Secret Societies: Knights Templar

Name of Organization: Knights Templar

Date of Origin: 1199 AD – 1314

Historic Significance: Crusades from 1095 – 1314

Motto: Not for self, but for God

Founders: Christian French knight Hugues de Payens & his relative Godfrey de Saint-Omer

Work: Western Christian military order said to be nine in number at the beginning– had the mandate of protecting Christian pilgrims who were en route to the Holy Land to visit the shrines sacred to their faith.

Somewhere between the years of AD 1118 – 1120, King Baldwin II granted the group quarters in a wing of the Royal Palace on the Temple Mount (the Al Aqsa Mosque).

End: King Philip IV had the Templars arrested on October 13, 1307 for becoming corrupt, misusing their wealth and power, and for blasphemy.

In 1312 the Templars were officially dissolved by Pope Clement V at the Council of Vienne. Although the Templars were not found guilty of the crimes they were charged with, it was felt that the reputation of the Order had fallen to so low a state as to warrant dissolving the Order.

On March 18th, 1314 the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar, Jacques de Molay, was burned at the stake, for having recanted his earlier confessions of guilt.

The remaining Knights Templar after the suppression joined the Hospitallers and changed the naming to Knights of Rhodes or also known as Knights of Malta* which still exist until today as a philanthropic organization that focuses on medical assistance.

(*) Information about the Knights of Malta are given in a previous post.