Key to the Sacred Pattern

12 October 2006

A Day That is Unlucky; for Some

The Arrest of the Templars
from the British Library Web site

Tomorrow, in France the weather will be much the same as it was 699 years ago. A slight overcast sky and the first hints of a damp autumn chill in the wind. Tomorrow morning in 1307, a letter bearing the seal of Phillip the Fair was being opened by sheriffs. Upon penalty of death, the King’s men were not to open this document before sunrise. I’m sure this perplexed many of the simple men whose job was to maintain the rule of the King through out the country side. Many would have to have found someone to read the letter to them. Many more would not know what to make of it after they heard the contents. Phillip the Fair had ordered the arrest of all Templars in France under charges of heresy. This would have compounded the confusion of the sheriffs. The Templars involved in the black arts? The thought would have been like reading science fiction to many of the men.
An undertaking of this scope had never happened before. This was the world’s first large-scale coordinated police action. The plan was to keep the arrest order secret until the moment of the arrests. The logistics of even delivering the orders began on 9 Sept 1307. Thousands of men had to be trusted not to open the King’s orders. They would have had to be further trusted not to reveal the contents to a soul even if they had taken a peek inside.

As with most complex plans, something did not go as intended. What the leak in security was, the world will probably never know. By the time the main Templar preceptory was raided in Paris, nothing was left. The Templar fleet had vanished from the Port of Le Harve along with any documents or treasures the Order held. The number of Templars that were arrested that day is in dispute by historians. Numbers from a few hundred to 15,000 have been reported. Of whatever numbers were arrested, the one that should have escaped must have chosen not to. Jacque de Molay, the Grand Master of the Temple stayed behind and was arrested.

Now this story is not news to anyone that has studied the history of the Templars. The day has been marred since then as an unlucky day. People that know nothing of the Templars will huddle themselves in their houses, simply because they know that Friday the 13th is an unlucky day. It amazes me that the shadow of the Knights Templar reaches us even today.

The purpose of this article is not to inform, but to remind. Remind us that of the bravery of Jacque de Molay in staying behind to cover for his brothers. Remind us of the travesty of justice that occurred that day, and unless any populace is watchful could happen again. Remind us of one of the great mysteries of all time? The sometimes touted guardians of the Grail, what was taken away from their preceptory and where did they go? 

So for whatever your reasons are, just take a moment to remember. No matter what your thoughts on the nature of the Templars are, simply to remember their plight on this day is enough to keep the history alive for another year.

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