Friday 13th – No Myth! A Real Piece of History (The Knights Templar 13th October 1307)

Whether you are superstitious or not and even if you feel yourself completely unaffected by Friday 13th (thirteenth), the real route of the superstitions and reasons for it being deemed unlucky have little to do with myths or heebee geebee! The real reason stems from the Middle Ages and is connected to a mass arrest of The Knights Templar on 13th October 1307.

The Knights Templar 
The order of the Knights Templar is synonymous with the crusades of the Middle Ages. This section of the Middle Ages details the emergence of the Religious knights, their achievements, accomplishments and their decline the 13th October 1307 when Jacques de Molay, the Grand Master of the Knights Templar, and 60 of his senior knights were arrested in Paris. This day is remembered in history – it is the reason Friday 13th is deemed to be unlucky.

This piece of history is mentioned as a ‘historical fact’ in the Bestselling novel The Da Vinci Code!

This historic event was the decimation of the Knights Templar, the legendary order of “warrior monks” formed during the Christian Crusades to combat Islam. Renowned as a fighting force for 200 years, by the 1300s the order had grown so pervasive and powerful it was perceived as a political threat by kings and popes alike and brought down by a church-state conspiracy, as recounted by Katharine Kurtz in Tales of the Knights Templar (Warner Books, 1995):

On October 13, 1307, a day so infamous that Friday the 13th would become a synonym for ill fortune, officers of King Philip IV of France carried out mass arrests in a well-coordinated dawn raid that left several thousand Templars — knights, sergeants, priests, and serving brethren — in chains, charged with heresy, blasphemy, various obscenities, and homosexual practices. None of these charges was ever proven, even in France — and the Order was found innocent elsewhere — but in the seven years following the arrests, hundreds of Templars suffered excruciating tortures intended to force “confessions,” and more than a hundred died under torture or were executed by burning at the stake.

It is recorded that the French King (Philip IV) owed so much money to The Knights Templar. They were an organisation of great wealth and clearly he was not too happy about that!

Now whether or not it is a day that is deemed unlucky at any other given time, is an unanswered question. Is it not true to say that any day in history that a catastrophic event takes place is unlucky – take 9/11, 7/7 for instance! I doubt that Jacques de Molay chose Friday 13th because he thought it an unlucky day – but if you were one of the Knights Templar it would certainly have been an unlucky day and for those who remembered this day thereafter the phrase “Unlcuky for some” was perhaps said as a feeling of fortunate exclusion.

My Nana was born on this day: 13th January (Sunday), my Niece was born on 13th August (Wednesday) and my Sister married on January 13th (Saturday). I’m sure none of these thought/think of it as an unlucky day when it appears on a Friday.


About HonieMummy (HonieBuk)

Mum of two girls (16 & 9) and step-Mum to one boy (15). All of whom are bright, fun-loving, creative and musical and make me proud and despite his disability (CP) my step-son and family face challenges with a smile and the will to succeed. Love to travel (mainly US/Canada/Scotland), passionate about photography, music is a must, always in HoniesKitchen, love a bit of crafting and I'm learning to knit (maybe even crochet). I'm a networking junkie and of course there has to be time (quality time) with my amazing family! I like to Blog infrequently whenever it takes my fancy and I don't mind sharing my ups and downs, advice and querky ideas with you all. I will mostly post recipes and photos of food, family and travel. I love to review products that my family and me would use - I kinda consider it my 'duty' to let you all know if something is as good as it says on the tin and a 'must buy' product, that all families should know about. Find these in HonieLikes. If you like what you see, please tell me - I work hard at these things :o)
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8 Responses to Friday 13th – No Myth! A Real Piece of History (The Knights Templar 13th October 1307)

  1. I always thought that 13 was unlucky because there were 13 people sitting round the table at the last supper. And Friday 13th is doubly unlucky because Jesus died on a Friday. Maybe the Knights Templars event was the first major unlucky event on this date and the symbollism I knew was attached to it to explain why. Very interesting read, thank you.

    • That’s very valid. I still think of it as an association rather than an absolute and that the phrase “unlucky for some” is very appropriate. It can only be deemed an unlucky day for ‘any’ person after an event has made it so. It has been historically a very lucky day for some people too.

  2. grumpinator says:

    I thought this was really interesting. My wee one was born on Friday the 13th so it’s obviously a very lucky day for me!

  3. I tend to bury my head in the sand about the whole Friday 13th thingy. It’s only unlucky if you allow it to be.

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