The Knights Templar were a Catholic military order founded in 1119. They were headquartered on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem through 1128 when they went to meet with Pope Honorius II. The Templars became a favored charity throughout Christendom, and grew rapidly in membership and power. Pope Clement V disbanded the order in 1312 under pressure from King Philip.
About Knights Templar in brief
The Knights Templar were a Catholic military order founded in 1119. They were headquartered on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem through 1128 when they went to meet with Pope Honorius II. The Templars became a favored charity throughout Christendom, and grew rapidly in membership and power. Pope Clement V disbanded the order in 1312 under pressure from King Philip. The Military Order of Christ consider itself the successors of the former Knights Templar as it was reconstituted in Portugal after the Templars were abolished on 22 March 1312. After the Franks in the First Crusade captured Jerusalem from Muslim conquerors in 1099, many Christians made pilgrimages to various sacred sites in the Holy Land. Although the city of Jerusalem was relatively secure under Christians control, the rest of Outremer was not. Bandits and marauding highwaymen preyed upon these Christian pilgrims, who were routinely slaughtered, sometimes by the hundreds. The Crusaders therefore referred to the Al-Aqsa Mosque as Solomon’s Temple, and from this location the new order took the name of Poor Knights of Christ and the Temple of Solomon, or ‘Templar’ knights. The order, with about nine knights including Godfrey de Saint-Omer and André de Montbard, had few financial resources and relied on donations to survive. Their emblem was of two knights riding on a single horse, emphasizing the order’s impoverished status of poverty. They had a powerful advocate in Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, a leading Church figure, primarily responsible for the founding of the Order of the Cistercian monks and a nephew of the founding knights.
With this formal blessing, the order became one of the favoured charities of the church, receiving one formal blessing from the Council of Troyes in 1129, and receiving money throughout the land. In 1129 he led a group of leading churchmen to approve and endorse the order on behalf of the land, and in 1128 he wrote on their behalf ‘In Praise of the New Knighthood’, and in1129, he led the group to officially approve the order of the Knights Templar. The Knights Templar became a favoured charity of the Church, receiving a formal blessing and one formal endorsement from the church in 1127, and at this time they were given the status of ‘Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ’ The order was active until 1312 when it was perpetually suppressed by Popelement V by the bull Vox in excelso. In 1307, King Philip IV of France – deeply in debt to the order – took advantage of this distrust to destroy them and erase his debt. In 1319, Denis of Portugal revived the Templar of Tomar as the Order Of Christ, largely for their aid during the Reconquista and in the reconstruction of Portugal. Denis negotiated with Clement’s successor, John XXII, for recognition of the new Order and its right to inherit the Templar assets and property. This was granted in a papal bull, Ad ea ex quibus, on 14 March 1319.