Knights Templar: Portugal

Tomar - Portugal

Scotland appears to have been Freemasonic homeland; Portugal on the other hand represented the Templar’s commercial base, a source of revenue and headquarters.  Portugal is a country that had been founded by the Templar’s.

In 1128, the order of the Knights Templar settled in Portugal, and gradually took over the country’s military and commercial strength.

In that same year Teresa of Portugal endowed upon the knights, the region of Fonte Arcada, granting them many privileges.  In return the Templar’s supported her expansion of her then weak country.

In 1160, a Knights Templar castle was constructed in Tomar, and became the orders headquarters in Portugal.

King Alfonso of Portugal corresponded with Saint Bernard, welcoming his monastic order with open arms.  Monasteries and churches sprung up across the land, along with estates under Cistercian control.

In 1294, the initiative of the Templar’s, led to the signing of the “Treaty of Windsor,” between England and Portugal, and aimed at bestowing military power on both countries.

The anti-Templar movement which had grown in France had little effect in Portugal.

The order of the Knights Templar had been officially dissolved by Pope Clement V in 1312, and its knights, servants and monks considered outlaws.

King Denis of Portugal exonerated the Templar’s and with pressure and opposition to the order from France, came up with a plan which would be of benefit to both parties; King and Templar’s.

A plan was conceived; the order of the Knights Templar would disappear and be re-established under a new name affiliated to the Portuguese monarchy.  Templar assets could not fall into church hands, and they could continue to exist.

So it was the order of the “Knights Templar” faded into the distant past, and rose again as the “Order of Christ.”

The former Knights Templar now known as the Order of Christ could continue carrying out their illegal activities under the protection of the King of Portugal, no longer abiding by church rules.

Templar’s found a more liberal environment in Spain and Portugal under the Order of Christ, and the order received its official recognition in 1319 by Pope John XII, out of his desire to win the Templar’s back to the church.

The church was unwilling to lose the Templar’s who represented a major military, financial and logistical power.

In 1415, Prince Henry the navigator led his forces, in the conquest of Ceuta, in a creation of a Portuguese empire, which stretched out far beyond their coastline.  In 1417 he became Grand Master of the Order of Christ until 1460, undertaking works of evangelism for the Pope and Church.  Henry went on to colonise the Azores and Madeira islands, building two gothic cloisters in the Convent of Tomar during his time as grand master.

By 1492, the order was suffering from declining membership, based on its rules of poverty – chastity – obedience, and things had to change for survival.  Pope Alexander VI commuted vows of celibacy to conjugal chastity, and was withdrawn in 1496.  Poverty was withdrawn in 1505 by order of Pope Julius II.

The order was showing signs of becoming less monastic and more secular.  Brother Antonius of Lisbon, attempted a reform, which brought an end to a religious life among its knights.  Under these changes, the order became an organisation.  Its aim was to achieve commercial and political success, and to redraft the laws of the church in a manner compatible with capitalism.

It was about this time, a new society without religious image, but serving the same function was created.  This new organization had its roots in England, and had taken the name; Freemasonry.  Freemasons represented a most influential power which would survive to the present day.

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Knights Templar: Rise and Defeat

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On the 4th July 1187, Saladin defeated Christian forces at the “Battle of Hattin.”  Many Christian crusaders were slain, many wounded, many thrown into chains.

Guy of Lusignan, the King of Jerusalem, witnessed the fall of the “Cross of Salvation”, he was overcome with pity, rushing forward without thought, as he flung his arms around the cross.

Guy of Lusignan, along with fellow warriors, were taken prisoner, to await the victor’s will, as to their fate.

Saladin so ordered, that all Templar’s with the exception of their master, were to be beheaded.

Guy de Lusignan, became the prisoner of Saladin, and one year later on the anniversary of that battle, was freed after swearing an oath, never to attack Muslims.

England, France and Germany, made the joint decision, that Jerusalem had to be re-taken, and so the Third Crusade was launched.

It was essential they had a base of operations, which to land troops and supplies.  Acre was its harbour, proved to be the best option, and so it was, ships of King Philip of France and King Richard of England, set forth on their journey.

Following King Richard’s capture of Cyprus by his naval forces, the Knights Templar Grand Master; Robert de Sable made a proposal purchase of Cyprus from King Richard I (Richard – the – Lionheart).  The price was agreed, of 100,000 bezants (gold currency of Byzantium), commencing with a 40,000 deposit.

It proved that the Templar’s financial status was strong, being able to raise that amount, shortly after the “Battle of Hattin.”

Acre fell to the Muslims in 1291, bringing the Christian presence in Palestine to an end.

The Knights Templar, robbed of their role as defenders of the Holy Land, saw many take up residence in Cyprus, in the Mediterranean.  The Templar’s had sought their own Kingdom, but been pushed out by Muslim forces.

