“Non Nobis Domine” (Not to Us, O Lord, but to Your name give glory) -Psalm 115
“From humble beginnings the Knights Templar rose to become the most powerful military monastic order of the medieval world. Pledged to protect pilgrims during the Crusades, the Templars became heroes to Christians everywhere. Their fighting prowess was legendary. The sight of their white cloaks and red crosses inspired the faithful and struck terror into their enemies. Young men rushed to join the Order, taking vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience to fight for God. By the thirteenth century the Order commanded thousands of men, ships, and castles in every country in Europe. Considered untouchable, the Templars owed allegiance to no king-only to the Pope himself.” – Jordan Mechner (1)
Welcome to the U.S. Grand Priory of The Knights Templar, known as the Supreme Military Order of the Jerusalem Temple. The Knights Templar are a Christian (Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox) fraternal and chivalric Order. Our Order has no Masonic or political affiliations. We are ecumenical meaning we are not affiliated with any single denomination but represent all of Christendom.
We are part of a world-wide organization for the fellowship and networking of like-minded individuals. Our Order is organized Internationally under the “Ordre Souverain et Militaire du Temple de Jérusalem” (OSMTJ), which is found at OSMTJ.net. Each Grand Priory translates this into their own language. For example, the Peruvian Priory translates it as “Orden Soberana y Militar del Temple de Jerusalem”. The leader of our Order is his S.E., Grand Master Michel Van Der Stock of Belgium.
Our Order vows to hold to the virtues of Honesty, Loyalty, Perseverance, Charity, Humility, Courage, and Honor. We take our vows seriously and hold each other accountable as our ancient statue proscribes: “Each day we must help our brethren for whom we are responsible, for one day God will say, ‘Where is thy Brother?'”
In contrast to much of today’s society, with people moving from place to place, and from relationship to relationship, this Order calls Knights and Dames to live a committed life of purpose.
Historically, the Knights Templar, or “Templars,” were a Christian order of Monks founded almost 895 years ago in 1118 A.D. In other words, they were Warrior Monks. Named for the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, the Templars initially protected pilgrims traveling through the Holy Lands, but eventually evolved into a powerful military force that waged war to protect the Holy Land during the Crusades (See “History”).
With the blessings of Grand Master Zdrojewski and Swiss Grand Prior, Alfred Zappelli, Philip Guarino founded this United States Grand Priory of the OSMTJ Knights Templar in 1973. Guarino was an Italian-American former Roman Catholic Priest, who had attended Seminary in Italy. He moved to Washington D.C. in 1945 and was long time friends of Alfred Zappelli. Read more about our founder by clicking here.
The reasons for the order are to:
– Spread the light of Christ in an increasingly dark world. Today’s Templars are faced with a spiritual battle instead of a physical one.
– Practice works of mercy, charity, and benevolence.
– Perpetuate the traditions of the Knights Templar by defending Christendom through non-violent means.
– Live a life of Chivalry and hold each other accountable to a lifestyle of excellence.
– Promote historical studies, heraldry, and the genealogy of the Order.
– Promote, through the values of friendship, loyalty and respect, feelings of universal brotherhood and ideals of solidarity between all people.
The 12th century Cistercian Abbot, Bernard of Clairvaux wrote, ”The Knight Templar is truly a fearless knight and secure on every side, for his soul is protected by the armor of faith just as his body is protected by armor of steel. He is thus doubly armed and need fear neither demons nor men. Not that he fears death–no, he desires it. Why should he fear to live or fear to die when for him to live is Christ, and to die is gain?”
One of our primary focuses is raising money and awareness for our chosen charity: stopping child trafficking. We currently work with an outstanding and trustworthy N.G.O. called Astra, http://www.astra.org.rs/eng/. Astra works to stop child trafficking in the Balkans through many measures including hotlines where children or adults can report information. We encourage each Templar to not only give, but also to take direct action in their community to fight child trafficking. No members receive financial benefits from funds raised by this Order. Please visit our charity information page by clicking here: “Stop Child Trafficking.”
Why not do something extraordinary to make a difference in the world for good? Being a Knight Templar means being committed to an ancient holy order 895 years old. It is not a remnant of the past, it is a way of life.
The US Priory of the Knights Templar is looking for those upstanding Christians interested in becoming exceptional. Few are chosen and the standards are rigorous, but the reward of Knighthood in this ancient and storied Order awaits you. Do you dare to try? For more information on how to join us, email: info@TheKnightsTemplar.org or click the “Join” tab.
1) Mechner, Jordan. Templar. New York: First Second, 2013 . Print. Page: 2