The knights templar, or knights of the temple as they are also known, were a religious and military order created during the first crusade to protect Christian pilgrims in the Holy Land. The knights were the defenders of christendom against the infidels. They quickly became an important force on the battlefield and their fame spread throughout Europe with stories about them fighting bravely against Muslims armies. The knights were the defenders of christendom against the infidels. They stood as a bulwark between Islam and Christianity, but they failed to live up to their own standards.
SAt this point in time, Clement V, the new Pope of the Catholic Church, had developed a working relationship with the King of France. The policy of the knights was to only engage in combat on behalf of Christ and not in wars for secular interests like owning land or procuring wealth. This policy attracted knights who were not interested in war or fighting for material gain. They merely sought to serve God by defending His church. For this reason, Jacques de Mollay was summoned to appear before the Papal court at Avignon (near Marseilles).
The knights were ordered to disband their armies and turn over all of their wealth. Their vast land holdings in Europe would be seized by the crown, but members could retain some property as long as they swore an oath on holy relics never again take up arms against Muslims or Christians.
A month earlier, secret documents had been sent by couriers throughout France. The papers included lurid details and whispers of black magic and scandalous sexual rituals. King Philip IV of France, an avaricious monarch who in the preceding years had launched attacks on the Lombards (a powerful banking group) and France’s Jews (who he expelled to confiscate their property for his depleted coffers), sent the documents.
Following Friday’s event, over 600 Templars were arrested including Grand Master Jacques de Molay and the Order’s treasurer.While some of the leaders of this organization were caught, so also were many other members. These members do not fight and they help with things like banking and farming. The men were charged with a wide array of offenses including heresy, devil worship and spitting on the cross, homosexuality, fraud and financial corruption.
The Templars were kept in isolation, fed meager rations eaten on the cold stone floor of their cells. Nearly all were brutally tortured--most died there either from their wounds or due to starvation, exposure, or devouring humble grains while still alive and before the common medieval tortures "strapdo" Given the conditions, it was not surprising when within weeks hundreds of Templars confessed to false charges.
When Pope Clement V was told, he reacted with horror.Clement issued an order for Western kings to arrest Templars living in their lands.Few people followed the pope's request. But the French Templars had already been sentenced. By the end of the 13th century, their territories had been confiscated and distributed to another order, the Hospitallers (Although greedy Philip did get his hands on some money he desired, the Knights Templar Order still fell.)
While the Knights Templar were officially dissolved in 1312, their order endured less than a year longer. On March 18th of 1314, Grand Master Jacques de Molay and hundreds of other Templars met their end in burning fire under the orders of King Philip IV, leaving behind them, Friday the 13th as a Doom's Day!
The Knights Hospitaliers (Latin: Ordo Fratrum Hospitalis Sancti Ioannis Hierosolymitani) was a medieval and early modern Catholic military order. The Knights Templar was headquartered in Jerusalem from 1188 to 1291, on Rhodes Island from 1310 to 1522, in Malta between 1530 and 1798, and at Saint Petersburg between 1799 and 1801. All of the Old Town buildings of that period such as Forts, Moats, Towers, Walls & Castles were built by the Order of the Knights of the St.John, or the Hospitaliers.
In the medieval era, there was a legend about dragons and Grand Master Dieudonné de Gozon. The article will explore how these legends were born and why they may have been created in this time period. Click here to enjoy a short trip to the Medieval Ages!