The leader of the order, Jacques de Molay, was one of those who confessed to heresy, but later recanted.
He was burned at the stake in Paris in 1314, the same year that the Pope dissolved the order.
Jacques de Molay (est. 1244–5/1249–50 – 18 March 1314), a minor Burgundian noble, served as the 23rd and officially last Grand Master of the Knights Templar.
"It is just that, in so terrible a day, and in the last moments of my life, I should discover all the iniquity of falsehood, and make the truth triumph. I declare, then, in the face of heaven and earth, and acknowledge, though to my eternal shame, that I have committed the greatest crimes but it has been the acknowledging of those which have been so foully charged on the order. I attest - and truth obliges me to attest - that it is innocent! I made the contrary declaration only to suspend the excessive pains of torture, and to mollify those who made me endure them. I know the punishments which have been inflicted on all the knights who had the courage to revoke a similar confession; but the dreadful spectacle which is presented to me is not able to make me confirm one lie by another. The life offered me on such infamous terms I abandon without regret."
Reports say they were slowly roasted over a hot, smokeless fire prolonging their agony as their flesh slowly cooked and blackened. Jacques DeMolay insisted that his hands were not to be bound so that he could pray in his final moments and before he died he cursed both Philip and Pope Clement, summoning both of them to appear before God, the supreme judge, before the year was out. His last words were, "Let evil swiftly befall those who have wrongly condemned us - God will avenge us." Guy of Advernge is reported to have added, "I shall follow the way of my master as a martyr you have killed him. You have done and know not. God willing, on this day, I shall die in the Order like him."
The chilling irony of the conclusion of this story is that Jacques DeMolay's final words did, in fact, come true. Pope Clement V died only a month later on April 20th (he is suspected of having cancer of the bowel) and Philip IV was killed while on a hunting trip on November 29th 1314. True to the claim both men did indeed die within the year of Jacques DeMolay's own death.
Legend has it that during the days of the French Revolution, nearly 500 years after de Molay's death, an anonymous man from the crowd jumped onto the guillotine just as Louis XVI had been decapitated, dipped his hand in the king's blood, and cried: 'Jacques de Molay, tu es vengé!'
And with that the world changed forever as the myth of grandest conspiracy to free humanity from autocracy and church tyranny began and would influence European thought and politics for the last 700 years. The glorious myth of the a Knights Templar, you will of course remember them from the popular novel and movie; The DaVinci Code.
There’s considerable evidence to suggest Templars were forewarned of King Philip’s plans. Twenty Templar ships left France just days before Black Friday, according to Sinclair — some bound for Portugal and others for the Western Isles.
“Many historians believe that the vast treasure most certainly headed for Rosslyn — not directly, but it most certainly headed for Roslin” — a small town south of Edinburgh, Scotland, Sinclair said.
Rosslyn Chapel, a 15th century church designed by Knights Templar William Sinclair, may be where the Holy Grail and other treasures and documents were once stored — and perhaps still are, according to Sinclair.
His ancestors began building the chapel in 1446, just a year after a fire nearly devastated nearby Roslin Castle. Several caskets of documents and other treasures were allegedly spared from the fire, and those treasures may be buried in the crypt 40 feet below Rosslyn Chapel’s foundation, Sinclair said.
The magnificently-designed chapel took approximately 40 years to complete and the Sinclairs spent massive amounts of money during the process. Its location, which is remarkably close to another church, is more than a bit suspicious, according to Sinclair.
Why build a chapel so close to a church, he asked. There’s no reason, unless ….
“Rosslyn Chapel was not built as a place of worship. It was built as a repository for secrets,” Sinclair said. Evidence that the chapel is actually a reconstruction of the Temple of Herod only fuels the mystery.
“All the pillars are laid out to a precise plan according to ancient history,” according to Sinclair, and “the ritual references carved into the stone have been created as a clue for the individual who will one day unlock the mysteries of Rosslyn.”
Along with Friday the 13 the myth of the curse of the number 23, which was popularized by Robert Anton Wilson, was related to the Templars.
Jacques de Molay (est. 1244–5/1249–50 – 18 March 1314[), a minor Burgundian noble, served as the 23rd and officially last Grand Master of the Knights Templar.
Today that vengeance comes in the form of a Papal apology long lost now rediscovered.
It is interesting to note that while the Papacy redeemed the Templars 700 years ago after having first capitulated to King Phillip Le Bel's (the Fair) initial trumped up charges, the first historic case of McCarthyism, they lost the paper work. Ah bureaucracy, eh.
The new book, published by the Vatican's Secret Archive later this month, will reveal many of the centuries-old mysteries of the secretive group. Entitled Processus contra Templarios, the book is based on a scrap of parchment discovered in 2001 by Professor Barbara Frale while looking through the Vatican's secret collection.The irony is that while the Templars were charged with the crime of Catharism, a Gnostic heresy, they had evolved from the first crusade the Church launched which was not against Islam but against the Cathars. It was an unpopular crusade, with little support in France or Spain, but it lead to the creation of the inquisition. Over 200,000 were killed.
