Diet of the Knights Templar: key to health and a long life

It is striking to note that many Templars lived a long life. Hugues de Payens, one of the founding fathers, died at the age of 66. Jacques the Molay, the last Grand Master, and Geoffrey de Charney, preceptor of Normandy, were executed at the age of 67 and 63, respectively. Official documents of the Vatican suggest that many of the Templars lived longer compared to other people of the Middle Ages, whose life expectancy was in average 25 to 40 years. At the time this exceptional longevity was attributed to a divine gift. However, the strict observance of specific lifestyle habits conferring beneficial effects, may explain the reasons for their greater life expectancy.

The Lament of the Templars

It was in May that I was knighted
In the Commandery of Montigny d'Allier
On this clear day my joy could not be compared
But to that of lovers who have their hearts filled

When I received the immaculate cloak from the Order
Marked with the red cross, on the embroidered shoulder
The Grand Master, here, deigned to speak to me
"Be faithful and ardent because you are Templar"

Relics of the Knights Templar - saints and veneration

Saints or angels were an inspiration for Templars and Hospitallers. "Particularly popular among the military orders were female martyr saints. Templar Peñíscola, for example, held some relics of Saint Margaret and Saint Mary Magdalene, among others.  Depictions of Saint Catherine also decorate the walls of many Templar churches, such as the ones in Metz (France) and Chwarszczany (Poland). There frescoes of the Holy Virgins, including Saint Catherine and Saint Barbara, originally commissioned by the Templars, were later refreshed by the Hospitallers in testament to their enduring popularity.

March 18, 2020, the 706th anniversary of the death of Jacques de Molay

On March 18, 2020 we commemorate the 706th anniversary of the death of the last official Grand Master of the Knights Templar, Jacques de Molay.

De Molay, born in 1244 was put to death in Paris by the King of France on 18 March 1314. He was the 23rd and last Grand Master of the Knights Templar, leading the Order from 20 April 1292 until it was dissolved by order of Pope Clement V in 1307.

St Bernard's 1130 letter reworded for modern Templars

The Liber ad milites templi de laude novae militiae (Latin for 'Book to the Knights of the Temple, in praise of the new knighthood') was a work written by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (1090 – August 20, 1153)  between 1120 and 1139. It appears to intend to boost the morale of the fledgling Knights Templar in Jerusalem. In the early 1120s, some of the first Templars were having doubts about the idea of an order of monks devoted to military combat in the Crusades, worrying about whether there was a genuine theological justification for monk-warriors.

Can this 12th century letter be still of value today, especially for modern Knights Templar? Robert S. Magnum thinks it can.

Beliefs of the Knights Templar: Baphomet or Christ?

Time and again the theory is put forward that the Knights Templar worshiped "Baphomet". This is a demonic entity who later became a symbol for Satanic worships. During the Inquisition of the Templars in the 14th century, the knights were accused of worshipping this figure.

The famous icon of Baphomet as a goat-headed idol, however, only emerged much later on. This icon quickly became a symbol of the occult, specifically as a representation of evil and the Devil.

Now what were the beliefs of the Knights Templar: Baphomet or Christ?

The Caynton Hall grotto - a Templar feature?!?

From time to time a news item dating from March 2017 surfaces again in the (social) media: the "news" of the discovery of a "700 year old Templar Cave" on the grounds of Caynton Hall, near Beckbury, Shropshire, England. At the time even the BBC claimed "an apparently ordinary rabbit's hole in a farmer's field leads to an underground sanctuary once said to be used by the Knights Templar - a medieval religious order that fought in the Crusades."

The caverns comprise an irregular series of neo-Romanesque ambulatories and chambers hollowed out of red sandstone, with carved archways, pillars, symbols and niches, apparently for candles. They are located about 250 metres west of Caynton Hall, beneath privately-owned woodland, within a disused stone quarry. One suggestion is that they were the result of quarrying during the mid-19th century and were then turned by the landowners, the Legge family, into a grotto or underground folly.