There is much mystery and speculation surrounding the Order of the Knights Templar. Did they find and are they the guardians of the Holy Grail? Were they heretics?
We may soon be able to get some answers to these and many other questions. The Vatican is about to release a new book, Processus contra Templarios, which will be published by the Vatican’s Secret Archive on Oct 25. It promises to restore the reputation of the Templars, whose leaders were burned as heretics when the order was dissolved in 1314.
The Knights Templar were a powerful but secretive group of warrior monks during the Middle Ages. The order was founded in 1099 by Hugues de Payns, a French knight, to protect pilgrims on the road to the Holy Land. Their headquarters were in the Al-Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount – hence their name.
Following the fall of Jerusalem to the Muslims in 1244, rumours abounded that the Knights were heretics who worshipped idols and held secret, evil initiation rites. In 1307, King Philip IV “the Fair” of France, in desperate need of money, ordered the arrest and torture of all Templars. Their leader Jacques de Molay was tortured and burnt at the stake.