Friday the 13th
A detail is shown on a replica document in which Pope Clement V absolved the Knights Templar of charges of heresy, in Rome October 9, 2007. A reproduction of the Latin-language minutes of trials against the Knights Templar in 1308, lost until its rediscovery in 2001. Reuters

Friday the 13th has for centuries been associated with bad luck. Many people believe that this day is cursed and in an almost Halloween-like atmosphere, tell spooky tales about misfortunes that have taken place on this day. But what is the real Friday the 13th? The events that took place on Friday Oct. 13, 1307 have more to do with a shift in political power and a desire not to pay back loans than any curse. Friday the 13th 1307 was the day Pope Clement V and King Phillip IV of France had the Knights Templar massacred.

The Knights Templar was a Holy Order dedicated to protecting the treasures of the Church. It was believed that the Knights had accumulated a vast treasure that included a number of sacred objects including the Holy Grail. The Grail is believed by many Christians to be the cup from which Jesus Christ drank from the night before his crucifixion. The Knights Templar also used their enormous wealth to act as a bank for the crowned heads of Europe during the Middle Ages. To finance a war with England Philip borrowed money from the knights.

Financial backing from the Knights did not help Philip who was a weak king and no military commander. England defeated France leaving the country and its king in poverty. Philip, in league with Pope Clement came up with a plan to accuse the Knights Templar of heinous acts against the Church including heresy and worshipping false gods. On Friday Oct. 13th 1307 all of the Knights Templar were rounded up and imprisoned. They were charged with Satanism and a number of other "unnatural" practices.

Many of the Templars were tortured into confessing their crimes and then killed. Others were killed for refusing to confess. Philip's men tortured and killed the Knights in a manner similar to the Spanish Inquisition. A popular method for dealing with the Knights was to have them burned at the stake. Burning was used against those who were accused of heresy because the thinking at the time was the flames would prepare the person for an eternity of burning in hell fire.

From 1307 to 1312 members of the order of the Knights Templar were rounded up and executed. Although the official disbandment of the order came in 1312 many Knights continued their order in secret, bound to their Holy oath. Since the events of Oct. 13, 1307 Friday the 13th has been believed to be an unlucky day. As for the Knights Templar, they became legend and it is even argued that their secrets have been passed down through the ages into a new order known as Free Masons.

The legend of the Knights Templar treasure has been the subject off books and movies. While some believe it is just a story others say the treasure is out there waiting for us to discover it.

© 2023 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.