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“(F)or it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.” Rev. 13:18.


The beast described in Revelation 13 with seven heads and ten horns with ten crowns and upon his heads the name of blasphemy is clearly identified as the power of Rome. The number 666 is just one aspect of identification.


The language of the Roman Church has always been Latin. The Council of Trent commanded the vulgar Latin to be the only authentic version of the Bible. Mass, prayers, hymns, litanies, canons, decretals, bulls, are all conceived in Latin.

When the Pope speaks ex-cathedra he does so in Latin. The apostle John wrote the book of Revelation in Greek and the Greek word LATEINOS denotes a Latin speaking person and the numerical value of this word is exactly 666. In the second century Irenaeus saw in this word, as well as in the word Teitan (a god of opposition) the solution of the number of the man meant in Rev. 13:18.


The Catholic Church with its centre in Rome, Italy, became known as the Italian Church and in Greek ITALIKA EKKLESIA has also a numerical value of 666.

The woman arrayed in purple and scarlet has a name written upon her forehead and the word MYSTERY written in Hebrew SATHOR signifying mystery, concealing or hiding, also adds up to 666 as well as the similar Chaldaic or Aramaic word STUR that also yields 666.


David Simpson (1745-1799) explains: “St. John wrote in the Greek language, and the Greeks call the church of Rome… Lateinos or the Latin church. The sum of the numbers denoted by all the letters in this term is 666 also. But lastly, The angel in the Revelation declares that the number of the beast is likewise the number of a man, and it appears very plain that the Pope is the man there meant: for the motto on his palace is Vicarius Dei Generalis in Terris. And the sum of all the numerical letters is 666 exactly. And thus, in all these cases, we have the exact number of the whore, the beast, and the man, as specified in the Revelations, where the whore is said to be drunk with the blood of the saints. How well this agrees with the cruel blood-thirsty persecuting spirit of the church of Rome, is too plain to need any description.”  (Key to the Prophecies, no year, Halifax, Milner & Sowerby, pp. 375, 376.)


Other surprising phrases that add up to the number 666 are: LATINUS REX SACERDOS (latinus = latin; rex = king, sovereign; sacerdos = priest) and VICARIUS FILII DEI (vicarius = vicarious; filii = son; dei = god.) The source that mentions these phrases informs us: “The one phrase you can find on the Tiara, the crown of the pope, the other above the entrance of the Vatican.” ( - Science Net - The number 666. Written by Andi.)




Andreas Helwig (c. 1572-1643) cites in his book Antichristus Romanus Hebrew and Greek names or words that add up to 666 as well as some Latin names such as (1) Vicarius Filii Dei, (2) Ordinarius Ovilis Christi Pastor, (3) Dux Cleri, (4) Dic Lux - that likewise yield 666 and are applied to the pope.


Helwig believed that Antichrist had come and he wrote:


“Consequently, when we shall have brought forth the name of this Antichrist by prescribed laws, everyone will at once know that as the name of Antichrist has not been thus far disregarded, so the number in reference to it has been too little taken note of. Without doubt, by God’s help, I will show that this is Vicarius Filii Dei.” (Antichristus Romanus, in Proprio Suo Nomine, Numerum Illum Apocalypticum, (DCLXVI) Continente Proditus, sig. B1r., as quoted by L. E. Froom, The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, Vol. II, p. 606.)


In a modern Commentary we read: “Andreas Helwig (1572-1643) explained the mystic number 666 by reference to the pope’s official Latin title: Vicarius Filii Dei... This title reportedly was written upon the crown known as the ‘Triple Tiara’ worn by the popes at their coronations. In the seventeenth century, it was expunged from the miter.”

(Revelation, Four Views, A Parallel Commentary, Edited by Steve Gregg, Thomas Nelson Publ., Nashville Tennessee, 1997, p. 306. Emphasis added)


That the words Vicarius Filii Dei were used as applying to the pope since the time of the Reformation and evidently appeared on some papal tiara is attested also by Georges Ifrah, who explains:


“During the Wars of Religion in France a Catholic mystic named Petrus Bungus wrote a book (published at Bergamo in 1584-85) in which he demonstrated, to his own satisfaction, that the German reformer Martin Luther was the Antichrist because his name had the value of 666 in the Latin system: LVTHERNVC 30- 200-100-8-5-80-40-200-3 = 666.  Luther’s disciples were quick to reply; they considered the words that were supposedly on the papal tiara, Vicarius Filii Dei (“Vicar of the Son of God”), added up the values of the Roman numerals contained in them: VICARIVS  FILII  DEI  5-1-100-1-5-1-50-1-1-500-1 = 666

and drew the conclusion that can easily be imagined.”

