Ark of the Covenant

Ark of the Covenant

Ark of the Covenant

One of the most legendary objects in religious history, has to be the “Ark of the Covenant.”  Housed within a wooden box and overlaid with pure gold, containing the “Ten Commandments,” inscribed upon stone tablets.

  • It is believed the Ark, is responsible for bringing victory during battles.
  • Bestowing blessings upon worthy recipients.
  • Sending plagues down upon enemies.

The Ark of the Covenant, stand’s for God’s communion with Moses, when he led out the Israelites, to their own land.

King David conquered Jerusalem in 993 BC, and his son Solomon, built a temple to his God, between 958-951BC.  Solomon’s temple housed the Ark of the Covenant: A wooden casket covered in gold, holding the Ten Commandments, which God gave to Moses on Mount Sinai.

Jerusalem and the history of the Jewish people, play a significant part in their religion.  For it is written in their writings that Abraham would prove himself to God, by sacrificing his own son; Isaac.  God stepped in, and sent a Ram, for Isaac to use, for sacrificial purposes.

Solomon’s Temple was built by Phoenician craftsmen.  The inner walls lined in gold, with marble blocks and fine emeralds adorning the temple.

Rehoboam became King of Israel as successor to his father; King Solomon.  Shishak, the Egyptian king ransacked Solomon’s Temple in the fifth year of Rehoboam’s reign.

In 586 BC, the Babylonians completely destroyed Solomon’s Temple.

A second temple was built upon the site, between 535-515 BC.

Over the next 470 years, Persian rule gave way to the Greeks, then the Romans, with Herod the Great as its ruler.  In 20 BC Herod introduced courts and walls to Solomon’s second temple.

In 70 AD, Jews revolted against the Romans, and General Titus (Caesar) besieged the city and burnt the temple to the ground.

In the year 691, a shrine was built upon the site; “Dome of the Rock.”  By 715, the Al-Aqsa mosque was built alongside and destroyed by earthquakes over the next 300 years.  By 1035 a new mosque was constructed, and in 1118 became the headquarters of the Knights Templar (Holy Warriors) in the Holy Land.

The Knights Templar, dug deep tunnels underneath the Temple, as they sought out religious treasures and the fabled prize of all, “Ark of the Covenant,” one of the most important religious artefacts of all time.

Bas-Relief of the Ark

A bas-relief depicting the “Ark” can be found at Chartres Cathedral in France.  One has to ask, does the Ark of the Covenant, still remain within the Cathedral?

Claims were made by Louis Charpentier (20th century French author) that the original nine members of the Knights Templar, possibly discovered the “Ark” early on in the order’s history, whilst digging under Temple Mount.

A pillar, part of Chartres Cathedral, known as the Portal of the Initiates, features a carving of the Ark upon a wheeled cart.

What could this mean, and many historians have put forward their own interpretations:

The Templars discovered the Ark in Jerusalem, and moved it to France, coinciding with the construction of Chartres Cathedral.  When news of the Templar’s impending arrest in the 14th century leaked out, the Ark was moved from France to Scotland.

Louis Charpentier published: Les Mysteres de la Cathedrale de Chartres (The Mysteries of Chartres Cathedral) in France of 1966.

Knights Templar: Joseph of Arimathea

joseph-of-arimathea

Joseph of Arimathea

Written within the Gospel of St.John, Joseph of Arimathea is referred to as a secret disciple of Jesus.  This Jewish merchant, one of wealth and power in the community, may have been related to Jesus.

The body of Jesus was wrapped in a shroud, following his crucifixion, and placed in a tomb also supplied by Joseph.

What we know of Romans isn’t it more likely the Romans would have left the body of Jesus upon the cross, to rot, food for the birds.  They were known to crucify or hang prisoners by the roadside, as a warning to others, like those in the film (Spartacus).

Therefore, Joseph of Arimathea, must have carried much respect of the Romans to have been received by the then Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate, and granted permission to move the body.

The Templar’s believed it was Joseph of Arimathea who collected the blood of Jesus as he hung upon the cross, in a chalice, now known as the Holy Grail.

When it was discovered that the body of Jesus had disappeared, Joseph was thought to have hidden him, but we know different, for Jesus had risen from the dead.  As for Joseph he along with the Holy Grail were flung into jail for many years.

