Vatican scholar: prayer proves Knights Templar not heretical
The Vatican has for the first time published the prayer the Knights Templar composed when “unjustly imprisoned”, in which they appealed to the Virgin Mary to persuade “our enemies” to abandon “calumnies and lies” and revert to “truth and charity”.
L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, said the prayer was further proof that the order, which was dissolved in the fourteenth century, was not heretical. The knights were innocent of the charges against them, which included the accusation that they worshipped idols such as a “monstrous statue, half man and half goat”.
The L’Osservatore Romano article, by Barbara Frale, the Vatican Secret Archives scholar who has made a special study of the knights, said it was untrue that the knights were guilty of “decadence, heresy and immoral practices”.
This document has been already published before. I recovered the shortened version of the original Latin text from a 19th century edition, “Les Templiers” tragedy by François-Just-Marie Raynouard (1761-1836). It is somewhat puzzling in a few places, and I don’t know the actual source of this prayer. Anyway, here it is (followed by a translation):
Sancti spiritus adsit nobis gratia. Maria, Stella maris, perducat nos ad portam salutis. Amen.
Domine, Jesu Christe, sancte pater, aeterne Deus, omnipotens, sapiens creator, largitor, administrator benignus, et carissimus amator, pius et humilis redemptor, clemens, misericors salvator, Domine, te deprecor humiliter et exoro ut illumines me, liberes et conserves fratres Templi, et omnem populum tuum chistianum turbatum.
Tu, Domine, qui scis nos esse innocentes, facias liberari, ut vota nostra et mandata tua in humilitate teneamus, et tuum sanctum servitium et voluntatem faciamus ; contumelias iniquas, non veras, contra nos oppositas per graves oppositiones, et malas tribulationes et tentationes, quas passi fuimus, et pati ulterius non possumus.
Omnipotens, aeterne Deus, qui beatum Joannem evangelistam et apostolum tuum valde diligis, qui super pectus tuum in caena recubuit, et cui secreta caeli revelavis et demonstravis, et stante in ligno sanctae crucis, pro redemptione nostra, sanctissimam matrem tuam virginem commendavis, in cujus honore gloriose fuit facta, et fundata religio ; pro tua sancta misericordia liberes et conserves, prout tu scis nos esse innocentes a criminibus contra nos oppositis, et operas possideamus, per quas ad gaudia paradisi perducamur, per Christum dominum nostrum. Amen.
May the grace of the Holy Spirit be present with us. May Mary, Star of the Sea, lead us to the harbor of salvation. Amen.
Lord Jesus Christ, Holy Father, eternal God, omnipotent, omniscient Creator, Bestower, kind Ruler and most tender lover, pious and humble Redeemer; gentle, merciful Savior, Lord! I humbly beseech The and implore Thee that Thou may enlighten me, free me and preserve the brothers of the Temple and all Thy Christian people, troubled as they are.
Thou, O Lord, Who knowest that we are innocent, set us free that we may keep our vows and your commandments in humility, and serve Thee and act according to Thy will. (Dispel) all those unjust reproaches, far from the truth, heaped upon us by the means of tough adversities, great tribulations and temptations, which we have endured, but can endure no longer.
Omnipotent, eternal God, who hast so loved the blessed John the Evangelist and Apostle, that he reclined upon Thy bosom at the Last Supper, and to whom Thou revealed and showed the Mysteries of Heaven, and to whom, while suspended on the Holy Cross, for the sake of our redemption, Thou commended Thy most Holy Mother and Virgin, and in whose honor (our) Order was created and instituted; through Thy Holy mercifulness, deliver us and preserve us, as Thou knowest that we are innocent of the crimes that we are accused of, so that we may take possession of the works, by which we may be guided to the joys of Paradise, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
If you are interested in Templar spirituality, take a look at Salve Regina, chant of the Templars.