(Histoire Universelle des Chiffres, Paris, 1981, translated into English by Lowell Bair, From One to Zero, A Universal History of Numbers, Viking Penguin Inc., 1985, p. 307.)


Alfred W. Crosby also presents this account affirming that the title Vicarius Filii Dei was emblazoned on the papal tiara:


“In the Reformation, when sectarianism thrived, Petrus Bungus calculated that the name of his century’s most outrageous rebel, if spelled in a then-current Latin system - LVTHERNVC - and added up in accordance with the numerological value of its letters, produced - well, of course - 666.

Lutherans leapt to reply, and found that the words emblazoned on the papal tiara - VICARIUS FILII DEI (Vicar of the Son of God) - added up to 666, too, after you dropped the a, r, s, f, and e because they had no numerological value.”

(The Measure of Reality, Quantification and Western Society, 1250-1600, Cambridge University Press, 1997, pp. 124, 125.)

Another source explains: “At the time of the Reformation a new sentiment emerged, which remains strong in some quarters of Protestantism: that the antichrist will be the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church. Those opposed to the Catholic Church claim that the numerical value of the Pope’s Latin title “Vicarius Filii Dei” is 666.”   (Timothy J. Dailey, Amazing Prophecies of the Bible, Publications International Ltd., Lincolnwood, Illinois 60646, USA, 1999, pp. 354, 355.) 


The Dutch I. Esser writes: “It is not to be denied that the title Vicarius Filii Dei (Vicar of the Son of God) the pope arrogates to himself has the number 666 and that Pierre L. declares in his remarkable book “Rome au dixneuvième siècle,” that the pope at his nomination receives from the Cardinals 666 Louis d’or. (Louis, gel. Ludovicus, gel. 666).”

(De Openbaring van Johannes in verband met de tijdsomstandigheden, H. J. Gerretsen, ’s-Gravenhage, 1873, p. 412.)


And the Dutch Dr. M. H. A. van der Valk explains that for many Protestants “it stands firmer than firm” that nobody else but the Pope is the Antichrist. He continues: “Especially the Chiliasts pointed out that the title of the Pope in Latin (the language of the Roman church) is: Vicarius Filii Dei (Vicar of the Son of God).”  Van der Valk then demonstrates that this title adds up to 666.

(666, Fa. J. De Gruijter, Schoonhoven, 1925, 2e druk, p. 22, 23.)


Another source informs us: “The name has been made out to be Latinus, to represent the Roman Emperor, or Imperial Power. This is a very ancient interpretation adopted by Irenaeus. Besides it has been made to stand for Romana (Roman [Church]), Vicarius Filii Dei (Vicar of the Son of God  [the Pope’s title])…”

(The New Testament of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ according to the Authorised Version with a Brief Commentary by various Authors, Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, London, 1892, Note on Rev. 13:18.)


The title Vicarius Filii Dei is still seen by many in modern times as the clear fulfilment of Revelation 13:18. A few more examples may illustrate this:

I. A. Sadler writes: “Finally, let us consider the title of the Pope as “Vicar of Christ,” when expressed as the Latin ‘Vicarius Filii Dei.’ In English this means ‘Vicar of the Son of God’ or ‘Substitute of the Son of God;’ as we saw in the previous chapter, this is equivalent to ‘Antichrist.’ Remembering that in the original Latin script, ‘U’ is written as ‘V,’ the letters in ‘Vicarius Filii Dei’ add up to the fatal number 666… Therefore, we see in all these names, the number of the beast points to the Pope of Rome as the ‘man of sin,’ reigning in the place of God over the supposed universal or ‘Catholic’ Church of Christ. There is also that clear connection to the Mysteries, the head of which is the Pope ruling as ‘Pontifex Maximus’ or ‘Supreme Pontiff.’”

