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The Origins of Friday the Thirteenth - Chinon, Loire Valley

Aug 18, 2007
On October 13 (the unlucky Friday the 13th), 1307, supposedly all the Knights Templar in France were simultaneously arrested by agents of Philip the Fair on the strength of so-called revelations of a few unworthy and degraded members. The Knights were arrested and then submitted to a most rigorous examination and horrendously tortured until they admitted heresy in the Order.

Many Knights were held at Chateau Chinon tower where they left unusual carvings still undeciphered today. At least 2000 Knights were killed in an attempt to obliterate the order because Philip the Fair coveted the property and treasure of the order. He seized the treasury and broke up the monastic banking system and sought to control the Templars' wealth and power himself.

Owing to the lack of evidence, the accused Templars could be convicted only through their own confession and, to extort this confession, the use of torture was considered necessary and legitimate. The investigation that followed was radically corrupt in its intent and procedure. The secrecy with which the initiation rites were conducted were scrutinised.

The receptions of the Order always took place in a chapter with grave and delicate questions being discussed. Any disclosure against the doctrine of secrecy resulted in exclusion from the order. The secrecy allowed the numerous enemies of the Templars to infer every conceivable malicious supposition. The Templars were accused of spitting upon the Cross, of denying Christ, of permitting sodomy, of worshipping an idol, and all in the utmost secrecy. Most of the accused Templar Knights succumbed and declared themselves guilty of these secret crimes after being subjected to such horrendous torture. For some the fear of the torture was enough to extract the declarations.

Jacques de Molay, the grand master later acknowledged that he had lied to save his life. At a reading of his sentence at a specially erected platform in front of the Notre-Dame, the grand master recovered his courage. He proclaimed his and the Knights Templar innocence and exposed the falsity of the alleged confessions. Knowing the fate that awaited him, he declared himself ready to sacrifice his life. As he burnt the Grand Master of the Knights Templar, cursed King Philip and Pope Clement to meet eternal justice and appear before the tribunal of God within the year. Pope Clement died only one month later and Philip IV seven months after that.

Documents found in the Vatican archives, including a long-lost parchment, prove that the Pope had in fact manoeuvred "with skill and determination" to ensure that his own emissaries questioned de Molay and other leading Templars in the dungeons of Chinon castle in the Loire in 1308, in what amounted to a papal trial.

The Pope noting that de Molay and the Knights had asked his pardon wrote: "We hereby decree that they are absolved by the church and may again receive Christian sacraments." Signor Forgione who found the Chinon Parment documents in the Vatican archives said that the Pope had failed to make this absolution public because the scandal of the Templars had aroused extreme passions and he feared a church schism. Philip the Fair strategically had de Molay and other Templar leaders burnt at the stake before the Pope's verdict could be published. Philip IV (Philip the Fair) died seven months after. The pardon was then subsequently lost.

Such was the tragic end of the Templars. The Order of Hospitallers finally inherited the property of the Templars and received many of its members. The result was practically equivalent to the long-proposed amalgamation of the two rival orders. For the members took up and carried on elsewhere the work of the Knights of the Temple
About the Author
Corina Clemence runs a luxury french chateau in the Loire Valley near Blois, for up to fifteen people perfect for touring vineyards and chateaux and relaxing french holidays. It is also ideal for a french wedding, party or event. Rent the whole castle or rent a suite. Rent a castle in France. Hire castle - hire chateau Chateau rental http://www.loirechateau.com Rent chateau
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