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Friday the Thirteenth

by on June 13, 2014

Many people consider Friday the Thirteenth an unlucky date.  I don’t even need a citation for that.  You know it’s true.  But you do know why many people consider Friday the Thirteenth to be unlucky?  An internet search could tell you the same thing that I will summarize for you.  My source is Holy Blood, Holy Grail.  Whether the book got some historical guesses wrong, which they now claim, the history of Friday the Thirteenth is very real and not guess work.

Many of you have heard of The Knights Templar, thanks to Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code and other recent readings.

The Knights Templar came into existence in the 12th Century, at best guess.  Certainly they existed by the early 12th Century, because they were being written about between 1175 and 1185, and had already been around for a guess of fifty years.  According to Guillaume de Tyre – the first chronicler of the The Knights Templar – the Order of the Poor Knights and the Temple of Solomon was founded in 1118.

The stated role of the Poor Knights was to keep the roads safe for pilgrims.  King Baudouin I of Jerusalem (yes, there was a king of Jerusalem in the Middle Ages, and a titular king for centuries) like this idea.  He liked this idea enough to give the Poor Knights an entire wing of the royal palace.

The Knights proceeded well through history, returned to Europe, and, in 1139 received a Papal Bull stating that The Templar would owe no secular or ecclesiastical order allegiance; their only allegiance was to the pope.

Like all who come to power – even corporations (and the Templars become a corporation and founded some of the Wests’ most advanced ideas for the time, such as checks for money, and encrypted notes) – The Knights Templars rose through history with great acclaim, welcomed, indeed begged for, in royal courts .  The Knights Templar became fabulously wealthy (each joining knight was required to forfeit his land to the common cause).  Along the way they met enemies.

“By 1306 Philip IV of France – Philip le Bel – was actually anxious to rid his territory of the Templars.  They were arrogant and unruly.  They were efficient and highly trained, a professional military force much stronger and better organized than any he himself could have mustered….Philip had no control over the order.  He owed it money.”  He wanted the wealth of the Templars.

Philip had to get the pope to cooperate, to who, in theory, the Templars owed allegiance.  “Between 1303 and 1305 the French king and his ministered engineered the kidnapping and death of one pope (Boniface VIII) and quite possibly the murder by poison of another (Benedict XI).”  Clement V came to the papacy with the help of Philip le Bel.

“Philip planned his moves carefully.  A list of charges was compiled, partly from the king’s spies who had infiltrated the order, partly from the voluntary confession of an alleged renegade Templar”  Philip “issued sealed and secret orders to be opened everywhere simultaneously and implemented at once.”

“At dawn on Friday the Thirteenth, 1307, all Templars in France were to be seized and placed under arrest by the king’s men.”

Philip somewhat succeeded, but he never found the Templars great wealth.  I encourage you  to read the rest as you ponder whether Friday the Thirteenth is really an unlucky day for you, or just another date to note in the history books.

 

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From → Life, On the Dole

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