(Mystery, Babylon the Great - The Church of Rome and the European Union Exposed to the Light of Truth. Cromwell Press, Trowbridge, 2003, p. 288.)


Another example, for instance, is found in F. W. C. Neser’s Commentary. We read: “In Latin the Pope is, according to his own titles, the Vicar of Christ. In Latin it is written: Vicarius Filii Dei (the Vicar of the Son of God). Verse 18 states that this is the number of a man. The numerical value of this word in Latin is as follows: V=5, I=1, C=100, A and R have no numerical value, I=1, U=5 (written as V), S, F and E also have no numerical value, I=1, L=50, I=1, I=1, D=500, I=1 totalling 666.”

(The Book of Revelation (Protestant Prophetic Studies), Citadel Press, Lansdowne, Cape, Reprint, no year, (First published in 1962), p. 196.)


A leaflet says: “The pope is called Vicarius Filii Dei, ‘The vicar of the Son of God.’ – Pope Gregory XIII. Papal Decretals, Dist. 96, Col. 296. The title Vicarius Filii Dei is one of the main marks of the antichrist; it is the number of the beast.”

(Who is the Anti-Christ? PO Box 92, Belfast.)


Bishop James K. Allen’s description as to the pope’s title Vicarius Filii Dei and what it produced, sounds very reasonable:


“The agenda of Rome was to totally destroy the Jews, whom they could not control, and in their place create a counterfeit religion that was obedient to its will. In this proces of creation, Rome ‘Christianized’ the most popular pagan cults. In order to establish the supremacy of the Roman Church over the affairs of both spiritual and political arenas, they declared the bishop of Rome to be god on earth. This was not a problem because the Emperor of Rome was already given this title. Fourth and Fifth century Rome had no problem with this they had many gods. As time went on the title became ‘VICARIUS FILII DEI’, and by common understanding the only ‘Vicar of Christ’. This produced the doctrine of the infallibility of the Pope.”

(A Long Journey Home, Trafford Publ., Victoria, Canada, 2003, p. 130.)


Since the words Vicarius Fillii Dei are rather more like a title than a name, some may find it a little difficult to harmonize this with the Biblical expression: “the number of his name.” Rev. 13:17. However, the biblical term for name may also denote things such as one’s rank, authority, excellences, deeds etc. Thus one’s name covers also his qualities and titles. A clear difference between a name or title should therefore not be made. (See for instance Grimm-Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament,T&T Clark, Edinburgh, 4th ed., 1961, p. 447, (onoma); Arndt & Gingrich, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, The University of Chicago Press, 1959, p. 576.)     




It is not surprising that during the last decades we find Roman Catholic statements openly denying that Vicarius Filii Dei is a title of the pope.


We will have a look at one such statement as published in a Catholic periodical: “Our Lady’s Dowry,” Vol. XXI, Number 1, 15415 Red Robin Road - San Antonio - Texas - 78255. The Presentation, Februari 2004.


In this periodical we find a short article with the title “Anti-Catholic Bias is Still Alive” and we will present it here in full:


“Writing in Catholic Answers Magazine, Karl Keating brings to light the absolute nonsense that circulates in some American religious sects concerning their ‘knowledge’ of the Catholic faith.


Apparently, in Merced, California, a community of about 67,500 residents, the city newspaper, the Merced Sun-Star, printed a full page, color advertisement with the headline: ‘Earth’s Final Warning: What is the Mark of the Beast?’


The ad was placed by the International Seventh-Day Adventist Fellowship, headquartered in Englewood, Tennessee. In the past, the Seventh-Day Adventist church has been strongly anti-Catholic, and anti-Catholicism was precisely what this full-page ad promoted. There was nothing subtle about it.


Half way through the very lengthy text, the add identified the beast of Revelation as the Pope. ‘The title of the Pope reads: ‘Vicarius Filii Dei,’ that is, ‘In place of the Son of God.’


Mr. Keating rightly points out two mistakes here. ‘Vicarius Filii Dei’ is not a title of the Pope. The proper title is ‘Vicarius Christi,’ and besides ‘Vicarius Filii Dei’ does not mean ‘In place of the Son of God’ but ‘Vicar [Representative] of the Son of God.’ The translation given in the ad suggests that the Pope shoves aside the Son of God and takes over his place. In fact, the ad claims that this incorrect title means that the Pope is calling himself God.


