A Brief History of the Knights Templar

Autor: James Burnes

Wydawnictwo: Endymion Press

It was in the year 1119, the twentieth of the Christian dominion in Syria, that nine pious and valiant Knights, the greater part of whom had been the companions of Godfrey de Bouillon, formed themselves into an association, the object of which was to protect and defend Pilgrims on their visits to the holy places. These Knights, of whom the two chief were Hugo de Payens and Godfrey de St. Omer, vowed, in honour of the sweet Mother of God, to unite Monkhood and Knighthood; their pious design met with the warm approbation of the King and the Patriarch, and in the hands of the latter they made the three ordinary vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience; and a fourth, of combating without ceasing against the heathen, in defence of Pilgrims and of the Holy Land; and bound themselves to live according to the rule of the canons of St. Augustine, at Jerusalem. The King assigned them for their abode a part of his palace, which stood close by where had stood the Temple of the Lord. He and his barons contributed to their support, and the abbot and canons of the Temple assigned them for the keeping of their arms and magazines the street between it and the royal palace, and hence they took the name of the soldiery of the Temple, or Templars. When Fulk, Count of Anjou, in the year following the formation of the society, made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, the Order was even then in such repute that he joined it as a married brother, and on his return home remitted them annually thirty pounds of silver to aid them in their pious labours, and his example was followed by several other Christian princes.            For the first nine years after their institution, the Templars lived in poverty and humility, and no new members joined their society, which was eclipsed by that of St. John. Their clothing consisted of such garments as were bestowed on them by the charity of the faithful, and so rigorously were the gifts of pious princes applied by them to their destination—the benefit of pilgrims and of the Holy Land in general—that in consequence of their poverty, Hugo de Payens and Godfrey de St. Omer had but one war-horse between them. When the Order had arrived at wealth and splendour, its seal, representing two Knights mounted on one charger, commemorated this original poverty of its pious founders...
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