January 13, 2008

Knights Templar: The Army of God

Posted in English at 12:30 pm by Rou...

Led by the Frenchman Hughes de Payens, a military order named the “Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon”; commonly known as the “Knights Templar” or the “Order of the Temple” was founded in 1118. Its self-imposed mission was to protect Christian pilgrims on their way to the Holy Land during the Crusades. The Templars took their name from the location of their headquarters, at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.

 

For a while, the Templars had only nine members, mostly due to their rigid rules. In addition to having noble birth, the knights were required to take strict vows of poverty, obedience and chastity. In 1127, new promotional efforts convinced many more noblemen to join the order, gradually increasing its size and influence, and in early 1128, Pope Honorius II granted the Templars’ order a papal sanction, declaring it to be an army of God. 

 

By the time the Crusades ended unsuccessfully in the early 14th century, the order had grown extremely wealthy from the lands gifts and other valuables they have received from supporting Christians for years, which consequently provoked the jealousy of both religious and secular powers, and eventually led to its dissolution in 1312 by Pope Clement V.

 

Over the centuries, myths and legends about the Templars have grown, including the belief that they may have discovered holy relics at Temple Mount, including the Holy Grail, the Ark of the Covenant or parts of the cross from Christ’s crucifixion. The imagined secrets of the Templars have inspired various books and movies, including the blockbuster novel “The Da Vinci Code”. 

 

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knights_Templar

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=VideoArticle&id=52342

 

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