Just in case the reader does not find the bogus title sufficiently alarming, the ad goes on to note that the numerical value of the letters in ‘Vicarius Filii Dei’ add up to 666, the number of the Beast! Quite so, but note that the title ‘Vicarius Christi’ does not add up to 666.


The Adventists turned to a similar-sounding title because they needed the right tally. It would do them no good to use a real Latin title for the Pope, if that title adds up only to 214, which is the case with ‘Vicarius Christi.’ The ad also provides four other numerical proofs of the Pope’s ‘Beastliness.’  The phrases ‘The Latin Kingdom,’ ‘Italian Church,’ ‘Latin Speaking Man,’ and ‘Roman Kingdom’ all add up to 666, it is claimed, if one uses the values of the letters in the Hebrew or Greek alphabets.


Karl Keating says ‘Aha! That proves it. We all know that if someone says, ‘Latin Speaking Man,’ the phrase must mean the Pope, since no one else in today’s world knows how to speak Latin.’ ‘…and ‘Roman Kingdom’ or ‘Latin Kingdom? Don’t think they mean the Roman Empire or pre-imperial Rome. Not a chance! They too, quite obviously, must mean the Pope, even though the Pope is a person and not a kingdom.’                


Certainly ‘Italian Church’ must mean the Pope. It certainly can’t mean St. Mary Major or St. John Lateran. It must be a reference to the Pope, even though we normally don’t think of the Pope as a building.


All this seems nearly irrefutable to them, but Mr. Keating points out one weakness in their ‘flawless’ argument. The composers of the ad left out an important numerical clue to the Beast’s real identity.


The five phrases or titles given are not the only ones that add up to 666. There is one more that might be considered. In Roman numerals D=500, L=50, U(V)=5, W=U+U=10, and I=1. In using these numeric values, one will arrive at 666, by summing the letters in the name Ellen Gould White.


You ask, ‘who was Ellen Gould White?’ Why, she was the founder of the Seventh-Day Adventist church, of course!”


Now, what would we expect with such a seemingly aggressive full-page attack on the Roman Catholic church openly published in the newspaper?  Can we imagine this church to keep then quiet about this?

We have not seen this newspaper’s page but it seems appropriate to question whether such a public attack is the core of the message this particular Adventist Fellowship should present this way.


While loyal to truth, we should try to avoid all that may create prejudice or lead to discord and misapprehension.

Of course, we should be clear and straightforward in the presentation of a God-given message but there should also be care as well as caution not to stir people’s bile.


Says Ellen White: “We should not go out of our way to make hard thrusts at the Catholics.” (Counsels to Writers and Editors, Southern Publ., Assn., p. 63.)


No wonder that we read this Catholic reaction. Besides several points such as the watering down of the clear meaning of the word Vicar(ius), and the incomplete family-name of Ellen White, perhaps the most interesting thing, however, is that this article states that Vicarius Filii Dei is not a title of the Pope.




In 1941 Robert F. Correia began his search to find out whether Vicarius Filii Dei could be regarded as a legitimate title of the Pope. The results were presented in a paper entitled: The Search to Document and Authenticate Vicarius Filii Dei.


Elder Francis D. Nichol had written an article stating that someone in Rome saw the title Vicarius Filii Dei on the pope’s tiara. An editor of a Jesuit paper was quick to challenge elder Nichol on the pope’s title and this was the reason for further investigation and Robert F. Correia, a Latinos whose family had been for many centuries Roman Catholic, offered to assist in this search.


An available photo-copy of a declaration about the title Vicarius Filii Dei being on the pope’s mitre as published in the Catholic weekly Our Sunday Visitor of April 18, 1915, was much disputed because the assertion was that in the very next issue the editor should have published a rectification on this statement.


