As the title reads, this blog post is associated with Friday the 13th and the Knights Templar. Tomorrow is the Friday 13th of February 2020, may this blog post give you some information about this “unlucky” day and the Knights Order in the medieval age. Before starting, a look at the Knights Templar Order is necessary.
The Knights Templar was one of the most powerful warrior groups back in the medieval age. Their first mission was to protect the pilgrims to the Holy Land of Jerusalem. At that point, the Christians who wished to pay a visit to the Holy Land must travel a long distance. On the way, they would face many dangers from hostile enemies. Accordingly, a group of France monk-soldiers formed and protected those people. Thereby, the Knights Templar came into being.
Each member of the Knights Templar was never a wealthy man. They might come from many walks of life. But the thing they had in common was the faith in the cross.
Some depicted the Knights Templar as the warriors who knew to wield swords only. Historians believe that the majority of the Templar members were monks and they were good at finance. The organization of the Templar was wealthy but each Knight was not. They promised to live a life of a monk without money, marriage, yet with all their hearts loyal to God and to the Christian community.
The Knights Templar hardly surrendered in any battle unless the enemies outnumbered them three against one. When a knight fell in battle, his soul was pure and he was believed to be sent immediately to heaven.
At the peak of their time, there were estimated to be up 15000 Templar houses from England to Egypt.
Doomsday on Friday the 13th
But the more you get successful, the more people want your life. One lesson from the story of Knights Templar is you cannot befriend those who are not happy about your success. Imagine in the medieval world, a group of knights suddenly became powerful both economically and politically, who would be the ones who worried the most? Answer: kings.
A month before Friday the 13th 1307, secret letters were sent across France. These papers claimed about the black magic that the Knights were practicing saying that they worshipped the devil instead of their god. It was King Phillip V of France who was in debt to the Knights.
On that fateful day, more than 600 Knights were arrested including the Grand Master of the Knights Order Jacques de Molay. Some sources mentioned that King Phillip captured whoever he could capture from the high ranking members to those who managed the banking and farming activities every day. The Knights were charged with a long list of crimes including heresy, homosexuality, devil worship, fraud, and financial corruption.
They were tied up by a rope hanging them up. This was to dislocate their shoulders. And many more extreme torture methods were applied. Accordingly, the Templars quickly confessed to the false charge.
Pope Clement V issued a papal bull ordering the Western kings to eliminate the Knights Templar on their lands. Few kings followed the Pope letter but the fate of the Knights in France was sealed. Their property was confiscated and gave to other religious order.
Years after, Pope Clement V dissolved the Knights. Although some of them gained freedom, others were burnt on the stake. This finally opens up endless debates about Friday the 13th.