[Square & Compasses]

Letter of the month: March 2002

From: "tish53" <tish53@cox.net>
Subject: DeMolay?
Date: Thu, 28 Mar 2002 18:56:26 MST

} Who and what is Jack DeMolay?  Was he the founder of the youth's
} version of demolay?  What is his background, etc. Thx
}
} Tish <><

From: <dryfoo@MIT.EDU>
Message-Id: <200203290239.VAA09625@thelonious.mit.edu>
To: "tish53" <tish53@cox.net>
Subject: Re: DeMolay?
In-Reply-To: Your message of "Thu, 28 Mar 2002 18:56:26 MST."
             <000801c1d6c4$f0300ee0$6bc60344@ph.cox.net> 
Date: Thu, 28 Mar 2002 21:39:42 -0500

Jaques deMolay was the last grand master of the mediaeval order of Knights Templar.

The Templars were founded in 1128 as a religious and military order, with the assignment of patrolling the roads in and around the Holy Land, to keep them safe for Christian pilgrims. By the year 1307, the Templars had become powerful and prestigious order, envied by kings and popes. They were able to organize trade and banking arrangements all over Europe and into the Middle-East, which of course made them wealthy.

In 1307 the King of France conspired with the Pope to arrest all of the Templars and accuse them of heresy and blasphemy. Nearly all of the Templars in France and several other countries were seized and imprisoned. The head of their order, deMolay, was tortured and executed in 1314.

There are many legends about the Templars:

  • According to chronicle and legend, deMolay was a good leader and was faithful to God and to his brother Templars even under torture, until the end of his life. For this reason, he was chosen as an example of courage and fidelity when several Masons decided to invent an organization for young men.
  • Some people believe that a few of the French Templars escaped arrest in 1307 and fled to Scotland, where they married into the local aristocracy and formed the nucleus of the successful Scottish rebellion against English dominion. (Have you seen the movie Braveheart? There are no Templars in that, but according to the people who believe this theory, there should have been.) The proponents of this theory further believe that the Templar rituals were combined with the customs of the Scottish stonemason guilds of the time, which is the origin of Freemasonry.

You can take or leave these theories as you like.


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