Robert Correia with his friend Conrad Stoehr from Brazil decided to investigate the original statement and the alleged denial and they drove up to the publishing house of  Our Sunday Visitor in Huntington, Indiana. Clothed in black suits they arrived at noon time while all the workers were leaving the building. However, the secretary to the editor was still there and she took both visitors to her office. Requesting, after a moment of positive conversation, to see the 1915 volume it turned out that this book was missing. The secretary told that she remembered there had been some unfortunate experiences with certain issues of that year and she explained that the editor, John F. Noll, kept the volume in a private safe. She told that she was able, however, to get the volume and soon she returned with it. Continuing Robert Correia reports:


“Then a strange thing happened. She informed us that the editor was a bit unorganized and if we’d excuse her for a few minutes she was going to straighten out the documents in the safe. That providential act gave us just the very opportunity for which we came. Quickly and carefully we checked and found the original issue and confirmed its statement regarding Vicarius Filii Dei and even had time to go through several following issues and verify that there was no subsequent denial by the editor.”


The secretary returned with some loose early copies including the one of April 18, 1915 with the information about the pope’s title which happened to be Robert Correia’s birthday. After some discussion Robert succeeded in securing that particular copy as a souvenir and the secretary wrote on it: “Happy birthday greetings” and signed her name, Mary Helen Kavanaugh.

Meanwhile Robert’s alert colleague Conrad was going through the rest of the papers and found the two following issues that were kindly given to him.




The next visit was to the Catholic University where they were received at the library desk by Dr. Cordoso who arranged an appointment with Dr. Fenton, a specialist on canon law. At his office they told him they were preparing a research paper on the “Holy Father” and wished to verify one of his titles: Vicarius Filii Dei. Dr. Fenton phoned the Rector, Mgr. Lardoni, and transmitted the request. Since this was regarded as a special matter this had to be taken up with the Papal Legation.


The next day they were referred to the Rector’s office where they received a note that no source was found mentioning Vicarius Filii Dei as a title of the “Holy Father.” However, if they themselves would find this title in a Catholic source, an appraisal of such would then be given them.


A packet of documents containing the title Vicarius Filii Dei was made up and Mgr. Lardoni was ready for appraisal. Since Conrad was unable to come, elder Mondics accompanied Robert this time. Arriving at the Rector’s office they were ushered into the presence of the Monsignor who formerly had been the editor of the Vatican newspaper. He stared silently for some time at his guests and checked the documents carefully. Commenting on the Moroni document he said he had used it in his classes but was unaware it mentioned the pope’s title Vicarius Filii Dei. As for the Gratian document he said it was the best source and referred to Dr. Quasten who was their greatest authority in this field.


Leaving his office they went directly to the office of Dr. [Johannes] Quasten [1900-1987] who informed them that Gratian was used and accepted for many centuries but recently regarded by most scholars as non-authentic.


They asked  Dr. Quasten: “Putting all documents aside, do you as a recognized Catholic authority accept the title Vicarius Filii Dei as a proper and legitimate title of the “Holy Father?” The reply was, “Why do you question me about this title of the pope?” They explained they had just come from the office of his superior who had sent them to him for his appraisal. In a submissive attitude, Dr. Quasten acknowledged, “The pope has many titles… Vicarius Filii Dei is… an ancient title and should be accepted by any good Catholic scholar.”


Realizing that this excellent testimony was insufficient because it was verbal, Robert said, “Dr. Quasten, I have a friend who has been working on this project who could not be here today. We accept your appraisal but for the sake of my colleague, would you be kind enough to write a simple statement that this is a recognized and accepted title?” Dr. Quasten, questioned, “Is this necessary?”

Robert replied: “If this is a legitimate title, why not admit it in writing?”

Dr. Quasten pulled out his pen and wrote on an official Catholic University piece of paper: “The title Vicarius Christi, as well as the title Vicarius Filii Dei is very common as the title of the Pope” and signed his name.


Robert Correia and Conrad Stoehr obtained also a statement written by Dr. Joseph Fenton on November 14, 1942, declaring: “Vicarius Filii Dei is a manifest synonym of Vicarius Christi.”




It is a very valuable fact that an official Catholic weekly openly reported:


“The title of the Pope of Rome is Vicarius Filii Dei. This is inscribed on his mitre; and if you take the letters of his title which represent Latin numerals… and add them together they come to 666.” (Our Sunday Visitor, November 15, 1914, p. 3.)