Upon his release by Emperor Vespasian, Joseph of Arimathea, this disciple of Jesus, travelled to England, spreading the gospel on route.  His final destination being Avalon, now known as Glastonbury, and it is said he baptised thousands of sinners.

The Holy Grail was buried in the grounds of Avalon (Glastonbury), and marked by a staff, from which grew the Glastonbury Thorn.

I sometimes wonder, whether the Knights Templar were keepers of sacred relics, or nothing more than treasure hunters.

If one looks at Rosslyn Chapel, and observes the gargoyle of a knight holding a chalice, and the Templar warriors located in the crypt with their treasures.  Whatever they found was so sacred to them, it was not for sharing.

(Image) Joseph of Arimathea: Catholic Saints

Knights Templar: Switzerland

switzerland-map

Is there any connection between Knights Templar and Switzerland?

The “Old Swiss Confederation” was born on the 1st August 1291.

In 1280, the French Monarchy was in conflict with the Templar’s, so it was inevitable issues would come to a head.

The Templar’s headquarters in the city of Troyes in France was lost, when the region had come under the control of the French Crown.

The Templars must have got wind, of possible actions being put in place by King Philip IV of France.  Twenty-four hours before the arrest of Jacques de Molay on the 13th October 1307, a fleet of Templar ships sailed from the French port of La Rochelle, laden with treasure and knights.

Knight Templar Ships

Templar Fleet

The French Monarchy, who had expected to confiscate Templar treasure, found empty store houses… it had sailed away from France under the cover of darkness, destination unknown.

When the order went out by the Pope, that all Templar knights were to be arrested.  Thousands were rounded up and arrested on charges of heresy and burnt at the stake, whilst other’s dispersed across Europe, seeking sanctuary.  Some escaped to Spain, joining up with the Caltrava and Alcantra, some moved to Portugal and took on a new name; the Order of Christ.  Others joined the Teutonic knights of Germany, and some joined the Hospitallers, the stepping stone to the Knights of Malta.

knights-templar-2a

Knights Templar

Some Templar knights landed in Scotland and were granted sanctuary by Robert the Bruce.  These knights took up arms and joined Robert the Bruce in his fight against the English, for Scotland’s Independence.  Rosslyn Chapel, home of the Sinclair knights, members of the Templar order.  These warriors were buried along with their treasure in the crypt of the chapel.

With Switzerland located over the border to the east of France.  Hundreds of Knights Templar would have easily slipped across the border with their treasures, into this newly formed country.

The main income of Switzerland was farming… it was a poor country, ripe for a takeover.

In 1315, Duke Leopold of Habsburg attacked several hundred men with his force of 2,000 knights and 9,000 foot soldiers… expecting little resistance.

He was in for a surprise, as the Swiss possessed a new weapon, the “Halberd” which was mounted on a long pole, capable of bringing down horses and used like a lance.  Leopold lost almost 2,000 warriors that day, and was forced to retreat.

halbard-switzerland

Halberd

Therefore in my opinion a primitive farming country had received outside assistance, enabling them to protect their lands from invading warriors.

The only answer that made sense, Templar Knights had escaped from France, crossed the border into Switzerland and granted sanctuary, bringing with them their military expertise and Templar treasure… buying their way into this new country.

The Templar’s were Europe’s bankers from the 11th – 14th century, now the largest banking and financial institutions of Europe are located in Switzerland.

Pope Julius II called upon Helvetian soldiers in 1506, these mercenaries who would shape Italy’s future, and were granted the title “Defenders of the Church’s Freedom.”

On the 22nd January 1506, one hundred and ninety-nine years after the arrest of Jacques de Molay in France, the Vatican created the Pontifical Swiss Guard.

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The Vatican’s Swiss Guard

One hundred and fifty Swiss soldiers under the command of Captain Kasparvon Silenen of Canton Uri, passed through the Vatican and were blessed by Pope Julius II.

switzerland-flag

Flag of Switzerland

The famous cross associated with the Knights Templar, is incorporated into the flag of Switzerland.

