On the 16th June 1291, marked the end of a Christian presence, in the shape of Crusader’s and Knights Templar in the Holy Land.
The order of the Knights Templar, which had been created to offer protection to pilgrims, left the Holy Land, bound for Cyprus and France.
These pilgrims bound for the Holy Land, to walk in the steps, once trodden by Jesus, were left to the mercy of bandits.
The Knights Templar grew apart from the Catholic Church’s teaching, beliefs and practices.
The war in the Holy Land, had stretched France’s finances, whilst the Knights Templar, had seen theirs grow strength to strength, in property, land and wealth.
France’s finances were under direct control of the Templar’s, making France dependent on them.
Rumours circulated, by the King of France Philip IV, that these Templar’s were devil worshippers. If proven, Philip IV would have been able to seize their wealth, and take control of France’s finances.
It wasn’t long, before King Philip IV and Pope Clement V, came to the conclusion that these Templar’s, were set on changing the political and religious landscape across Europe.
Orders were issued, that on the 13th October 1307, the King’s men were to carry out arrests, and seize the assets of this decadent and treacherous order.
News must have leaked out; for on the 11th October 1307, twenty-four knights took a fleet of eighteen Templar ship’s from LaRochelle, laden with the bulk of the Templar’s wealth; gold and silver bullion, crown jewels of European countries, sacred artefacts, manuscripts etc.
Some accounts believe they headed towards Scotland, then on to Canada or America, but her final destination was unknown … there are even suggestions, that some Templar’s took their share, and created the land we now know as Switzerland. As the treasure moved around, over the centuries, so it grew.
Although Philip IV had succeeded in grabbing the Templar’s land and property, he did not find a single cent or coin of their fabulous wealth.
By order of Philip IV of France, in October of 1307, any Templar found within French lands, would be arrested, sentenced to trial, on charges of homosexual activity and the worshipping of idols etc. If found guilty, would be burnt at the stake.
In November 1307, orders were sent out by Pope Clement V, across the lands of Europe, that these Templar’s were to be arrested on sight.
In the March of 1312, Pope Clement V dissolved the Knights Templar. Yet a question has never been resolved, were they guilty of their crimes or not, for they had been tortured, for a yes against the crimes.
Jacques de Molay, the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar, was burned at the stake, on charges of heresy on the 18th March 1314. He cried out to his God, that Pope Clement V and King Philip IV, his accusers, should join him.
Thirteen months after his persecutors had condemned him to death, his curse became a reality.
Pope Clement V was attacked violently by bouts of dysentery, and quickly sent to his grave. His dead body was moved to Carpentras, where the court of Rome resided at that time. His body was placed in a church, which caught fire, and the mortal remains of the pontiff were almost consumed by fire.
He had accrued a vast amount of money and treasure during his lifetime, which had been deposited in a church in Lucca for safe keeping. Whilst his relations quarrelled over his legacy and their rights, it was stolen.
In the very same year, Philip IV of France died of a disease which baffled his doctors. Phillip blamed this disease upon the individual, whose information led to the arrest of the Templar’s. Philip’s informer was hanged. Philip’s last days, were that of an embittered leader. He even accused the wives of his three sons with adultery.