And once again this source confirmed the pope’s title inscribed in his mitre as follows:


“What are the letters supposed to be in the Pope’s crown, and what do they signify, if anything? The letters inscribed in the Pope’s mitre are these: Vicarius Filii Dei, which is the Latin for Vicar of the Son of God. Catholics hold that the Church which is a visible society must have a visible head. Christ, before His ascention into heaven, appointed St. Peter to act as His representative. Upon the death of Peter the man who succeeded to the office of Peter as Bishop of Rome, was recognized as the head of the Church. Hence to the Bishop of Rome, as head of the Church, was given the title ‘Vicar of Christ.’”  (Our Sunday Visitor, April 18, 1915, p. 3.)


So we have two clear Roman Catholic statements in Our Sunday Visitor declaring:

(1) that the pope’s title is Vicarius Filii Dei.

(2) that this title is inscribed in the pope’s crown or mitre.


Futhermore these unmistakable Roman Catholic statements are not denied in the following issue but at a much later date while the context is revealing.


When a well known respected Roman Catholic source explains even twice in clear language that the title of the pope inscribed in his mitre is Vicarius Filii Dei - how could we then easily doubt such officially published statements?


And what would you say when a recognized Catholic authority roundly declares that the title Vicarius Filii Dei as well as the title Vicarius Christi is very common as the title for the pope?


And when another recognized Catholic authority plainly states: Vicarius Filii Dei is a manifest synonym of Vicarius Christi, would that provide then any reasonable ground to doubt that Vicarius Filii Dei is a proper title of the pope?


With such a solid background it certainly needs a lot of courage to call this matter in question.


Moreover, there are a number of witnesses who specifically declare that they have seen this very title written on the pope’s tiara, crown or mitre.


Elder D. E. Scoles of Washburn, Mo., testifies:


“I have met two men who declare that they have seen this specific crown; and their testimony is so perfectly in agreement that I am convinced that what they saw is true. The first man was M. De Latti, a Sabbath-keeper who had previously been a Catholic priest, and had spent four years in Rome. He visited me when I was pastor in St. Paul, Minn., several years ago. I showed him my tract, ‘The Seal of God and the Mark of the Beast.’ He at once told me that the inscription was not correctly placed in my illustration. He stated that he had often seen it in the museum at the Vatican, and gave a detailed and accurate description of the whole crown. When my tract was published, I was ignorant of the arrangement of the words of the Latin inscriptions, hence, in the illustration of the crown, placed them in one line. Brother De Latti at once pointed out the mistake, and said the first word of the sentence was on the first crown of the triple arrangement, the second word on the second part of the crown, while the word Dei was on the lower division of the triple crown. He also explained that the first two words were in dark-colored jewels, while the Dei was composed entirely of diamonds.”


At a tent-meeting in Webb City, Mo., “The Seal of God and the Mark of the Beast” was presented and a Presbyterian minister spoke out publicly, saying that while in Rome studying for the priesthood, he had seen this very crown, and noted its inscription, and that the word Dei was composed of one hundred diamonds.


Upon request he afterwards wrote the following statement:


“To Whom It May Concern: This is to certify that I was born in Bavaria in 1828, was educated in Munich, and was reared a Roman Catholic. In 1844 and 1845 I was a student for the priesthood in the Jesuit College in Rome. During the Easter service of 1845, Pope Gregory XVI wore a triple crown upon which was the inscription, in jewels, Vicarius Filii Dei.

We were told that there were one hundred diamonds in the word Dei; the other words were of some other kind of precious stones of a darker color. There was one word upon each crown, and not all on the same line. I was present at the service, and saw the crown distinctly, and noted it carefully.”

“In 1850 I was converted to God and to Protestantism. Two years later I entered the Evangelical Church ministry, but later in life I united with the Presbyterian Church, of which I am now a retired pastor, having been in the ministry for fifty years.”


“I have made the above statement at the request of Elder D.E. Scoles, as he states that some deny that the pope ever wore this tiara. But I know that he did, for I saw it upon his head.”


“Sincerely yours in Christian service,

(Signed) B. Hoffman.

Webb City, Mo., Oct. 29, 1906.”


