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Friday the 13th

The item “Friday 13th fear rooted in religion” (Culture, Thursday) leaves the impression that the persecution of the Knights Templar by King Philip IV of France and Pope Clement V is just a belief held by some people. It is in actuality a historical fact.

The arrest, imprisonment and persecution of the Templars began on Friday, Oct. 13, 1307, and ended in 1312 with the dissolution of the Templar Order by Clement V after the torture and execution of a number of the Templars, including the last Grand Master, Jacques De Molay. The persecution was brought on by Clement V’s fear of the growing financial and secular power of the Templar Order, and Philip IV’s indebtedness to the order for financing a number of his military and political undertakings.

The diaspora of the Templars from France after the persecution gave rise to the institution of a number of other organizations, some still extant today, including the Poor Knights of Jesus Christ (Portugal) and the Masonic Scottish Rite.


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