Wikipedia Images

 

 

Richard and the Battle of Acre

acre-mass-execution

Mass Execution at Acre

Richard the Lionheart; England’s King
ruled this land with an iron fist,
as he bled the country dry,
financing his war, in the Holy Land.

This barbaric warrior, and Knights Templar
fought an unbeatable war
in the name of christianity
for his Pope and the Church.

Saladin, and the Muslim army
rose up in defence of their lands,
their way of life, threatened
by outsider’s, against their lands.

The city of Acre captured
ransom terms agreed for captives,
Saladin sealed their fate
unable to pay the ransom.

3,000 captives, lost their lives
executed, as their heads rolled,
opposing armies; helpless
the ground turned red with blood.

Wikipedia Image

The Holy Grail Mystery

last-supper

The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci

What is the Holy Grail?  The cup or vessel used by Jesus Christ at the Last Supper, and possibly the vessel which captured his blood, as he hung upon the cross.  What a mystery, that is some two-thousand years old, which has fascinated; archaeologists, knights Templar, historian and treasure hunters seeking the hiding place of the Holy Grail.

The history of the Holy Grail, the cup associated with Jesus Christ, takes us back to the Kingdom of Judea.  Historical excavations over the centuries, puts forward, Galilee, homeland of the Messiah, was of predominately Jewish descendants.

holy-grail

The Holy Grail

Jesus is crucified at Calvary, on the outskirts of Jerusalem, and Joseph of Arimathea, used the vessel, which we understand to be the Holy Grail to collect the blood of Jesus.

Following the crucifixion, Pontius Pilate granted Joseph’s request to entomb the body in a nearby cave… The tomb is called the Holy Sepulchre, a site visited by many pilgrims.

When the body of Jesus rose from the dead, many at that time believed Joseph had stolen the body.

Joseph was thrown into prison along with the Holy Grail, by order of the Jewish authorities who believed he had moved the body, and remained there for forty-two years until released by Emperor Vespasian.

Joseph of Arimathea travelled to Glastonbury, England where he planted the Holy Grail, and marked it by a staff, from which grew the Glastonbury Thorn.

Around 1140, William of Malmesbury, a monk and historian from Malmesbury Abbey, wrote of Joseph of Arimathea, who brought the Holy Grail to Glastonbury.

glastonbury-abbey

Glastonbury Abbey

In 1539, Glastonbury Abbey is destroyed during the “Dissolution of the Monasteries,” during the reign of King Henry VIII.

History tells us, the Holy Grail was taken by Monks of the Abbey, as they fled, seeking safety.

So where is the Holy Grail?  A question which has remained unanswered for many a year…

If the Knights Templar had in their possession the Holy Grail, this would have been considered a priceless treasure, which would require a secure hiding place.

Apprentice Pillar

Apprentice Pillar

Rosslyn Chapel has often been cited as the resting place of the Holy Grail.  It is believed the Apprentice Pillar had been constructed with a hollow section, to hide the Holy Grail within.

Other Rosslyn Chapel hiding places includes the vaults below the chapel, where it is said the Templar Knights dressed in their armour surrounded by their treasure, lie for all eternity.

Located upon the wall of Rosslyn Chapel, is a gargoyle depicting a Templar Knight holding what is believed to be the Holy Grail… one has to ask, is the true Holy Grail hidden within.

If one walks round Rosslyn Chapel and observes the intricate stonework upon the interior walls, it is possible the Holy Grail could be placed in plain view, but no amount of searching would reveal it.

In 1546, Mary of Guise (Mother to Mary Queen of Scots) wrote to Lord William Sinclair referring to a great secret hidden within the walls of Rosslyn Chapel.  What she was referring to, died with her… Was she referring to the Holy Grail.

If we believe the history surrounding the Holy Grail, that Joseph of Arimathea brought the Holy Grail to Glastonbury, then the fact that it was in the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem during the ninth century, brings doubt into the equation.

Furthermore, suggestions that the Knights Templar removed it from Jerusalem must be false, unless there be many Holy Grails doing the rounds…

Other so-called Holy Grails: READ MORE

(Images) The Last Supper: Leonardo da Vinci
(Images) Glastonbury Abbey – Holy Grail – Apprentice Pillar:Wikimedia

Rosabelle by Sir Walter Scott

Rosslyn Chapel

Rosslyn Chapel

 O LISTEN, listen, ladies gay
No haughty feat of arms I tell;
Soft is the note and sad the lay
That mourns the lovely Rosabelle.

