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Friday the Thirteenth and the Knights Templar
The whole superstition regarding the unluckiness of Friday the thirteenth arose when, on Friday, October 13, 1307, King Philip IV of France ordered the simultaneous arrest and imprisonment of all the available Knights Templar, and the confiscation of all their worldly goods. Because of this unwarranted persecution of the Knights Templar, all down the ages, Friday the thirteenth has been considered an unlucky day ever since.
Many, many Knights Templar were tortured into confessing such misdeeds as heresy, treason, worshipping an idol; all capital offenses. Many executions were carried out: many Knights Templar were burnt at the stake, including the elderly leader of the Order, Grand Master Jacques de Molay. As he was burnt at the stake, he faced the Notre Dame Cathedral, his hands folded in prayer. He said:
"God knows who has sinned. Soon a calamity will occur to those who have condemned us to death."
Pope Clement, who was instrumental in disbanding the Knights Templar, died only a month later, and King Philip, who ordered the capture, persecution and death of the Knights Templar, died mysteriously in a hunting accident before the end of the year.
How did this come about, that these Knights Templar, these proud knights in armour, responsible for guarding pilgrims to the Holy Land and the most respected knights in the land, with their vows of poverty, chastity and obedience rigorously adhered to and their sacred mission of protecting the pilgrims in the most holy of all places on earth--how did these perfect, gentle knights manage to offend not only their sovereign king but the pope, as well? And to the degree that the infamous persecution has its own unlucky aura surrounding that day, or indeed any Friday the thirteenth, for the next 700 years?
Even though the orignal vows included a vow of poverty, and the individual knights adhered to the rule as far as personal expenditures, they, as an organization, had become extremely wealthy over time, forming the first international banking system of any kind, and accruing wealth and estates through pious gifts of landowners wishing to finance the Crusades. King Philip was deeply in debt to the Knights Templar:proper name, the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon ...
And Pope Clement owed his position to King Philip's influence, primarily.
That's one way to cancel the debt--kill all the persons you are indebted to and confiscate their wealth.
The Chinon Parchment
A document known as the "Chinon Parchment" was found in the Vatican Secret Archives, in 2001. It had been apparently "misplaced" since around 1628. It is a record of the trial of the Templars, and shows that Pope Clement absolved the Templars of all heresies, posthumously for the most part, in 1308, before completely dissolving the Order of the Templars.
The Roman Catholic Church admits that the medieval persecution of the Knights Templar was unjust.
Fear of Friday the thirteenth is called friggatriskaidekaphobia, "frigga" means "Friday" (no matter what it suggest slightly to my evil mind!).
Although there isn't any written evidence for a "Friday the Thirteenth" superstition as an unlucky day before the 1800's, there does exist and ongoing and perpetual oral tradition for this superstition.
For some people, Friday, all by itself, is an unlucky. It was supposedly the day Christ was crucified.
In numerology, the number 12 signifies completeness: it is the perfect number, for the 12 hours of the day, for the 12 signs of the zodiac, for the 12 tribes of Israel...the 12 apostles of Christ...The number 13 sort of takes the whole thing out of balance, and is considered to be unlucky for its irregularity. A superstition exists that having 13 people at the table will result in a death before the end of the week of one of the people at the table.
So is Friday the Thirteenth REALLY unlucky??
- A recent (1993) study in the British Medical Journal discovered there are significantly more traffic accidents on Friday the 13th than on Friday the 6th
- Stuntman Sam Patch scheduled a 125-foot jump into the Genesee River on Friday, November 13, 1829, (his largest jump to date) and the stunt killed him.
- Hurricane Charley made landfall in Florida on Friday, August 13, 2004
- The asteroid Apophis will make a close encounter with the earth of Friday, April 13, 2029. It's estimated to come closer than the communications satellites now in orbit.
- The Andes Plane Crash of 1972 happened on Friday, October 13, 1972,.