Good Morning Gentle Readers,
Our modern day superstitious fear of Friday the 13th evolved in part from the hard reality of a diabolical plot hatched by King Phillip of France and Pope Clement V in 1306 to crush the Knights of the Temple (Knights Templar).
As dawn broke on the morning of Friday October 13, 1306, in simultaneous strikes across France a blitzkrieg of Hitlerian proportions took place. The ultimate triumph of this plan rested fully on the element of surprise. The authorities were shocked and reluctant to arrest members of the order when the pronouncement was unsealed, but the tipping point was the inclusion of a Papal decree branding the Knights as heretics, including charges of spitting on the cross, kissing cats backsides, and sodomy (sounds positively modern). Many Knights were arrested, tortured, killed, burned at the stake, and had their lands and wealth seized.
It is hard to judge the overall success of the raids because some accounts claim the Knights Templar was wiped out over the next few years while other historians cite persistent rumors that numerous members of the order escaped with their ships and treasures intact, settling in England, Spain, and Portugal.
And, of course, there are the conspiracy theories and mythology surrounding the Kinghts that persist to this day, which makes it all the more difficult to seperate truth from fiction.
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