13.10.

1307: Knights Templar Arrested on Friday 13th

1307: Knights Templar Arrested on Friday 13th
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 13 October 1307
  • That day fell on Friday 13th and some consider that the superstition about Friday 13th being an unlucky day stems from this very event. Even the Grand Master of the order, the famed Jacqes de Molay, was arrested in Paris, together with 60 of his knights.

On this day in 1307, French king Philip IV the Fair ordered the mass arrest of Knights Templar in the Kingdom of France.

That day fell on Friday 13th and some consider that the superstition about Friday 13th being an unlucky day stems from this very event. Even the Grand Master of the order, the famed Jacqes de Molay, was arrested in Paris, together with 60 of his knights.

The French king’s motive to have the Templars arrested was simply that he owed them a large sum of money. Namely, the king was at war with England and had been borrowing money from the Templars (with the waning of the Crusades, the Templars had become something akin to a banking system).

In time, the king’s debt grew to unmanageable levels, and so the king decided to get rid of them in an underhanded way. He used various unfounded rumors about their activities in order to have them tried for heresy and all sorts of blasphemous deeds.

The arrested Templars were subjected to torture, and many eventually “confessed” to spitting on the cross, renouncing Christ, idolatry, sodomy, and obscene rituals. These confessions shocked the French populace. The king then talked the pope into ordering all Templars in the world to be arrested.

It is important to note that the aforementioned pope, Clement V, was French, and did not have his seat in Rome, but in southern France. This allowed the French king to put pressure on him more easily.

The pope did want to hear the Templars’ side of the story, but King Philip threatened him with military force, so that the pope ordered the Templar order to be abolished in 1312. Grand Master Jacques de Molay was burnt at stake on a small river island on the Seine, Paris.

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