Number 13 in Christianity
Our Lady of Fatima
May 13, 1917, three young children claimed they had seen and spoken to Our Lady of Fatima (Our Lady of Fatima is the title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary), in Fatima, Portugal. She is also called “Our Lady of the Rosary”.
They were told she would return on the 13th day for six months.
On October 13th 1917 over 70 000 people were gathered in Fatima, waiting to witness the return of the Virgin Mary.
They call that day “The Miracle of the Sun”. A chapel has been built at the place where Fatima apparitions were reported.
Today pilgrims visit Fatima all year and up to a million pilgrims visit Fatima on May 13th and October 13th of every year.
The picture to the left was taken on October 13, 1917.
The picture of the three children: Lúcia Santos, Jacinta and Francisco Marto.
December 13th is the day of the Saint Lucia (Saint Lucy) celebration.
It is very popular in Scandinavia.
A young girl will dress up as Lucia wearing a white robe and a crown with candles on her head.
A special Lucia song is sung and saffron buns (some use turmeric) are eaten called “Lussekatter”.
Number Thirteen in the Bible
Apostle Paul – Thirteen Epistle
Thirteen epistles/letters in the New Testament are traditionally attributed to the Apostle Paul.
Romans – First Corinthians – Second Corinthians – Galatians- Ephesians – Philippians – Colossians – First Thessalonians – Second Thessalonians – First Timothy – Second Timothy – Titus – Philemon
Painting: Apostle Paul by Rembrandt In Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.
In the Bible the thirteenth year was the year of rebellion; “Twelve years they had served Chedor-lao’mer, but in the thirteenth year they rebelled.” Genesis 14:4
King Solomon spent 13 years building his own house (palace) before it was finished. 1 King 7:1
Ishmael, the first son of Abraham was thirteen years old when he was circumcised.
“And Ishmael was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin.” Genesis 17:25.
Ishmael and Hagar were sent away by Sarah and Abraham. The story of Ishmael is important in Islam. Se number 7.
Number 13 in The Book of Esther
The number 13 certainly was bad news for the Jews according to the book of Esther.
The wicked Haman was determined to execute all the Jews in the country.
With this gruesome proposal it is no wonder Esther is highly admired and celebrated every year during the feast of Purim.
“Then the king’s secretaries were summoned on the thirteenth day of the first month, and an edict, according to all that Haman all that Haman commanded, was written to the king’s satraps … it was written in the name of King Abasue’rus and sealed with the kings ring.” Esther 3:12
“Letters were sent by couriers to all the king’s provinces, to destroy, to slay, and to annihilate all Jews, young old, women and children, in one day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month… and to plunder their goods.” Esther 3:13
The Last Supper
The last meal Jesus had with his disciples is probably the most shared explanation why the number 13 is considered unlucky.
The story is told in Matthew chapter 26, Mark chapter 14, Luke chapter 22 and John chapter 13.
Thirteen people were seated at the table; the twelve disciples and Jesus. During the meal Jesus made a statement implying that one person at the table would betray him.
“He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.” John 13:18
Simon Peter asks who the person is. Jesus answered “It is he to whom I shall give this morsel when I have dipped it”. “So then he dipped the morsel and gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot.
Then after the morsel, Satan entered into him” John 13:26-27
Judas leaves the dinner table. He does betray Jesus. This happened on a Thursday. The next day Jesus was crucified on the cross.
This last meal is when the Eucharist (Holy Communion) was instituted by Jesus.
Judas regretted his actions. He went to Temple with the 30 pieces of silver he had received and then he hung himself.
The 30 pieces of silver was considered blood money by the chief priest and could therefore not be put in the treasury.
The money was used to buy a field to bury strangers in. The field became known as the “Field of Blood”.
Revelation Chapter 13
It may just be a coincidence, but it is Revelation chapter 13 we find the infamous passage about the number of the beast; 666. The whole chapter describes the details and consequences of the two beasts. The last verses of the chapter reveal the number.
“Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has that mark, that is the name of the beast or the number of its name.
This calls for wisdom: let him who has understanding reckon the number of the beast, for it is a human number, its number is six hundred and sixty-six.” Revelation 13:16-18
In Roman numerals the number 666 is written DCLXVI. This makes a neat pattern in a similar way as the number 123456 makes a pattern.