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Friday the Thirteenth and the Knights Templar

Updated on August 18, 2010

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,.



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    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Upstate New York

      I really can't agree. I don't know what your sources are. I got most of the info the article was based on through Wikipedia. Not the best source in the world, but certainly not the worst and mostly trustworthy, I've found. You might have access through college libraries or other sources of much better information. I'm kind of hoping you don't--I hate to see my illusions shattered so roughly.

    • JMo Elstein profile image

      JMo Elstein 

      5 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

      horribly researched and incredibly biased article......especially where they refer to them as protectors and talk about the crusades.....the knights templer were rapists, pillagers, theives, and war criminals, not the "perfect knights" this article makes them out to be.....every historical recount of the crusades acknowledged as non fiction supports that the knights templar were nothing more than mercenaries pillaging their way to jerusalem.

    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Upstate New York

      You're welcome!

    • leftforever profile image


      6 years ago from North Hollywood

      Thanks for the informative read.

    • Ddraigcoch profile image


      7 years ago from UK

      I have been aware of the Knights Templar since I was younger.I have always loved hearing about those unfortunate men.

    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thank you, m'lady!

    • LadyTwizzelton profile image


      8 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Wow, really great article.

      I enjoyed reading your post and learning about history.

    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Upstate New York

      Glad you both liked it! Thanks for the comments.

    • AdeleCosgroveBray profile image

      Adele Cosgrove-Bray 

      8 years ago from Wirral, Cheshire, England.

      A well-written Hub, about a topic in which I've long been interested in.

    • Faybe Bay profile image

      Faye Constantino 

      8 years ago from Florida

      Really nice work here, Paradise. I knew a bit about the Knights Templar, one of my favorite subjects, but not so much about Friday the 13th. Excellent hub.

    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thanks, sunforged, for your comment. I'm glad we share this interest.

    • sunforged profile image


      8 years ago from

      So apparently mysterious hunting accidents and political figures is not just a 21st century tradition.

      Loved the article, Knights Templar, Rosicrucians, Freemasonry etc has always interested me and I picked up some new knowledge here, well done!

    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thank you for your gracious comment, Maita.

    • prettydarkhorse profile image


      8 years ago from US

      Thanks for the knowledge about Friday the 13th and the Knights Templar, Good one about the true story about the knights as well, Maita

    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Upstate New York

      Hey, Red Elf, nice to hear from you!! Yeah, I was born on October 3, so I missed the BAD day by about 10 days!

    • RedElf profile image


      8 years ago from Canada

      One of my sisters was born on October - we used to tease her and tell her that day had been a Friday. It was, in fact, a Thursday, but it never bothered her at all anyway ;)

    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thanks, RunAbstract! Please do, after I get it written!

    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thanks, RunAbstract! Please do, after I get it written!

    • RunAbstract profile image


      8 years ago from USA

      Wonderful idea! I will be sure to read it!

    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thank you, RunAbstract, for the comment. I, also, have had an ongoing fascination with the Knights Templar; also the Freemasons. I may do a separate hub about how they are connected.

    • RunAbstract profile image


      8 years ago from USA

      Funny how the church of Rome has back-peddled so many times throughout it's history, and still has blind followers worldwide. Also funny, (not to imply humor, but rather irony), how the same Roman church has been wrapped up in so many political endevors throughtout it's history. Even more ironic since Jesus instructed his followers to NOT be part of the "world".

      This was a good read. I have been interested in the Templar Knights for a very long time, and enjoy hearing from other interested people. Thanks!

    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thanks, Tusitala Tom!! Glad to hear from you!

    • Tusitala Tom profile image

      Tom Ware 

      8 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Excellent, well researched Hub. So now we know why Friday 13th is believed to be unlucky. I haven't found it so. But then again, I'm not a Knights Templar.

      Well done!

    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thank you for the comment, Shawn!

    • WRITTENBYSHAWN profile image


      8 years ago from Port William, Ohio

      I have a strong interest in the Knights of Templar and knew about their connection with Friday the 13th. Great hub, thanks for sharing.

    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thank you, RM and Mike, for the comments. I'm so glad everyone escaped unscathed from the bad luck! I don't really believe in that superstition, myself, (MUCH!). Love from Paradise to you both.

    • Mike Lickteig profile image

      Mike Lickteig 

      8 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      I very good recounting of the events surrounding the Knights Templar. I am hardly an expert in history, so many of these events were previously unknown to me, although I did remember the story in general terms.

      At least this time, I escaped Friday the 13th unscathed.


    • rmcrayne profile image


      8 years ago from San Antonio Texas

      Your title caught my attention, Knights Templar, because of The Da Vinci Code. I had my first anesthesia on a Friday the 13th, and I'm still here. I remind myself of that every Friday the 13th!

    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thanks, Veronica!

    • syzygyastro profile image

      William J. Prest 

      8 years ago from Vancouver, Canada

      Great hub! Asteroid Apophis is being closely watched. If it passes through what is called a "keyhole resonance" with Earth's orbit, then in the next go around, it will strike the earth, which some see as being in 2036 or thereabouts. The Templars met their demise during a great planetary stellium of that era.

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      You know I always wondered about the background of this superstition. Very, very interesting Paradise7.

    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thank you, drbj, scarytaff, and carolina muscle, for the comments. I recently read a book by Michael Jecks and also strongly recommend his writing. The book I read was "The King of Thieves" set in medieval Paris. Fascinating read.

    • carolina muscle profile image

      carolina muscle 

      8 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Nicely done.. the Templar references in particularly are very interesting!!

    • scarytaff profile image

      Derek James 

      8 years ago from South Wales

      This is a true and accurate report of the wiping out of the Knights Templar for no other reason than to steal their great wealth. Michael Jecks has written many novels of this period and I thoroughly recommend them. His book, 'The Last Templar' tells the story of the assassination of the Grand Master in his prologue. Well done No.7

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      8 years ago from south Florida

      Never connected the superstitions surrounding Friday the 13th to the Knights Templar before. Thanks for your research, Paradise, and this interesting information.


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