“Moor, moor the barge, ye gallant crew!
And, gentle ladye, deign to stay!
Rest thee in Castle Ravensheuch,
Nor tempt the stormy firth to-day.

“The blackening wave is edged with white;
To inch and rock the sea-mews fly;
The fishers have heard the water-sprite,
Whose screams forbode that wreck is nigh.

“Last night the gifted Seer did view
A wet shroud swathed round ladye gay;
Then stay thee, Fair, in Ravensheuch;
Why cross the gloomy firth to-day?”

“Tis not because Lord Lindesay’s heir
To-night at Roslin leads the ball,
But that my ladye-mother there
Sits lonely in her castle-hall.

“Tis not because the ring they ride,
And Lindesay at the ring rides well,
But that my sire the wine will chide
If ’tis not fill’d by Rosabelle.”

O’er Roslin all that dreary night
A wonderous blaze was seen to gleam;
‘Twas broader that the watch-fire’s light,
And redder than the bright moonbeam.

Roslin Castle

Roslin Castle

It glared on Roslin’s castled rock,
It ruddied all the copsewood glen;
‘Twas seen from Dryden’s groves of oak,
And seen from cavern’d Hawthornden.

Seem’d all on fire that chapel proud
Where Roslin’s chiefs uncoffin’d lie,
Each baron, for a sable shroud,
Sheath’d in his iron panoply.

Knights Templar Tombs

Knights Vault

Seem’d all on fire within, around,
Deep sacristy and altar’s pale;
Shone every pillar foliage-bound,
And glimmer’d all the dead men’s mail.

Blazed embattlement and pinnet high,
Blazed every rose-carved buttress fair–
So still they blaze, when fate is nigh
The lordly line of high Saint Clair.

There are twenty of Roslin’s barons bold
Lie buried within that proud chapelle;
Each one the holy vault doth hold–
But the sea holds lovely Rosabelle.

And each Saint Clair was buried there,
With candle, with book, and with knell;
But the sea-caves rung and the wild wind sung
The dirge of lovely Rosabelle.

Dedicated to the Roslin’s and Rosslyn Chapel

Knights Templar: St.George’s Cross

Knights Templar Cross

The red cross on a white background, was associated with the Knights Templar, and by 1188, the English and French troops of Phillip II of France and Henry II of England, proudly displayed it, as part of their tunic.

It became a symbol, worn by many troops, announcing they be warriors fighting crusades in the Holy Land.

So where does the Red Cross on a white background originate from?

One Georgios Gerontios, born of the 3rd century, a tribune in the Roman Army; imprisoned, tortured and finally beheaded on the 23rd April AD303 in Nicomedia, for not turning from his Christian faith.  On the 23rd April, he became known as Saint George.

Stories were written of this martyr; Saint George through the ages.  His reputation grew as warriors returning from the crusades, spoke of Saint George leading them into battle, wearing upon his person the red cross on a white background… it gave the troops confidence in battle.

On the 28th June 1098, crusaders at the siege of Antioch, stated that a great army on white horses, led by Saint George led them into battle.

So it was, the Red Cross on a white background was adopted in the 12th century by Genoa, with Saint George as their patron.

The Red Cross was worn by English troops during the reign of Edward I in the 1270’s.  In 1348 Edward III established a premier order of Knighthood in England, with Saint George as its patronage.

There is no historical proof, that Saint George is linked with the Red Cross on a white background.  Saying that, when warriors talk of being led into battle by Saint George, one believes a connection could have existed.

During the reign of Henry V, many soldiers believed they witnessed Saint George fighting at the “Battle of Agincourt” for the English in 1415, where they achieved victory.

The legend of Saint George, a Knight who died a martyrs death for his Christian faith, a knightly figure who many believe comes to their assistance in battle, wearing the red cross emblazoned across his chest.  As the Knights Templar also wore, when they were first created.

Is there a connection between Saint George, the Red Cross and the Knights Templar.  I will let you make up your own mind…

Image: Wikipedia