The coronation of CharlemangeAccording to various prophecies, the reign of the Angelic Pope is closely associated with that of a great Catholic Monarch who helps to restore Christendom to its rightful state after a period of apostasy. In my book, I argue that the prophecies of the Angelic Pope and Great Monarch are connected with the Two Witnesses of Rev 11 (see the post The Two Witnesses for more details). In prophetic tradition, it is these two figures who are foretold to inaugrate the Second Pentecost. The Great Monarch (who is alternatively labelled the Last World Emperor) is styled after Charlemagne - the first Holy Roman Emperor who helped to unify Christian Europe in the 8th century AD. The earliest reference to a prophecy of the coming of a Great Monarch who would establish an era of peace before the coming of the Antichrist is to be found in the Latin version of the Tiburtine Sibyl (which is estimated by scholars to date anywhere between the 4th to 7th centuries AD). The Latin Tiburtine Sibyl models this Last World Emperor after Constantine the Great - who established Christianity as the dominant religion of the Roman Empire:
Then will arise a king of the Greeks whose name is Constans. He will be king of the Romans and the Greeks. He will be tall of stature, of handsome appearance with shining face, and well put together in all parts of his body. His reign will be ended after one hundred and twelve years. In those days there will be great riches and the earth will give fruit abundantly so that a measure of wheat will be sold for a denarius, a measure of wine for a denarius, and a measure of oil for a denarius. The king will have a text before his eyes that says: "The king of the Romans will claim the whole Christian empire for himself." He will devastate all the islands and the cities of the pagans and will destroy all idolatrous temples; he will call all pagans to baptism and in every temple the Cross of Christ will be erected. "Then Egypt and Ethiopia will be eager to stretch their hands to God." ~ Whoever does not adore the Cross of Jesus Christ will be punished by the sword. When the one hundred and twelve years have been completed, the Jews will be converted to the Lord, and "his sepulchre will be glorified by all." In those days Judah will be saved and Israel will dwell with confidence. At that time the Prince of Iniquity who will be called Antichrist will arise from the tribe of Dan. He will be the Son of Perdition, the head of pride, the master of error, the fullness of malice who will overturn the world and do wonders and great signs through dissimulation. He will delude many by magic art so that fire will seem to come down from heaven. The years will be shortened like months, the months like weeks, the weeks like days, the days like hours, and an hour like a moment. The unclean nations that Alexander, the Indian king, shut up (i.e., Gog and Magog) will arise from the North. These are the twenty-two realms whose number is like the sand of the sea. When the king of the Romans hears of this he will call his army together and vanquish and utterly destroy them. After this he will come to Jerusalem, and having put off the diadem from his head and laid aside the whole imperial garb, he will hand over the empire of the Christians to God the Father and to Jesus Christ his Son. When the Roman empire shall have ceased, then the Antichrist will be openly revealed and will sit in the House of the Lord in Jerusalem. While he is reigning, two very famous men, Elijah and Enoch, will go forth to announce the coming of the Lord. Antichrist will kill them and after three days they will be raised up by the Lord. Then there will be a great persecution, such as has not been before nor shall be thereafter. The Lord will shorten those days for the sake of the elect, and the Antichrist will be slain by the power of God through Michael the Archangel on the Mount of Olives.
In a strong echo to the Two Witnesses of Rev 11, other early prophecies of the Great Monarch (such as that of Pseudo-Methodius composed circa 7th century AD) also suggest that the Great Monarch would end his reign in Jerusalem:
When the Son of Perdition has arisen, the king of the Romans will ascend Golgotha upon which the wood of the Holy Cross is fixed, in the place where the Lord underwent death for us. The king will take the crown from his head and place it on the cross and stretching out his hands to heaven will hand over the kingdom of the Christians to God the Father. The cross and the crown of the king will be taken up together to heaven. This is because the Cross on which our Lord Jesus Christ hung for the common salvation of all will begin to appear before him at his coming to convict the lack of faith of the unbelievers. The prophecy of David which says, "In the last days Ethiopia will stretch out her hand to God" (Ps. 67:32) will be fulfilled in that these last men who stretch out their hands to God are from the seed of the sons of Chuseth, the daughter of Phol, king of Ethiopia. When the Cross has been lifted up on high to heaven, the king of the Romans will directly give up his spirit. Then every principality and power will be destroyed that the Son of Perdition may be manifest...
In a further allusion to the Two Witnesses of Revelation, the Great Monarch is foretold in yet another prophecy (which can be traced back to the monk Adso during the 10th century) to lay down his crown on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem - the place where the "two olive trees" of Revelation are slain by the Antichrist.
Some of our learned men say that one of the Kings of the Franks will possess anew the Roman Empire. He will be in the last time and will be the greatest and the last of all kings. After he has successfully governed his empire, he will finally come to Jerusalem and will lay aside his sceptre and crown on the Mount of Olives. This will be the end and the consummation of the Roman and Christian Empire.
This prophecy seems to describe the abdication of the Great Monarch, but it also implies a theme of martyrdom. The king willingly gives up his temporal power in the place the Lord was crucified - the same location where the Two Witnesses are put to death by the Antichrist. It simply cannot be coincidence that these two prophesied restorers of Christendom parallel the Two Witnesses of Rev 11.
See also the related posts:
The Second Pentecost
The Two Witnesses
The Angelic Pope
St. John Bosco's Dream of the Two Pillars
St. Malachy's Glory of the Olives
Prophecies of the Martyr-Pope