In 2012, Friday the thirteenth occurs three times, thirteen weeks apart. Weird.
There are many theories about the origins of superstitions about Friday the Thirteenth.
One theory, recently offered up as historical fact in the novel The Da Vinci Code, holds that the stigma came about because of a catastrophe, a single historical event that happened nearly 700 years ago.
That event was the decimation of the Knights Templar, the legendary order of “warrior monks” formed during the Christian Crusades to combat Islam. Renowned as a fighting force for 200 years, by the 1300s the order had grown so pervasive and powerful it was perceived as a political threat by kings and popes alike and brought down by a church-state conspiracy.
Allegedly, on October 13, 1307, officers of King Philip IV of France carried out mass arrests in a well-coordinated dawn raid that left several thousand Templars — knights, sergeants, priests, and serving brethren — in chains, charged with heresy, blasphemy, various obscenities, and homosexual practices.
None of these charges was ever proven, even in France — and the Order was found innocent elsewhere — but in the seven years following the arrests, hundreds of Templars suffered excruciating tortures intended to force “confessions,” and more than a hundred died under torture or were executed by burning at the stake.
Yes, that was a very bad day for the Templars.
Speaking of Templars, just a few miles south of Edinburgh, Scotland, stands one of the most ornately-carved 15th century medieval stone chapels in all of Europe. Perhaps you have visited Rosslyn Chapel, seen it featured in numerous TV documentaries, or heard of it from books like The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail or The Hiram Key. The enigmatic symbolism of Rosslyn’s carvings—from the Green Man to the famed Apprentice Pillar—continue to intrigue many today.
Rosslyn Chapel has been the focus of many a special Quest throughout the centuries, and is thought to hold a number of long lost secrets. It is believed by many to house everything from the Ark of the Covenant, the mummified head of Christ, the Holy Grail, a Black Madonna, lost scrolls from the Temple of Jerusalem, the treasures of the Knights Templar, and much more, deep within its vaults. For years many have speculated about what -if anything- may have been hidden at Rosslyn, who put it there, and why. Others remain sceptical, saying that until the vaults are actually excavated, no one can say for sure. There have been many theories about the chapel and the secrets it may hold, from sober analysis to wild speculation. History, myth and legend seem to be all intertwined when dealing with a subject as complex as Rosslyn.
Rosslyn Chapel has presented another mystery as builders discovered a 600-year-old bee hive built into the stones. The 15th Century Midlothian chapel is undergoing a £13million preservation exercise at the moment.
The hive said to be “unprecedented” was found during dismantling of a rooftop pinnacle.
The bees entered the hive through a hole in a carved flower crafted by the chapel’s master stone masons.
Malcolm Mitchell, of Page Park Architects, said: “What you find at Rosslyn is there are so many irregularities and nuances in the stone work and it’s as if the stone masons are teasing us from the past.
“These hives were never intended to be a source of honey.”
No one really knows why the chapel had built-in bee hives but the insects have been sacred going back to Egyptian times.