The Grand Master of the Knights Templar, located in France, had a status on par with European Kings.  These Templar’s owned much land across Christendom, with a warrior army to back their political position.  Europe’s ruling houses, found themselves indebted to these Templar’s, fearing their future was under threat.

The English throne was indebted to the Templar order, for King John had emptied the coffers of the treasury during his reign, to finance military operations.  King Henry III, was faced with similar financial problems, and had no option, but to take out loans with the Knights Templar.

The Knights Templar offices in Paris held the treasury of Templar’s and French government.  The Templar treasurer and the French King’s finance officer were one and the same.  France found itself under Templar control.

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Knights Templar: The Occult

Baphomet

The Order of the Knights Templar was originally a Gnostic based order that maintained a secrecy of its occult collaboration.  These Templar’s weren’t your average Christians, who obeyed and were loyal to the Pope and Church.

The Templar’s practiced many of their occult practices underground, to avoid interference from the Church.  Saying that they were charged with the act of pagan worship at their trials in the 1300’s which led to thousands being executed, and some burnt at the stake.

As Templar’s became aware of their impending death sentence, some planned their escape, making their departure from the order, and becoming Masons.

Some charges brought forward at the trials of the Knights Templar were false whilst others were accurate.  Evidence was provided of idol worshipping.

Charges against the Order of the Knights Templar:

  • When a new Templar was received into the order, he denied Christ, the Holy Virgin and the saints, an act instigated by those receiving him. He was told Christ was not the true God, that he was a false prophet who had not been crucified for the redemption of the human race, but on account of his sins.  There was therefore no hope of receiving salvation through Christ.  The new member was then made to spit on the crucifix or image of Christ.

 

  • The Templar’s adored idols, with specific mention of a cat and a head of three faces. The head was worshipped as a saviour and venerated as a giver of plenty that could make trees flower and land germinate.  They touched or encircled it with small cords which they wore around their waists.

 

  • That they did not believe in the sacraments and that the Templar priests omitted the words of consecration during mass.

 

  • That they believed that the Grand Master and other leaders could hear their confessions and absolve them from sin, despite the fact that many of the leaders were laymen.

 

  • The Order’s receptors kissed new entrants on the mouth, navel, stomach, buttocks and spine, and acts of homosexuality were encouraged.

 

  • Templar’s sought gain for the Order; lawful or not. Donations to the Order were not used in approved ways, nor were they apportioned to hospitals.

 

  • Chapter meetings and receptions were held in secret at night under heavy guard, and only Templar’s could be present. Brother’s who revealed to an outsider what had occurred were punished by imprisonment or death.

 From “The Trial of the Templar’s” by Malcolm Barber (2006)

 During their time in the Middle-East the Order of the Knights Templar established and maintained contact with mystic sects of different religions and denominations, including sorcerers.

The orders higher echelons acquainted themselves and incorporated into the order beliefs based on mystic teaching of the Cabala, Bogomils and Luciferians, leaving Christianity behind.

In their eyes, Jesus ruled another world, with limited power in this one and Satan was the lord of our world.

The Templar’s revered the idol of Baphomet; a demon with the head of a goat, the symbol of “The Church of Satan.”

Baphomet, the deity worshipped by the Knights Templar, and in Black Magic, the source and creator of evil; the Satanic goat of the witches Sabbath.

During the trials of the Knights Templar, most mentioned worshipping Baphomet.  The idol with a scary looking human head and a long beard with shinning eyes.  Some mentioned human skulls, cat idols and objects of satanic worship.

The demon Baphomet, an object of satanic veneration; having a goat’s head with two faces, a winged body which is female above the waist and male below the waist.

After the confessions in the French Courts, the Pope interrogated seventy-two Templar’s.  They then knelt down before the Pope and asked for forgiveness.

The interrogation of the Templar’s culminated in their dissolution in 1312, and Jacques de Molay, Grand Master of the Order, was burned at the stake in 1314 on charges of heresy.

Templar’s fled for their lives throughout Christendom, some were captured crossing France, Germany and Italy, and others were more fortunate, reaching countries who offered refuge.

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Knights Templar: St.Mary’s Church – Templecombe

St.Marys Church Templecombe

St.Mary’s Church – Templecombe

The 12th century St.Mary’s Church was part of the Abbas Combe Manor along with the Benedictine Nunnery of Shaftesbury, founded in 888 AD by Alfred the Great, whose second daughter Ethelgeda was its Abbess.

The stone church of St.Mary’s in Templecombe, dressed with Hamstone and a roof consisting of 500 year old clay tiles.  It contains a two-bay chancel with northern chapel and vestries.  A four bay nave with a northern aisle, a south chapel, a southern tower over the porch, and south transept.

St.Marys Church Nave Templecombe

Church Interior

Located at the churches southern end stands a two-stage 13th century tower, which stands upon Saxon foundations.  In the 15th century, when upper sections of the tower were re-built, buttresses were added.

