Tag Archives: Knights Templar

Almanac – March 18

1314 – Jacques de Molay, the 23rd and the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar,  burned at the stake.

Though little is known of his actual life and deeds except for his last years as Grand Master, he is the best known Templar, along with the Order’s founder and first Grand Master, Hugues de Payens (1070–1136). Jacques de Molay’s goal as Grand Master was to reform the Order, and adjust it to the situation in the Holy Land during the waning days of the Crusades.

 As European support for the Crusades had dwindled, other forces were at work which sought to disband the Order and claim the wealth of the Templars as their own. King Philip IV of France, deeply in debt to the Templars, had de Molay and many other French Templars arrested in 1307 and tortured into making false confessions.

When de Molay later retracted his confession, Philip had him slowly burned upon a scaffold on an island in the River Seine in Paris.  The sudden end of both the centuries-old order of Templars, and the dramatic execution of its last leader, turned de Molay into a legendary figure.

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1834 – Six farm labourers from Tolpuddle, Dorset –  The Tolpuddle Martyrs  –   were sentenced to be transported to Australia for forming a trade union. They  were a group of agricultural labourers who were arrested for and convicted of swearing a secret oath as members of the Friendly Society of Agricultural Labourers. The rules of the society show it was clearly structured as a friendly society and operated as a trade-specific benefit society.

 James Frampton, a local landowner, wrote to the Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne, to complain about the union, invoking an obscure law from 1797 prohibiting people from swearing oaths to each other, which the members of the Friendly Society had done.

James Brine, James Hammett, George Loveless, George’s brother James Loveless, George’s brother in-law Thomas Standfield, and Thomas’s son John Standfield were arrested, tried before Judge Baron John Williams in R v Lovelass and Others. They were found guilty, and transported to Australia.

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1877 – Edgar Cayce born.  American psychic who allegedly possessed the ability to answer questions on subjects such as healing and wars, and had visions of the world ending. He also gave a reading about Atlantis while in a hypnotic trance.

Cayce founded a nonprofit organization, the Association for Research and Enlightenment.Though Cayce himself was a member of the Disciples of Christ and lived before the emergence of the New Age Movement, some believe he was actually the founder of the movement and influenced its teachings.

Cayce became a celebrity toward the end of his life and he believed the publicity given to his prophecies overshadowed the more important parts of his work, such as healing the sick and studying religion.

Skeptics challenge Cayce’s alleged psychic abilities and traditional Christians also question his unorthodox answers on religious matters such as reincarnation and Akashic records. However others accept his abilities as “God-given”.

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Almanac – October 13

Fontanalia.  In ancient Roman religion, Fontus or Fons (plural Fontes, “Font” or “Source”) was a god of wells and springs. A religious festival called the Fontinalia was held on October 13 in his honor. Throughout the city, fountains and wellheads were adorned with garlands.

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54 – Nero ascends to the Roman throne.

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1244 – Jaques de Molay born. The 23rd and last Grand Master of the Knights Templar, leading the Order from 20 April 1292 until it was dissolved by order of Pope Clement V in 1307. Though little is known of his actual life and deeds except for his last years as Grand Master, he is the best known Templar, along with the Order’s founder and first Grand Master, Hugues de Payens

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1307 – Hundreds of Knights Templar in France were simultaneously arrested by agents of Phillip the Fair, to be later tortured into a “confession” of heresy. It was a Friday, leading some to hypothesize this to be the origins of the unlucky Friday 13th beliefs.

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1884 – Greenwich, in London, England, is established as Universal Time meridian of longitude.

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1917 – The “Miracle of the Sun” was witnessed by an estimated 70,000  people, who were gathered near Fátima, Portugal,  and claimed to have witnessed extraordinary solar activity. According to these reports, the event lasted approximately ten minutes. Three children also reported seeing a panorama of visions, including those of Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and of Saint Joseph blessing the people.
The event was officially accepted as a miracle by the Roman Catholic Church on 13 October 1930.

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1925 – Lenny Bruce born.  American comedian, social critic and satirist. He was renowned for his open, free-style, dangerous and critical form of comedy which integrated politics, religion, and sex. His tumultuous private life marked by substance abuse, promiscuity, as well as his efforts to prevent his wife from working as a stripper, make him a compelling figure, and he paved the way for future outspoken comedians. His trial for obscenity, in which – after being forced into bankruptcy – he was eventually found not guilty is seen as a landmark trial for freedom of speech.

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1940 – Pharoah Sanders born. American jazz saxophonist, once described by Ornette Coleman  as “probably the best tenor player in the world.”  Emerging from John Coltrane’s groups of the mid-1960s Sanders is known for his overblowing, harmonic, and multiphonic techniques on the saxophone, as well as his use of “sheets of sound”, and  is an important figure in the development of free jazz.

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