Today is Friday the 13th day of this month! For a number of the early years of my life, my identical twin brother, Alex, and myself were terrified whenever the 13th fell on a Friday. For a long time we somehow assumed the dread of many others and believed that the worst fate always occurred when this happened. There were simply no reasons to believe anything different.
Funny, the 13th day of any month was never considered unfortunate or unlucky. It was only when the 13th day fell on a Friday that the feeling of doom and gloom emerged. Twin and I didn’t realize this until much later in our lives.
It was during our world history class when we were in secondary school that we learned of the supposedly real causes of the dread over Friday the 13th. The reasons were almost as numerous as the double-digit numeral itself!
The avoidance and dread of the number 13 is traceable back to the days of the Roman Empire. This number was often associated with death, destruction and misfortune. Our history teacher taught us this but never, as best we can remember, ever disclosed the basis of this association.
The Roman Empire was succeeded by the rise of the Christian religion which continued the evil legacy of the number 13. First, was the popular myth that Adam and Eve, the rumored first beings of humanity, were cast out of the Garden of Eden on Friday the 13th. How this thought evolved remains unclear.
Another myth surrounding the number 13 is the implication that the 13th participant in the Last Supper ritual with Jesus and his disciples was Judas Iscariot, who later betrayed Jesus.
A popular theory on the dreaded date of Friday the 13th often stems from the demise and dissolution of the Knights Templar. The Templars were a Roman Catholic monastic military order founded during the Crusades to protect the believers travelling to the Holy Land once Jerusalem was captured by the Christians. The Knights Templar grew in power and wealth and eventually became lenders of wealth to not only governments but also to royals.
The Knights success lasted for a couple of centuries until King Philip IV of France was faced with an immense debt to the order but lacked the funds to even begin to pay it back. So instead of attempting to honor his debt, he turned to blasphemy and slander and began to campaign against the Knights Templar, their leadership and their good name. Some of the accusations against the Knights Templar included Satanic worship, unfair lending practices, deceit, and same gender sexual (gay) practices. He began the imprisonment of the Knights Templar and their public executions on Friday, October 13, 1307.
The Friday the 13th trivia testimonial of the bare twins: Alex and Roger!