Friday, June 13, 2008

Is Friday the 13th an evil, unlucky day?

How it all started. During the aftermath of the First Crusade of 1096, in the middle ages, a group of knights founded the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon, better known throughout history as the Knights Templar. It was originally founded to ensure the safety of European pilgrims to the Holy Land.

The original nine Knights Templar, led by Godfrey de Saint-Omer and Hugues de Payens, requested and were granted headquarters on the Temple Mount. Temple Mount is above what is believed to the remains of the Temple of Solomom. During their time there some believe the knights unearth a great treasure. This treasure is proposed to be the reason to their rapid rise of power in the Catholic Church. With the help of Bernard of Clairvaux, the Knights Templar were official sanctioned by the Catholic Church in 1129.

With the endorsement and blessings of the Catholic Church, the Knights Templar quickly rose in power and wealth, as well as prestige. The Knights Templar were granted additional power in 1139, when Pope Innocent II exempted the Knights Templar from obedience to local laws. This allowed the Knights Templar to move freely and exempt from taxes and all authority except that of the Pope.

As Muslim forces were beginning to win land and battles, the Knights Templar split into two Orders, the Knights Hospitaller and the Teutonic Knights. The Orders military mission became less important and support began to fade. When the Crusades were lost, the Order expanded their business ventures.

In 1305, the two Orders began to discuss recombining the original Knights Templar. This was not favored by then Pope Clement V and King Phillip IV of France, who at the time owed a great deal of money to the Knights. King Philip wanting to free himself from debt pressured the Church into taking action against the Knights.

On Friday, 13 October 1307, King Phillip ordered the arrest of the Templar Grand Master Jacques de Molay and all other Templars in France. The Templars were charged with heresies and tortured to extract false confessions of blasphemy. Using these confessions King Phillip of France burned the Templars at the stake.

The horrors that followed the arrest made on Friday the 13 of October 1307 were so great, the unluckiness of the day is still remembered today. Although the exact date is rarely remembered, Friday the 13 still incite feelings of unrest and discomfort to some.

Is Friday the 13 unlucky? It is not unless you are a Knight of the Order of the Temple with an angry, vengeful king who owes you money after you.


Katie(babs) said...

I never knew this :D Thanks for the history lessons :D
I am the knight of booking reading and pimpage!

Sarai said...

Okay now see that's interesting... I love history isn't it grand

Aymless said...

Thanks. I love the story of the Knights Templar. I've read a couple of books regarding them, some romance as well (just can't remember what the titles where >_<).

little alys said...

Lol, I knew parts of it. Great details!

Kate- You should have that on a button. "Knight of Booking, reading, and pimpage." ;)

Carolyn Jean said...

Oh, hey, I was always wondering about that! Thanks for the info. Fun post!


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