Friday, May 13, 2011

Question of the Day: Why Friday the 13th?

There is nothing to fear! According the bible study teacher that I heard Tuesday night, Christians can remove two words from their vocabulary, luck and coincidence. I agree. We belong to a Sovereign God who preserves and governs all of his creatures and all of their actions. The truth of Romans 8:28 endures. God works all things for our good and His glory so you can forget rabbits' feet, stepping on cracks, and being fearful of walking under opened ladders.
But I will forever avoid black cats.
 Make that ALL cats. 

 Cannibal still believes in Friday the 13th.
I've been watching the calendar for a blog post about Friday the 13th. It all began long ago in a land far away in a castle filled with knights. No, not these two. However, they would have made the process much more enjoyable.

The knights of which I speak are the Knights Templar and their Grand Master Jacques de Molay. Their task as Templars was to guard pilgrims and the road from Jerusalem to Acre. Sanctioned by the Roman Catholic Church, the Knights participated in the Crusades and gained by the sword great wealth and many enemies.

Jacques de Molay quickly rose within the Templar ranks as simultaneously the effectiveness of the Crusades fell. The power and wealth of the Templars became the focus of the attention France's landowners, Pope Clement V, and France's King Philip the Fair.
In 1305 Philip the "Not-So-Fair" made a decision to discredit de Molay and the Templars both to the public and the church. You see Philip owed the knights a vast sum of money and the tension between the land owners, the church and the king over wealth sort of came to what would later be known as a "Waterloo." By 1307 Philip summoned the knights to Paris. It was actually Friday, October 13th, 1307, when the Templars were arrested and thrown into the dungeon. Neither Friday the 13th nor the Templars were forgotten.

For seven long years they endured torture designed to extract confessions that would solidify Philip's claims and discredit the Templars in the eyes of the church and the aristocracy. King Philip coerced Pope Clement into condemning the Knights Templar and the property and money that could be located was divided according to King Philip who maintained that he got only his Philip the "Fair Share."

During the seven years of torture de Molay never disclosed the location of the remaining wealth of the Knights Templar. On March 18, 1314, at a special trial, a forged confession was presented which de Molay promptly discredited. That in and of itself was an act punishable by death. King Philip ordered him burned at the stake.

It was at this location on the Ile Aux Vaches (Cow Island) just below the Pont Neuf in Paris that de Molay was executed.
As the flames curled around him he requested that his hands be left unbound that he might die with hands raised in prayer. Shortly before his death it is reported that he cursed Pope Clement and King Philip summoning them to appear before God the Supreme Judge before the year was out.
"Let evil swiftly befall those who have wrongly condemned us--God will avenge us."
Almost exactly a month to the day after, Pope Clement V was dead and Philip the Fair was killed in a hunting accident within six months. Both men were indeed dead before the year was out. I believe you'd be hard pressed to convince those two that there's no such thing as bad luck on Friday the 13th.


  1. Hey Shirley!
    It's Amanda Bolen Brown...
    I have had your blog site sitting by my bed for a week after I read your MCL feature! Loved the article Marilyn wrote and love the grandmother you are to those kids!

    Just wanted to stop by and say hello since I didn't have an email for you. I know you are a great encouragement to the moms at your FPC study, too.


  2. Hey Amanda! You're so sweet to check in an leave a positive comment about the article and the blog. Thank you so much. I have to look at your blog!