The Order of the Knights Templar was the most influential institution of the Middle Ages, second only to the Catholic Church itself. It was an elite military force backed by its very own agricultural and industrial network, complete with Europe’s first extensive system for financial transactions and public accounting. The existence of such an enterprise took a great deal of effort on the part of thousands of individuals over the course of two centuries, but only a small percentage of those people were physically and morally equipped to hold the Order’s most important position — to be a Knight Templar. While it was actually possible to be a rank and file Templar warrior without becoming a full Knight, the honor of wearing the famed white mantle with the red cross belonged exclusively to those who dedicated their lives entirely to the causes for which the Order firmly stood. Do you want to find out how your values and determination would stack up against those shown by the Middle Ages’ bravest? The list below will give you a fair idea about the choices and sacrifices you would have had to make in order to join the Knights Templar.
- You would have to give up the very notion of being able to get through life without sacrificing anything ever. This was not an easy adjustment for young noblemen who grew up in an entitlement-based culture. Contrary to popular belief, one did not have to be a first-born son in order to feel that hereditary nobility was your license to effortlessly take all you wanted from life without any scruples. Is this not similar to the moral malaise so prevalent in the Western world today?
- You would have to give up earthly riches. The vow of poverty demanded that a Knight Templar should be free of any personal possessions. You would have been given what it took to do your job, and that’s it. This sacrifice also affected the knight’s family, who were often required to donate land, property and large sums of money to the Order.
- You would have to give up sexual relations for good. Taking the vow of chastity meant that a knight could not even kiss his own sister or mother, as simply conversing with women was deemed harmful and distracting. Although the Middle Ages were not as universally obsessed with sex as our own society, this surely was a very difficult commitment for young men at the pinnacle of their physical vigor.
- You would have to give up personal freedom. The vow of obedience put every Knight in a completely subordinate state. As a Knight Templar your would always have to follow orders, even regarding the most insignificant aspects of your being. Early rising, religious services, meals, taking care of one’s equipment — everything was strictly regulated and enforced. This is another point where sacrifice would have been as difficult for young members of the feudal class as it is for the privileged population of today’s Western countries.
- You would have to give up your ancestral name. An ordinary Knight Templar was only known by his first name. The number one thing that every European noblemen was most proud of — his heritage — would have been denied to him. Only those knights who reached the highest echelons of the Order could use their their full names, undoubtedly because this put them on the same level with members of the secular society with whom they had to have official dealings. Naturally, you would not be able to use your coat-of-arms. A Knight Templar was not identifiable as an individual. Only the leadership of the Order sometimes used heraldic accomplishments, for reasons explained.
- You would have to give up fashion. At the time when European arts and craftsmanship were on the rise, the Knights Templar were expressly prohibited to wear anything other than their uniform, and special measures were taken as not to include any fashion statements in the way the knights’ clothing was made. For instance, pointed shoes that were so popular at the time were forbidden. Well-kept beards were also required in most cases, probably as another way to make the men look indistinguishable.
- You would have to give up jousting. This was the most popular form of entertainment among the ruling class in Medieval Europe well into the Renaissance period. Although it may seem that this activity could have been helpful as a part of military training, one should keep in mind that jousting resulted in numerous accidents. The Knights Templar could not afford to lose men outside of battle.
- You would have to give up falconry and other kinds of hunting. These popular activities were off limits probably because they went side by side with the notions of individual freedom and leisure.
- You would have to give up dietary indulgences. The Knights Templar diet was simple and only differed from monastic diets of the time by the abundance of protein. It was understood that a knight had to stay in the best physical shape possible at all times.
- You would have to be prepared to give up your life. Martyrdom was at the core of the Knights Templar value system. Their willingness to die was one of the explanations behind the unmatched bravery that was even noted by their enemies.
10 comments… add one
We have to give up almost every thing that distracted our attention and focus, is very difficult, in the beginning, but will survive so help us Good.
Take the cross +
I wish to become a templar. Can anyone help me?
IN HOC SIGNO VINCES
you dont become you are or you are not
its inside deep inside its your core
Awe. Can i still play chess
Do they allow women to join?
I wish to join as one of the Knights Templar, can you guide me? Thanks!
Depends if you want to become a Masonic Templar, like I do. You have to first join a Masonic Lodge, once you work your way up in “the craft”. After you reach Master Mason you are given the choice to join the York Rite or Scottish Rite. Once joined and work your way up the high ranks are modeled after the Knights Templar. But that is how it was explaineded to me. If you find another way that suits you. Then hope it works out for you.
I wish to elevate myself to a higher level of understanding and human compassion, to become a better Christian and human being, by becoming a Night’s Templar. I am looking for direction. Can You please help me in this endeavor?