Known as the Chinon parchment, the document records the heresy hearings of the Templars before Pope Clement V and is understood to provide a full exoneration of the knights and their rituals and ceremonies.
Sodomy, blasphemy and witchcraft were among the crimes for which the warrior-monks of the Order of the Knights Templar were burnt at the stake. But almost 700 years after the pope dissolved their order, on October 25 the Vatican's Secret Archives are due to publish a book which promises to redeem their reputation - at least in the eyes of the church. "Among the charges brought against the Templars was that they had been 'seduced' by Islam and followed [the mediaeval heresy] Catharism - two incompatible elements," Franco Cardini a historian scheduled to take part at the book's presentation told Turin-based daily La Stampa. "Then again the lawyers representing the king of France did not need to build a coherent case," said Cardini, referring to the trials against the French Templars ordered in 1307 by King Philip IV, also known as Philip the Fair. "All that they were interested in was that the trials would appear credible before public opinion," Cardini added. With their power and wealth shrouded behind secretive rituals, the Templars had been the subject of many rumours, and Philip, who was heavily indebted to the order and needed money to finance his war with the English, relished the opportunity for a crackdown. Following the trials in France during which scores of confessions - many of them extracted through torture - of heresies committed by Templars were presented, Pope Clement V instructed Christian monarchs in Europe to arrest all Templars and seize their assets. Clement finally dissolved the order in 1312, but the myths surrounding the Templars have lived on, most recently in Dan Brown's best selling novel The Da Vinci Code and the Hollywood blockbuster based on it. The Vatican's book, Processus contra Templarios, or the Trial against the Templars, would appear to clear up at least one matter: that the Church could find no proof of the Templars' alleged heresies. It also suggests Clement, himself a Frenchman, was, as described on the Secret Archives' website, the victim of a "blackmail mechanism" put in place by Philip. The book is based on a parchment, the Act of Chinon, dated 1308 and discovered in 2001 in the Secret Archives, where it had been mislaid for centuries. In the Act of Chinon, Clement absolves the Templar leaders, while concluding that the order's initiation ceremony involving the "spitting on the cross", "denying Jesus" and the kissing of the lower back, navel and mouth of a fellow-Templar did not constitute serious blasphemy. The pontiff appears to have accepted the Templars' explanation that the initiation rite was supposed to simulate their humiliation at the hands of the Muslim Saracens - a throwback to the order's foundation following the first crusade to liberate the Holy Land. Still, with what the Vatican website describes as an "ambiguous compromise," Clement in 1312 "unable to oppose himself to the will" of Philip effectively ended all Templar activity.
There case is eerily reminiscent of the current state of emergency powers being used by the U.S. as it conducts its so called war on terror in the Middle East today.
The Templar Myth has been kept alive as part of the Protestant Reformation by the two branches of Freemasons (English Grand Lodge and the European Oriental Lodges) in their long standing battle with the Papacy.
The Templars' initiation ritual has been widely copied, most notably by the Freemasons, who have a title called "Order of the Knights Templar.
William T. Holcomb, 95, of Hendersonville died Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2007, at Beystone Health and Rehabilitation.
He was a native of Colorado Springs, Colo., the son of the late Trafford G. and Mattie L. Holcomb. He lived in Hendersonville since 1984. He married the late Irene Smith of Sterling County in 1933.
He was employed by Chevron for 36 years and worked in a number of states, with most of his career in refining and production of asphalt products. For a number of years he was refinery manager in Baltimore and later became the manager of manufacturing in the eastern United States and Canada.
He was active in the Masonic organization. He was a past master in Maryland, a member of Kedron Lodge in Hendersonville, Oasis Shrine Temple, and a member of the Hendersonville Shrine Club. In 1977, when living in Arizona, he was invested with the DeMolay Legion of Honor. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Hendersonville.
The fact is that the Order of the Poor Knights of Jerusalem were the first independent military order and co-fraternity that allowed those excommunicated to join. Thus King Phillip could accuse them of harbouring Cathars.
They were independent of the Church per se answerable to their Grand Master only, and under Papal dispensation. Their oath of poverty was to hold all lands, and vassals as common property of the order. They owned farms, had their own towns, and had thousands of people in their employ. They also owned ships and thus were in competition with the Italians for shipping from Europe to the Holy Lands.
They created the first banking operation seen in Europe, by use of a traveling script that allowed Christians traveling to the holy lands to deposit their monies and valuables in a Templar Church in their home country and able to retrieve their value in any Templar Church along the way or finally in the Holy Lands for a service fee, since interest was seen as usury.
There lands and churches were the source of capital Phillip needed for his bankrupt regime. In London the City of London, its banking and economic capital, was founded upon the Templars London Temple.
Some of the Templars' lands in London were later rented to lawyers, which led to the names of Temple Bar gate and Temple Tube station.
The Templars were the historical beginning of the decline of feudalism and the rise of capitalism in Europe. They were the model for primitive accumulation of capital, armed mercenaries and mercantile bankers. The end of the crusades opened Europe up to international trade and within one hundred years, the beginning of the first stock exchange based on the shipping lanes used during the crusades.
See my paper:
The Fraternal Origins of Working Class Organizations In the Transition from Feudalism to Capitalism
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