he may be defeated in the struggle, and eventually does give up his life to destroy a Demon of Death that had been the cause of the decimation of the Dwarf Kingdom in Moria. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd giveth his life for his sheep.” (John 10:11) We see Frodo later explains to Lady Galadriel: “Gandalf was our guide, and he led us through Moria; and when our escape seemed beyond hope he saved us and he fell.”52 As Christ said: “Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13) Indeed, Gandalf is also presented as a symbolic Christ-like figure rising from the dead for he declares later in the text: “I am Gandalf the White, who has returned from death.”53 In the Elven woods of Lothlórien he is clothed in the victorious colour white and later becomes the new Leader of the White Council, Saruman having proved a traitor and unworthy to hold the noble office. Rather than become a wise protector, looking after the flock so to speak, Saruman became a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He coveted the black magic of the One Ring and in fact, lusts after power, rebelliously flouting the order laid on the Istari that they may not rule over Elves or Men by fear or force, nor go so far as to challenge the Dark Lord Sauron with the powers granted them. In one sense, the expulsion of Saruman and the rise of Gandalf represents the end of the Old Testament Levitical priesthood and the establishment of the new Eternal Priesthood of Christ via his Church in the New Testament for Gandalf remarks: “Yes, I am white now. Indeed I am Saruman, one might almost say, Saruman as he should have been.”54
     In fact, this order to guide and instruct yet not vie of power, even against the Evil Sauron in an attempt to defeat him, is remarkably similar to the role of a Catholic priest who may guide and instruct, yet force no one to enter the True Faith against their free will. Indeed, even exorcist priests may not ‘challenge’ Satan, only drive out a demon if called upon to do so by the power invested in him through Christ as it is ultimately God who decides the time of deliverance from a demon. A priest is only the means and simply represents God. Of interest, we find that this is the one of the few ‘priestly’ functions we see Gandalf engage in other than sacrificing his life like Christ, that is, to carry out his duty as a type of exorcist. Gandalf protects others from the powers of dark creatures, and in one instance, drives out the black clouds of oppression possessing the King of Rohan, encouraging him to turn from the evil councils of the traitor Saruman and embrace the light once more.
     Throughout the rest of the narrative, this Christ-like image of Gandalf as a regal leader and ‘pontiff’ is firmly established in his new adventures as the White Rider. During his travels Gandalf tames the famed white horse belonging to the King of Rohan, Shadowfax, a distant descendent of the speaking horses that no doubt were brought over from the Undying Lands of the Valar. Only the kings of Rohan are permitted to ride rare horses such as Shadowfax, yet once he is tamed by Gandalf, he will bear no other rider. Gandalf continually rides like the wind to the aid of those who need his help and powerful assistance. He musters armies, dispels evil, gives counsel to kings and captains, comforts the doubtful, protects and saves lives, and dares to confront the leader of the Nazgûl witch-kings as he attempts to enter the hallowed gates of Gondor’s capital city:

“ ‘You cannot enter here,’ said Gandalf, and the huge
shadow halted. ‘Go back to the abyss prepared for you! Go back!
Fall into the nothingness that awaits you and your master! Go!”55

48 The Life of Christ, Vol I, p. 81.
49 Ibid. p. 64.

** Compare Gandalf’s transformation with Bl. Emmerich’s comments about the mysterious angelicpriest Melchisedech: “The impression made by Melchisedech was similar to that produced by the Lord during His teaching life. He was very tall and slight, remarkably mild and earnest. He wore aong garment so white and shining that it reminded me of the white raiment that surrounded the Lord at His Transfiguration.” The Life of Christ, Vol. I (p. 82).
50 Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, p. 523.
51 Ibid. pp. 523-524.
52 Ibid. The Fellowship of the Ring, p. 375.
[size=xx-small]53 Ibid. The Two Towers, p. 607.

54 Ibid. p. 516.
55 Ibid. The Return of the King, p. 861.
We note Gandalf’s challenge sounds very familiar ~ it mirrors the eternal sentence Christ will mete out to the reprobates on the day of Judgement: “Depart from Me, you cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Matt. 25: 41) In fact, Gandalf’s new role as the White Rider and leader of the White Council is remarkably similar to the mystic representation of Christ near the end of the Apocalypse, riding into battle against the Beast and the evil kings of the earth:

“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and
he that sat upon him was called faithful and true, and with justice
doth he judge and fight. And his eyes were as a flame of fire, and
on his head were many diadems, and he had a name written,
which no man knoweth but himself. And he was clothed with a
garment sprinkled with blood; and his name is called, THE
WORD OF GOD. And the armies that are in heaven followed
him on white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.”
(Apoc. 19:11-14)