In Boston, in 1832, a book was published with the title: The Reformation: A true Tale of the Sixteenth Century. (Massachusetts Sabbath School Society, Depository, No. 24, Cornhill.)


On pages 247, 248 we read:


“’Mrs. Athearn,’ said Miss Emmons, ‘I saw a very curious fact the other day; I have dwelt upon it much, and will mention it. A person, lately in Italy, was witnessing a ceremony of the Romish church, similar to many you have described to us, and as the Pope passed him in the procession, splendidly clothed in his pontifical robes, the gentleman’s eye rested on these full, blazing letters, in the front of his mitre - VICARIVS FILII DEI. The Vicar of the Son of God. His thoughts, with the rapidity of lightning, reverted to Rev. X111. 18.’”


Now this book was officially published in 1832, some years before the Advent movement started and some decades before the Adventists were officially organized as a Church. Thus it is clear again that the facts of the inscribed papal tiara antedate the Seventh-Day Adventist church.




Do we have any reason to question the clear information that the title of the pope is Vicarius Filii Dei?


Are we to doubt that this title has been for some period of time on the pope’s tiara, crown or mitre?


Should we suspect the official Roman Catholic statements openly bearing this out in clear words?


Must we distrust the eye-witnesses who have seen the inscribed crown?


Should we hold them for liars as they precisely described the arrangement and particulars of the words they saw on the tiara?


As to the Catholic statements, it is a matter of fact that it is very strange, remarkable and unusual to publish something even twice very clearly and then, after some time, deny it completely. How are we to understand this?


When in evangelistic campaigns the pope openly is declared to be the antichrist, who, with his title Vicarius Filii Dei bears the number 666, is it not obvious then that the clergy of the Roman Catholic church will respond and do everything possible to counteract such unfortunate developments?


And what has been always the policy of this church?  She will surely act just as she did in the past with the heretics and their testimony - she will destroy and deny everything that is at variance with her opinion; things or facts that accuse her somehow or will work to her disadvantage.


E. G. White explains: “It was the policy of Rome to obliterate every trace of dissent from her doctrines or decrees. Everything heretical, whether persons or writings, she sought to destroy.”  (The Great Controversy, p. 61.)


Therefore we can be sure that things or facts placing the Roman church in a unfavourable position or giving rise or occasion to accusations, certainly will be altered, adapted or concealed; denied or contradicted and possibly be destroyed by her.


Thus within this framework we can understand that statements of denial of previous declarations are made and that on account of the credibility of such pertinent repudiations all evidence confirming the previous declarations are wiped out.


Therefore it will only be in line with this when the title Vicarius Filii Dei is sought in any possible way to be avoided de-emphasized or even denied.


And also, we should not be amazed not to see anymore the inscribed tiara, crown or mitre. If such an object would be still shown in the museum at the Vatican, they would make fools of themselves.


As we noted earlier according to a commentary the title supposed to be on the pope’s crown was expunged: “Andreas Helwig (1572-1643) explained the mystic number 666 by reference to the pope’s official Latin title: Vicarius Filii Dei... This title reportedly was written upon the crown known as the ‘Triple Tiara’ worn by the popes at their coronations. In the seventeenth century, it was expunged from the miter.”

(Revelation, Four Views, A Parallel Commentary, Edited by Steve Gregg, Thomas Nelson Publ., Nashville Tennessee, 1997, p. 306.)


This clearly suggests that Rome at once took steps to counteract the application of the number 666 on the pope’s title on his crown. It seems clear, however,  that the title was not expunged entirely for the pope continued to wear a crown with that title occasionally only at very special events until this also was abolished because of ceaseless attacks.


Elder D. E. Scoles writes: “The Catholics well know the position we occupy, and the use we make of the crown and its inscription; and let none think that Protestants have access to all portions of the Vatican, nor that their inability to find that crown proves its non-existence.”

He concludes: “…I am sure that God does not want us to let the enemy cheat us out of using anything truthful that will help us to expose error, and show the force and power of the truth.”

(Union Conference Record, The Pope’s Crown, N. S. W., Australia, March 18, 1907, p. 8.)


