David Oscarson > Jacques de Molay

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David Oscarson Jacques Pens

On Friday the 13th of October, 1307, Grand Master Jacques de Molay of the Knights Templar, along with all locatable Templar Knights in France on that day, were arrested by Philip IV "the Fair" King of France. King Philip owed more money to the Templars than he could ever repay in his lifetime and he needed more. What better way to eradicate his debt than to discredit his creditors? He manufactured evidence that the Templars were heretics, sent it on to Pope Clement V, and handed the Templars over to the French branch of the Church of Rome's Inquisition. Meanwhile, Philip the Fair raided the Templar treasury office in Paris only to find the cupboards were bare.

De Molay was interrogated and tortured by the Inquisition for six and a half years. At the end he was offered a chance to make his confessions in public. Instead, he said, in part, the following:

"I think it only right that at so solemn a moment when my life has so little time to run I should reveal the deception which has been practiced and speak up for the truth. Other knights who have retracted their confessions have been led to the stake, yet the thought of dying is not so awful that I shall confess to foul crimes which have never been committed. Life is offered to me, but at the price of infamy. At such a price, life is not worth having."