The Orders full name is The United Religious, Military and Masonic Orders of the Temple and of St John of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes and Malta and is a Masonic order commemorating the actions and history of the medieval Knights who were granted accommodation by King Baldwin 2nd in the Temple at Jerusalem in 1118. In return, the Knights served as protectors to those pilgrims who travelled to the holy land and became known as “the poor Knights of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon. This was later shortened to “Knights Templar”.
The Masonic order of Knights Templar can be traced back to the late 1700’s and our ceremonies depict the progress of a pilgrim in becoming a Knight of the Order and subsequently a Knight of Malta. There are two entry qualifications; Those of being a Royal Arch Companion and a Christian.
The Original military Order of Knights Templar was formed in 1119, at the time of the Crusades for the defence of Pilgrims travelling to the Holy Land from attacks by the Saracens, Members took vows of poverty, chastity and obedience and were given quarters in Jerusalem, thought to be on the site of King Solomon’s Temple, from which they derived their name. In time the Order became wealthy, and its riches excited the greed of King Phillip of France, who directed Pope Clement V to summon the Grand Master of the Order before him. Jacques de Molay came from Cyprus, and in 1340 he and 140 Templars were seized and thrown into prison. The Order was charged with the blackest of crimes, its property confiscated and given to the Hospitallers and a Papal Bull suppressed the Order in 1312. The history of modern Templars, and indeed the Order has been lost in obscurity but does not in any way form part of the practice of the original Knights Templar. Traces of the modern Order have been found back to 1769 and appeared in Massachusetts, USA by an Irish Lodge connected to the 29th Regiment stationed in Boston. The association with Ireland and Scotland was dissolved in 1895; both now have their own Great Priory.
There are two principle qualifications necessary to become a member: To profess the Trinitarian Christian faith, as the ceremony of Installation of a Knight and all meetings are conducted on the Gospel of St John 1 (the precepts of the Order are founded on the book of Ephesians Chapter 6) and also to be a Royal Arch Mason.
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