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Friday the 13th in the Western World
Jacques Demolay and the Knights Templar

Varied Reputations
Both the number 13 and the day of the week Friday have had varied "reputations" throughout the centuries - sometimes considered to be holy and at other times considered to be unholy.

In the Western world, the superstition linking Friday the 13th with being an unlucky day appears to be primarily associated with the Knights of the Templar and its final Grand Master, Jacques Demolay, and the date of Friday, October the 13th, 1307 AD (Old Style - OS)

The History
In 1099 AD the all powerful (at that time) Roman Catholic Church - via the now infamous bloody religious wars of the Christian Crusades - had regained control over the holy city of Jerusalem. However, the lands surrounding Jerusalem were still in the hands of the Moslems.

According to traditional versions of the story, a warrior order of the Roman Catholic Church was banded together (allegedly) for purposes of protecting Christian travelers on their way to the holy city of Jerusalem.

The warrior order was finally officially recognized by the Roman Catholic Church in 1118 AD, and they were at that time provided with a headquarters building located on Mount Moriah. This building was located on a site traditionally thought to be the former Temple of King Solomon. Thus, the warrior order became known as the Knights of the Temple, or the Knights Templar.

To make a very long (but incredibly interesting) story short, Jacques Demolay became the Grand Master of the Knights Templar in around 1293 AD During the two hundred years of their existence within the Roman Catholic Church, the Knights Templar had grown into a rather rich and powerful political force to be reckoned with.

Because of this, during Demolay's stay in office as Grand Master, the Templars had increasingly grown in disfavor with the current pope, Pope Clement V, and with the King of France, Phillip the Fair.

The Betrayal
In 1307 AD the pope and the king arranged for the Templars to meet with them for a "friendly" convocation in Paris, France. Instead of being friendly, the Grand Master Jacques Demolay was arrested on Friday, October the 13th, 1307 AD (Old Style).

Seven years later, in 1314 AD, Jacques DeMolay was burned at the stake for the crime of church heresy. Legend continues on that before Demolay died - he predicted to the king and pope that he would meet them both in heaven within the next year. Fact is... both the king and the pope did die in the year 1314 AD. It is not known whether or not that Jacques DeMolay actually met up with these two rascals in heaven.

The Heresy
As for the "heresy" surrounding the Knights Templar - when I originally wrote this article many years ago the heresy involved was more than a wee bit controversial and considered taboo - related to what might be called the integration or marriage of the "archetypal feminine" with the masculine Christian Trinity.

Nowadays... in order to learn more about the alleged heresy of the Templars... all you need to do is pick up a copy of Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code or see the movie starring Tom Hanks.

Find all the Friday the 13ths Simple Javascript Tool to calculate future Friday the 13ths (unfortunately only works with Internet Explorer. Doesn't work with other browsers.)

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