Matthew Henry says: “It was a method practiced among the ancients, to denote names by numbers.”  (Matthew Henry, Bible Commentary, note on Rev. 13:18. Cf., Uriah Smith, The Prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation, Revised and Newly Illustrated Edition, Southern Publishing Association, Nashville 8, Tennessee, 1944, p. 619.)


Furthermore we read:


“This title, Vicarius Filii Dei, or some equivalent form of it, has appeared so frequently in Roman Catholic literature and rituals for centuries, that it scarcely seems necessary to add other proof of its validity and importance… In recent years, the validity of this title has been questioned, but historical evidence remains that this arrogated title has served to support the authority of the popes… The particular title Vicarius Filii Dei appeared as early as 752-774 in a document historically known as the ‘Donation of Constantine.’

Though this document was later proved to have been written by someone else and signed with the name of Constantine the Great to give it the weight of his authority - a practice not uncommon in medieval times - yet this so-called Donation of Constantine was used as valid by at least nine of the popes over a period of seven centuries or more in establishing the spiritual and temporal supremacy of the bishops of Rome… The document employing the title was confirmed by a church council, says Binius, a high Roman Catholic dignitary of Cologne, quoted by Labbe and Cossart. (…) It was incorporated in Roman Catholic canon law by Gratian, and when this last-named work was revised and published, with endorsement by Pope Gregory XIII, the title was retained. (…) When Lucius Ferraris wrote his elaborate theological work about 1755, he gave under the article ‘Papa’ the title Vicarius Filii Dei, and cited the revised canon law as his authority. Again when Ferraris’s work was revised and enlarged, and published in Rome in 1890, the document and title were still retained. (…) Of Ferraris’s theological work just cited, the Catholic Encyclopedia says that it ‘will ever remain a precious mine of information.’”  (Uriah Smith, The Prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation, Revised and Newly Illustrated, Southern Publ., Assn., Nashville, Tennessee, 1944, pp. 620-622. Emphasis added.)


Note Christopher B. Coleman’s translation of a paragraph from the Latin Donation of Constantine as confirmed by a church council and incorporated in Roman Catholic canon law, and cited by Ferraris:


“As the blessed Peter is seen to have been constituted Vicar of the Son of God [Vicarius Filii Dei] on the earth, so the pontiffs who are the representatives of that same chief of the apostles, should obtain from us and our empire the power of a supremacy greater than the clemency of our earthly imperial serenity.” (Christopher B. Coleman, The Treatise of Lorenzo Valla on the Donation of Constatine, p. 13. Cf., Uriah Smith, p. 622.)


Cardinal Manning, a great and well-known Catholic authority also names the pope’s title “Vicar of the Son of God” - Vicarius Filii Dei.


“And so, because the Church seems weak, and the Vicar of the Son of God  [Vicarius Filii Dei]  is renewing the Passion of his Master upon earth, therefore we are scandalized, therefore we turn our faces from him.” (Cardinal Manning, The Temporal Power of the Vicar of Jesus Christ, p. 141.) 


Thus the pope’s title Vicarius Filii Dei (Vicar of the Son of God) is well established and it is therefore no wonder nor mistake that some issues of Our Sunday Visitor mention Vicarius Filii Dei as a title of the pope.


It is in itself a very remarkable fact, as well as astonishing, that later issues of Our Sunday Visitor present a completely different picture. However, when we ask ourselves why this move is made we will find, as noted before, a clear background for this change


The facts are as follows:


While the issues of Our Sunday Visitor November 15, 1914 and April 18, 1915 clearly state that the Pope’s title on his crown or mitre is Vicarius Filii Dei, the issue many months later of September 16, 1917, denies this as well as the issue many years later of August 3, 1941.


As we have a close look it seems that both denials are clearly a counter-action because of the exposure of the pope by non-Catholics as bearing the number 666 and in the issue of September 16, 1917, such exposure is characterized as “a display of malignant hatred” while in the issue of August 3, 1941, a pamphlet of the Seventh-Day Adventists with the title The Mark of the Beast is the clear reason for the denial.


Thus the motivation for these denials is purely a matter of self-defence and not a sensitive feeling for what is truth.


The question with such statements followed by misleading denials is what one would prefer to believe.  

To any discerning truth-loving believer such a matter as the pope’s title adding up to 666 will be clear enough and not be a source of doubt.

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