Echoes of an Old Empire in Italy and France
At a neo-fascist rally in Rome, Italy, on January 7, hundreds of people gave the fascist salute, also called the Roman salute. Less than a week later, on January 13, 500 right-wing extremists carrying torches marched through the streets of Paris, France. Both protests honored the tradition of an old empire that has risen repeatedly in European history.
The rally in Rome marked the 46th anniversary of the Acca Larentia massacre. On Jan. 7, 1978, left-wing terrorists killed three neo-fascists in Via Acca Larentia. Since then, annual commemorations have been held in front of the former headquarters of the Italian Social Movement founded by fascists and Benito Mussolini loyalists. The open veneration for Italy’s World War ii dictator and defiance against laws prohibiting the fascist salute have shocked many. However, few realize that the governing party in Italy today has its roots in the same movement.
In France, the identitarian group Paris Fierté called for a torchlit march to honor the patron saint of the fifth century, Saint Geneviève. The Paris Prefecture of Police initially banned the gathering due to a risk of disturbing public order, referring to “the current tensions in France.” Nevertheless, the march was held to defend the identity of Paris against immigration and Islamization. Saint Geneviève is celebrated for her alleged role in saving Paris from the Huns. Many were shocked by this march as well, but the French president has shown similar sympathy for Europe’s old empire.
Both marches hearken back to centuries of history on the European continent. They evoke images of Europe’s darkest hour. But they also draw attention to the heritage of the Holy Roman Empire that incorporated the Roman Catholic Church.
It was this empire that Adolf Hitler and Mussolini sought to revive. For this reason, Hitler brought the crown jewels of the Holy Roman Empire from Vienna, Austria, to Nuremberg, Germany.
The Bible reveals that this same empire is rising again. As Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry explained in his July 2023 Trumpet articles on Italy and France, these two countries are playing a crucial part in this prophecy.
Read these articles to see how the recent marches fit into a bigger picture. As Mr. Flurry explained, France is allying with Germany against the United States, and Italy is reviving its Roman Catholic roots. Both of these aspects are crucial for a resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire.
In the first Plain Truth magazine, published in February 1934, the late Herbert W. Armstrong warned about the ambitions of this empire: “It is commonly known today that Mussolini’s whole aim is to restore the ancient Roman Empire in all its former splendor, power and glory—and Rome ruled the world!”
In 1938, Italy sought a close alliance with Nazi Germany. At that time, many in the Western world still praised Hitler and Mussolini and sought to appease Hitler’s demands. Yet Mr. Armstrong reiterated his warning: “[W]e shall witness the mighty Roman Empire reborn—the fascist-Nazi dictatorships of Europe. It is the rebirth of the Roman Empire that the events of these past few days concern” (Plain Truth, March 1938).
Marches like those described above show the spirit of this empire remains alive today. But few understand what the Bible says about it. Our book The Holy Roman Empire in Prophecy describes the history and prophecy of this empire. Request your free copy today.