I got this letter opener a few months ago. Works well in its primary capacity, but I think this image is the best use of this little sword so far. I actually saw it used on some other website, which I take as the highest form of flattery. The Bible in the image is my trusted Nova Vulgata, a Vatican edition from the early 1960s. The book is opened at the famous Non nobis, Domine, non nobis line.
This short prayer, most likely originating in 10th century France, was used as a part of the knighting ritual. Although the ritual itself had many variations, this prayer always remained virtually unchanged. It was also included in the official ceremony of accepting a new member into the Teutonic Order. Although the prayer is not specifically mentioned in the Templar Rule its language is reflected in the preface (as noted by J. Frank Henderson in his article “Widows, Queens and Sword-bearers in Medieval Liturgical Prayers“). There is no reason to doubt that this (or very similar) prayer was used by the Knights Templar. Many coronation ceremonies include modified versions of this text.
Exaudi, quaesumus, domine, preces nostras, et hunc ensem, quo his famulus tuus N. se circumcingi desiderat, majestatis tuae dextera benedicere dignare, quatinus defensio atque protectio possit esse ecclesiarum, viduarum, orphanorum omniumque Deo servientium contra saevitiam paganorum, aliisque insidiantibus sit pavor, terror et formido. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.
Blessing of a sword
Harken, we beseech Thee, O Lord, to our prayers, and deign to bless with the right hand of Thy Majesty this sword with which Thy servant wishes to be girded, that it may be a protection of churches, widows, orphans and all Thy servants against the cruelty of pagans, and may it be the fear, terror and dread of all evil-doers. In the name of Christ the Lord. Amen.
The sword pictured is by Deepeeka. The image is from southernswords.co.uk.
FilmSwords is a company makes medieval decorative swords “as seen in the movies.” This makes me believe that the Swedish film “Arn: The Knight Templar” is more popular than I thought.
Peter Johnsson (who works as designer for Albion) modelled it on a type of sword being used at the end of the 1100s. A well-known representative of this type exists and is preserved in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna: the sword of Saint Maurice, part of the imperial regalia of the Holy Roman Empire.
Arn was given his sword by his master and mentor, monk and one-time Templar, Brother Guilbert.
The sword bears an inscription “In hoc signo vinces” – “With this sign though shall be victorious.” This motto is not exclusively a Templar device, but it was somewhat favored by the Knights of the Temple. Other than that I have nothing to say about the authenticity of the sword. Buy at your own risk!
For a very serious Templar buff, there are functional swords, such as this one by Marco of Toledo: