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History (Continued)

These were the darkest days in the history of the Templars. In   1314   the   Grand   Master   of   the   Order,   Jacques   de   Molay,   having   retracted   his   forced   confession,   was   burnt   to   death outside the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris. In   England,   King   Edward   II   eventually   followed   the   French   example   and   seized   all   Templar   properties   for   himself   although the persecution of the Templars here was not as severe or far-reaching as in France. Only   in   countries   such   as   Scotland,   Switzerland   and   Portugal   did   the   Templars   survive   more   or   less   intact   –   and   even there   they   were   eventually   forced   to   stop   using   the   Order’s   name.      Gradually,   over   the   centuries,   the   Templars disappeared    from    view.        Their    beliefs    and    traditions,    however,    persisted    –    being    introduced    over    time    to    other organisations and fraternal societies. Then,   in   the   late   1700s   the   Order   emerged   from   the   shadows   once   more,   and   such   was   the   revival   of   interest   in   chivalric values   and   ideals   that   in   1804,   with   the   approval   of   the   Emperor   Napoleon   himself,   a   reconstituted   Order   of   the   Temple of   Jerusalem   was   officially   inaugurated   in   Paris   –   the   very   place   where   its   downfall   had   been   engineered   by   a   greedy   and envious king, and where Jacques de Molay had been martyred.

Jacques de Molay 1244-1314

The Order today

So,   the   Supreme   Military   Order   of   the   Temple   of   Jerusalem   has   continued   to   this   day.   Under   its   present   Grand   Master,   His Excellency    Dom    Fernando    Pinto    Pereira    de    Sousa    Fontes,    of    Portugal,    the    Order    has    Grand    Priories    and    Priories throughout the world with thousands of Members. Full   Membership   of   the   Knights   Templar   of   England   or   Wales   is   open   to   Christian   men   or   women,   over   the   age   of   18,   who can   show   a   firm   commitment   to   Christian   Unity   and   values   and   who   is   willing   to   commit   him-   or   herself   to   serve   the Order to the best of their ability.
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