Most Masons coming to Templarly are accustomed to recieving Degrees, a Commandery of Knights Templar however confers Orders of Chivalry.
- Order of the Red Cross
- Order of Malta
- Order of the Temple
The Orders of the Knights Templar
In 1099 Jerusalem fell to Crusading Armies, resulting in mass pilgrimages of Europeans to Holy Land in the near East. Men, women and children pressed forward on their pilgrimage to the sacred city only to find that although Jerusalem was in Christian hands, the Moslems still controlled Palestine. The highways and byways leading to Jerusalem winding through Palestine were unprotected, leaving Pilgrims exposed to attack.
The stage was set for Templary.
In 1118, the Poor-Fellow Soldiers of Christ and the Temple of Solomon formed as a Monastic Order with a Rule written by Bernard of Clairvaux, to secure the way for Pilgrims to the Holy Land. Being Monks and Knights, the Templars became the first Warrior-Monks in the west
Skilled as warriors, taking vows of poverty and bravery (no Templar could retreat unless he was outnumbered 3-to-1), these Knights became heroes of Commoner and King alike. Their fame spread like wildfire. Rulers and Bishops hastened to identify themselves with Knights Templar, presenting gold and property to the Order to show their patronage and boost their own appeal.
Kings and aristocrats gave so much to the order in fact, that in 200 years Templars possessed greater land holdings, larger treasuries, and military power in Europe than in the Holy Land. In fact, they had more land, money, and military power than most of Europe and the Holy See combined.
Feared as warriors, renown for their charity, and pursued for growing wealth and power, it was only a matter of time until appeal of the Templar waned.
Perhaps for their wealth, or fear of their apparently limitless power and influence the Templars fell in 1307, the result of a conspiracy of the French King Phillip the Fair, and Pope Clement V. By 1324 the Templars all but ceased to exist with the death of their last Grand Master Jacques De Molay.
It is here that modern Masonic Templarly connects with historical Templarly. No direct, unbroken line of succession exists between historical and modern Masonic Templars. The earliest references to Masonic Knights Templar are no eariler than the 18th Century in England, usually associated with Antient or York Masons. Some Degrees of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry allude to legendary connection, but no historical connection can be made from these suggestions either.
However, a legendary and spiritual connection does exist. Templars were sworn Knights of Christ, marked by their discipline, dedication, lack of fear, unwavering faith, and their Charity to the pilgrims. Modern Templars seek to emulate these great principles as best demonstrated by Jacques De Molay, who was so intensely dedicated to his beliefs, and was so bound by Brotherhood, that he burned alive at the sake, rather than give in to the King of France and the Pope.