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KNIGHTS TEMPLAR


The Order of the Temple was founded in 1120 by King Baldwin II of Jerusalem and Warmund, Patriarch of Jerusalem, accepting the suggestion of the French knight Hugues de Payens.

The official name was Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon (Pauperes commilitones Christi Templique Salomonici), commonly known as Knights Templar or Templars.

The Knights Templar took part in many battles during the Crusades:

Siege of Ascalon (1153),

Battle of Montgisard (1177),

Battle of Marj Ayyun (1179),

Battle of Hattin (1187),

Siege of Acre (1190–1191),

Battle of Arsuf (1191),

Siege of Al-Dāmūs (1210),

Battle of Legnica (1241),

Siege of Acre (1291).


At dawn on Friday, October 13, 1307, King Philip IV of France ordered the arrest of the Templars.

Pope Clement V issued the papal bull Pastoralis Praeeminentiae on November 22, 1307.

The last Grand Master of the Knights Templar, Jacques de Molay, was considered heretic and burned alive on March 18, 1314, in Île aux Juifs, a small island in the Seine near Notre Dame de Paris.


The cardinals dallied with their duty until 18 March 1314, when, on a scaffold in front of Notre Dame, Jacques de Molay, Templar Grand Master, Geoffroi de Charney, Master of Normandy, Hugues de Peraud, Visitor of France, and Godefroi de Gonneville, Master of Aquitaine, were brought forth from the jail in which for nearly seven years they had lain, to receive the sentence agreed upon by the cardinals, in conjunction with the Archbishop of Sens and some other prelates whom they had called in.

Considering the offences which the culprits had confessed and confirmed, the penance imposed was in accordance with rule that of perpetual imprisonment.

The affair was supposed to be concluded when, to the dismay of the prelates and wonderment of the assembled crowd, De Molay and Geoffroi de Charney arose.

They had been guilty, they said, not of the crimes imputed to them, but of basely betraying their Order to save their own lives.

It was pure and holy; the charges were fictitious and the confessions false.

Hastily the cardinals delivered them to the Prevot of Paris, and retired to deliberate on this unexpected contingency, but they were saved all trouble.

When the news was carried to Philippe he was furious.

A short consultation with his council only was required.

The canons pronounced that a relapsed heretic was to be burned without a hearing; the facts were notorious and no formal judgment by the papal commission need be waited for.

That same day, by sunset, a pile was erected on a small island in the Seine, the Ile des Juifs, near the palace garden.

There de Molay and de Charney were slowly burned to death, refusing all offers of pardon for retraction, and bearing their torment with a composure which won for them the reputation of martyrs among the people, who reverently collected their ashes as relics.


According to a legend, Jacques de Molay said from the flames:

"Dieu sait qui a tort et a péché. Il va bientot arriver malheur à ceux qui nous ont condamnés à mort."

"God knows who is wrong and has sinned. Soon a calamity will occur to those who have condemned us to death."

Pope Clement V died a month later, and King Philip IV of France died eight months later.