The Powerful Curse of Jacques de Molay, the Last Grand Master of Templars
A Curse Which Scared All of Europe
While burning on the pyre, De Molay cursed King Philip IV of France, his descendants, Pope Clement V, and everyone else who supported his death. De Molay said that within a year and a day, Clement V and Philip IV would die. He also said Philip's bloodline would reign in France no more
Templars burned at the stake. ( Public Domain )
It happened as De Molay wished for, and death came for Clement first. He lost a battle with a damaging disease on April 20, 1314. Shortly after the Pope, Philip died of a stroke while hunting. A tragic death was also the destiny for all of Philip’s successors. Between 1314 and 1328 all three sons and grandsons of the French king died. Within fourteen years from the death of De Molay the House of Caped no longer existed - after it had stood for 300 years.
Portrait of Pope Clement V, Avignon, France. ( Public Domain )
Was the curse by De Molay real? Or did his Knights accomplish the revenge of the Grand Master? The story of the last Grand Master and his horrible curse became a shock in all of the European courts. It also ruined the politics of France because some of the rulers were afraid of collaboration with the cursed royal family.
Inspiration By the Curse
This story became a main topic of the famous series of historical novels by Maurice Druon ( The Accursed Kings ). The books were published in the years 1955 and 1977, and depict the reality of the times of De Molay. They were also adapted into several movies and television miniseries.
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In September 2001, Barbara Frale, an Italian Paleographer at the Vatican Secret Archives discovered a document known as the Chinon Parchment . It claims that in 1208 Pope Clement V absolved Jacques De Molay and the rest of the leadership of the Knights Templar from charges brought against the Inquisition. Six years later, the Vatican published the document as a limited edition of 800 copies.
In June 2011, Pope Benedict XVI apologized for the killing of De Molay and acknowledged that he was a victim of false accusations. Centuries after the tragedy took place, the Vatican admitted that the pope had supported the murders, although the Templars weren't guilty.
Featured image: The execution Jacques de Molay. Source: Public Domain
M. Barber, The New Knighthood: A History of the Order of the Temple, 1994.
M. Barber, The Trial of the Templars, 2001.
H. Nicholson, The Knights Templar: A New History, 2001.
A. Demurger, Jakub de Molay. Zmierzch templariuszy, 2012.