Long before the Friday sales and the advent of commercialism everywhere, before the “first” Thanksgiving in America, and even before the first gift-giving celebration of Christ’s Mass in the Middle Ages, there was Black Friday, also known as Friday the 13th. How the day became a commercial success despite being based on historical events scarier and more monstrous than those caused by Jason Voorhees is beyond me.
The origin of Black Friday and its correspondence to Friday the 13th are both still speculated, but we as Free and Accepted Masons are taught and informed by Masonic tradition that symbols do not always carry with them the same meaning for everyone. Gleaning the Wikipedia page for Friday the 13th (Black Friday) shows us that people disagree. Regardless of other possibilities, we know the truth, at least our “truth.”
On Friday the 13th day of October in the year of our lord 1307 (5307 A.L.), the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon (Pauperes commilitones Christi Templique Salomonici Hierosolymitanis) or simply Knights Templar were arrested on trumped up charges by King Philip the Fair (who was certainly anything but) of France and his puppet pope in Avignon, Clement V. Although many Templars escaped arrest and fled to places like Spain and Scotland, their Grand Master, Jacques de Molay (Jacobus Burgundus de Molay), was arrested, tortured, and forced to confess to charges of heresy, homosexuality, corruption, fraud, and secrecy.
Although there was no truth to the charges, the Templars were disbanded and their holdings (or what could be recovered) went to the empty pockets of King Philip the Fair. Yes, the king was so broke after waging war on England with borrowed money from the Templars, he decided that the only means to clear his debt was to plunder their wealth. With the blessing of the Pope through his papal bull Pastoralis Praeeminentiae nine days later, the Christian monarchs cleaned out the Templars and seized the Templar treasures in their regions.
So, Black Friday was a day when Independent Banks were robbed by the Church and Government, and today we celebrate by going out after Thanksgiving dinner with family and purchasing (fighting over) brand new TVs we don’t need… symbols do not always carry with them the same meaning for everyone.
HAPPY BLACK FRIDAY EVERYONE! TODAY I’M STAYING HOME!
Sincerely & fraternally yours,
Jaredus Chapmonius de Claremona