The Church Bells:  The oldest bell dates back to 1420, and cast by the Salisbury foundry.  Two further bells were added in 1656, cast by Robert Purdue, and in 1736 two donated by Thomas Bilbie, with the last bell in 1891, making a peel of six bells.  What a wondrous sound to behold.

The church contains a 12th century Purbeck Marble Font, with a 19th century cover.

The Church plate includes a cup and cover dating back to 1628, two square salvers of 1725 by Anthony Nelson, and a flagon of 1845.

In 1721 a west gallery was added, renovated in 1846, and removed in 1864.

In 1834 the north aisle was added.  In 1864, the chancel was rebuilt, vestries added, new windows installed in the nave and south chapel.

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Knights Templar: Templecombe

Templecombe

The village of Templecombe according to the Domesday Book consisted of two estates:

  • Abbas Combe Manor: The Benedictine Nunnery of Shaftesbury, founded in 888 AD by Alfred the Great, whose second daughter Ethelgeda was its Abbess.
  • Abbas Combe included the 12th century St.Mary’s Church, which extended northwards, along the north-south route through the parish. The Abbey at Shaftesbury was its parent house, the major convent in England at the time.  Temple Combe included the Templar preceptory buildings, laying along the same route.  By the 1830’s the two settlements were linked by buildings along the main road.
  • Temple Combe Manor: This estate was originally held by the Earl Leofwine then passed to Bishop Odo of Bayeux and confiscated in 1088.
  • In 1185 the manor was held by Serlo Fitz Odo, who passed it to the Knights Templar. In 1307 the Templar Order was suppressed, and the estate passed to the Crown.  Templar lands and property passed to the Knights Hospitaller in 1332, and retained by them until the Dissolution of the Monasteries.
  • Following the “Dissolution of the Monasteries” ordered by King Henry VIII, the Manor passed to William Sherrington, and later purchased by Richard Duke around 1563. Much of the Templar Preceptory building was demolished, providing stone for a new Manor house.

The Preceptory served as an administrative centre for Templar lands in the south-western parts of England and Cornwall.  History tells us, that men and horses were trained in the area, before heading off on Crusades in the Holy Land.

In 1338, an inventory was taken of the Manor, showing it consisted of 368 acres, used for supporting cattle and sheep.

By 1700, it had become the seat of Sir William Wogan, who sold it to Peter Walter of Stalbridge Park, and in the early part of the 19th century passed to the Marquess of Anglesey.

In 1942, during the Second World War, the Templecombe railway line was bombed, and on that day thirteen people lost their lives, and others were injured.  The Parish Church, Congregational Church, two hotels and sixty houses were damaged.

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The Templecombe Painting

St.Veronica's Veil

The head portrayed in the Templecombe painting is similar to the Shroud of Turin.  The cloth which carries an imprint of a man’s body; used to wrap the crucified body of Jesus Christ for burial.

It is believed the Templars came by it in 1204, when Crusaders captured Constantinople and ransacked it.

This relic called the “Mandylion” was held at Constantinople around 1000 AD.

Veronica, was the saint during Jesus Christ’s journey towards his crucifixion, who offered him her veil to wipe his face.  His likeness remained imprinted on the cloth for all time, and she took it to Rome.

It is believed the Knights Templar, copied the head image from the Shroud of Turin, which we know as the Mandylion.  Carbon-dating tests carried out on the painting, put the age around 1280 AD.

Some historians question its validity, and believe it be a copy of the Mandylion of the Eastern Orthodox Church, an important relic of Christendom.  The Mandylion is believed to be the cloth, bearing the image of Jesus Christ, when he was alive.

Knights Templar: Templecombe Head

Templecombe Head

Templecombe Head – Panel Painting

Just by chance, Molly Drew discovered a hidden treasure in 1945.  The painted face of a man looked down upon her, where the ceiling plaster of her cottage outhouse had fallen down.  This face had not seen the light of day, for some six hundred years or more.

This image became known as the “Templecombe Head,” a face amidst red, blue and green paint, faintly visible, painted on wooden panels, and supported by wire.

Bishop Wright the local Rector, removed the painting for cleaning and restoration.  In 1956 the painting was presented to St.Mary’s Church in Templecombe.

The image is that of a bearded man, either Jesus Christ or John the Baptist.  The style and detail of the painting are of a devotional style, but lacks signs of divinity; a halo or description.

How it came to be there, is anyone’s guess, but the area was the home of the Knights Templar.  With large scale arrests taking place and properties being searched.  Someone wanted to hide this simple painting, with the hope of retrieving it later… but that was not to be.

With the suppression of the Knights Templar, their lands and property fell into the hands of the Knights Hospitaller, who in turn lost it, when they backed the Pope not Henry VIII during England’s Tudor reign.