     We recall that just like Christ whose mystic name is known only to Himself, Tolkien’s Istari rarely reveal their true names known only to them and will allow themselves to be addressed by whatever name the peoples of Middle-earth call them. Only once do we hear Gandalf reveal what it is, Olórin, his name when he was still ‘young’, obviously before the time he arrived on Middle Earth since the Istari were not youths when they appeared:

“Many are my names in many countries, he (Gandalf) said.
Mithrandir among the Elves, Tharkûn to the Dwarves; Olórin I
was in my youth in the West that is forgotten, in the South
Incánus, in the North Gandalf; to the East I go not.”56

     Of importance, we discern that Gandalf may also be associated with Christ as ‘The Word of God’ in his capacity as a ‘pontifical’ servant of the ‘Secret Fire’ and ‘wielder of the flame of Arnor’. When we examine the theological and philosophical importance of the description of Christ as ‘The Word’, the connection with this mystical fire becomes clear. St. John, author of the Apocalypse, also commenced his Gospel with this description of Christ: “In the beginning was the Word.” However, ‘word’ is a weak literal translation from the original Greek and the full meaning of the passage is lost. The Gospel should read: “In the beginning was the logos.”
     What is logos, and why is it so important? Logos conveyed the triple meaning of ‘word’, ‘reason’, and ‘ratio’. It was used by ancient Greek philosophers to describe the Divine Reason that permeates and orders the whole universe. At first, it was thought that this Logos was a fire-like being or essence, and that the actions of this being were mirrored in human reason. The Stoic philosophers associated this power with God and His actions through the Universe, or the active power of Divine Reason. This Greek concept of the Logos was introduced into Judaism in the first century AD by Philo Judaeus in an attempt to explain how God remained in contact with the earth via the Logos, or His Divine Wisdom. Apparently, Heaven itself confirmed this explanation of the Logos, for in St. John’s vision in the Apocalypse, Christ showed He was indeed the Logos, the Mediator between Heaven and Earth, revealing He verily was both human and divine. This was an important revelation from Heaven at the time as the heresy of Docetism was beginning to appear, that is, a belief that all matter was ‘corrupt’ or ‘evil’ while only the spirit could by pure and holy. This inferred that if matter was corrupt, Christ was God or of God, but could not become human and did not assume a human form, an Antichrist belief according to St. John. St. John combated Docetism and similar heresies by proclaiming in his Gospel: “In the beginning was the Word (the Logos),
and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him: and without him was made nothing that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. (...) And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt amongst us, and we saw his glory, the glory as it were of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1: 1-5, 14)
     Hence, is it possible that Gandalf as a servant of the ‘Secret Fire’ is presented as a symbolic follower of the Logos? The Logos was once thought to be a ‘fire’, and Christ was prophesied by John the Baptist as the Messiah who would baptise with the Holy Spirit and with fire, (Matt 3:11). Christ also declared: “I am come to cast fire on the earth; and what will I, but that it be kindled?” (Luke 12:49) We recall the Holy Spirit later appeared above the heads of the Apostles as tongues of fire during Pentecost, and Catholic teaching declares one cannot enter the Church unless they are baptised and renewed by the Holy Spirit according to Christ’s words: “Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:5) Christ is also described as the Light as well as the Logos, and the Holy Spirit represented as a Tongue of Fire as the giver of Grace and the sustainer of the Church. Without the Holy Spirit, mankind cannot do the least work deserving of salvation, even the apostles were frightened until the Flames of the Holy Spirit enlightened them and filled them with undaunted courage at Pentecost.
     In comparison, Gandalf’s skills rest mainly in light and fire. We recall he drives away darkness and despair with light, and courageously fights the evil Balrog with a powerful white flame that emits from his staff when it shatters in the conflict. Furthermore, we cannot help but notice that if Gandalf is indeed a symbolic servant of the Logos and the Holy Spirit, Tolkien obviously made rare allusions to Catholic doctrine in Lord of the Rings, in particular, the doctrine of the Trinity, that the Son was indeed both human and divine and guided His Church through the Holy Spirit also represented as fire. The Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son therefore the entire Trinity is represented. As we have seen, Christ’s sacrifice for the salvation of mankind and His resurrection are also alluded to, these are the doctrines on which the entire foundation of the Catholic Faith rests.

56 Ibid. The Two Towers, p. 696-697.

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