VN Barquinha celebrates protocol with Templar order that will make CITA the “world’s most important repository on the Order of the Temple”

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The Vila Nova da Barquinha Municipality has entered into a protocol with two branches of the Templar Order – the Ordo Supremus Militaris Templi Hierosolimitani Universalis (OSMTHU) and the Ordre Sovereign et Militaiire du Temple de Jerusalem (OSMTJ) – to declare the municipality and the Interpretation Center Almourol Templar (CITA) as an International Place of Templar Cultural Interest.

The proposal for the protocol came to the Municipal Chamber meeting on October 9 and deserved a positive opinion from the executive.

Councilor Marina Honório explains that the initiative results from the association of OSMTHU and OSMTJ who also wants Vila Nova da Barquinha to host “an annual event of the International Congress type and the recommendation that bibliographic collections and objects could be sent to the Center and enrich the CITA as an unavoidable international reference on the Order of the Temple and its cultural influences across the ages.”

As a starting point for this collaboration, Fernando Freire explained that both branches of the Order have already approved several initiatives aimed at encouraging collectors, archives and library owners to make donations and to make CITA by 2021 the “most important, complete and extensive”. repository and bibliographic collection on the Order of the Temple ”.

On the OSMTHU side, one of the initiatives is the negotiation of the passage of the Temple Archive, consisting of multiple original documentation concerning the International Chancellery and the International Federative Alliance Secretariat since 1988, as well as various objects and archives, on loan to the locality of Soria, Spain since 2007, for CITA in Vila Nova da Barquinha.

Another initiative to be taken by OSMTHU is to designate CITA as the “custodial institution to be handed over the update of the Order’s Archives, composed of the official documentation produced by the International Chancellery annually” as well as the “addition of historical documentary collections. bibliographic and objects of archaeological, academic or museological interest that can be donated ”.

The OSMTHU will also offer a forged replica, according to traditional rules, of the sword of the crusader Godofredo Bulhões, symbol of the historical context that gave rise to the Order of the Temple.

The OSMTJ will contribute with the deposit of a thematic bibliographic collection as well as an extensive documentary archive about the activity of the Order in the last half of the twentieth century.

In addition to the initiatives in terms of Archive and Library, the protocol also provides for cultural exchanges, through the loan and exhibition of specific pieces.

Finally, this collaboration also aims to hold an International Conference. An “annual international event taking place in 2020, 2021 and 2022”, as explained by the mayor of VN Barquinha, Fernando Freire.

The venue for the annual event will be CITA, whose organization, programming and promotion will be the responsibility of the two orders involved in the protocol.

It is recalled that the Templar Interpretation Center of Almourol was opened to the public in November 2018 and is a pioneer center for the Order of the Temple in Portugal, endowed with a relevant set of features including an exhibition space, auditorium and thematic library.

By Ana Rita Cristóvão, antenalivre.pt

III Jornadas Templárias para o Conhecimento Ecuménico em Lagos

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Decorreram em Lagos no dia 29 de Fevereiro as III Jornadas Templárias, que se vão já impondo como um momento alto no calendário de inciativas da OSMTHU em Portugal.

Organizadas pela Comenda de Laccobriga do Grão Priorado de Portugal, com o apoio da Câmara Municipal de Lagos e da Associação Grupo Coral da mesma cidade, as Jornadas visam ampliar o conhecimento e a cultura dos membros da Ordem e do público em geral, versando temas centrais à compreensão da Ordem do Templo, da Ordem de Cristo e da sua continuada relevância nos dias de hoje.

Desta feita, o desafio lançado aos oradores foi a reflexão sobre “Quinto Império… e a Saudade do Futuro”. Respondeu um conjunto de interessantes palestrantes, muitos já repetentes, recebidos por um número crescente de espectadores, sempre atentos e participativos.

O dia abriu com uma exposição de livros relativos ao tema, muitos da autoria de alguns dos oradores, o que proporcionou agradáveis momentos de diálogo entre autores e leitores, entre autógrafos e perguntas interessadas. De seguida o Grupo Coral de Lagos abrilhantou o evento com algumas peças de canto coral de uma encantadora beleza.

De seguida a Vereadora da Cultura da Câmara de Lagos, Drª Sara Coelho, procedeu à abertura das Jornadas com palavras que bem ilustram o apoio das entidades oficiais a todas as iniciativa culturais de relevo no Concelho, referindo o interesse do Município numa continuidade da já sólida colaboração com a Ordem.

O primeiro orador foi o Preceptor Geral do Grão Priorado de Portugal, responsável pelo programa de estudos e coordenação das acções de formação interna nos diversos graus. Tomando o tema de frente, fez uma recolha metódica das diversas fontes do mito do Quinto Império, desde as sucessões das Idades nos textos sagrados orientais, passando pelo Antigo Testamento, não esquecendo Joaquim de Fiora, Vieira, Pessoa e Agostinho da Silva. O seu texto pode ser consultado aqui.

Impossibilitado de estar presente, o empresário e antigo modelo Tó Romano, disponibilizou alguma literatura e um vídeo relativo ao seu projecto EVADREAM. Nascido em Lisboa e formado em Arquitectura em Belas Artes no início dos anos 80, Tó Romano ganhou reconhecimento pelo trajecto que fez na moda e que o levou a ser um dos primeiros modelos portugueses a trabalhar internacionalmente. Em 1989 fundou com a sua mulher Mi Romano a agência de modelos Central Models, que ainda hoje ambos dirigem e cujos modelos têm cada vez mais sucesso a nível mundial.

O vídeo, de 2015, mostra uma preocupação e uma ideia que antecipa esse Portugal do Quinto Império. Desde essa apresentação, o número de cidades que aderiram à proclamação “Vamos Florir Portugal” tem aumentado e é já um caso sério digno de case study.

Após um curto intervalo foi a vez da intervenção de Virgílio Alves, representante da recém-criada Associação Mar e Saudade, cujo trabalho notável se consubstancia, entre outras vertentes, no já inaugurado Museu Hermético Português, cito em terras de Almourol, em Vila Nova da Barquinha e único no seu género. Os propósitos da Mar e Saudade foram expostos e fez-se uma visita guiada pelo website, explorando-se alguns dos recursos já disponíveis. Na impossibilidade absoluta de estar presente, o seu fundador Manuel J. Gandra, que tem apoiado e participado nas Jornadas Templárias de Lagos desde a primeira edição, enviou o vídeo “Do Ser, do Estar e da Saudade”, que disponibilizamos de seguida.

A sessão da manhã encerrou com a intervenção do Prof. Fernando Casqueira que, na sua qualidade de Grande Preceptor da Grande Loja Soberana de Portugal, abordou, entre outros, o tema da perda do Império e da influência internacional como percursor da vertente de desencanto e desesperança da Saudade, traçando um périplo de uma rara erudição por todo o século XIX e XX, até desembocar na rememoração dos mitos por António Quadros, Dalila Pereira da Costa, Lima de Freitas e Agostinho da Silva. Terminou ainda abordando ao de leve os mitemas mais marcantes das questões ligadas ao Quinto Império, concordando com os oradores da manhã e antecipando uma tarde animada.

Após pausa para o almoço, a sessão da tarde foi aberta pelo conhecido autor e Professor Eduardo Amarante, fundador das Edições Apeiron, em cuja extensa obra a temática do Quinto Império e dos Templários tem tido lugar de destaque. Na sua comunicação discorreu acerca das origens da religião do Quinto Império, das dinastias de Borgonha e Avis e suas ligações, do Preste João bem como toda a problemática da Saudade. A sua comunicação pode ser lida aqui.

Seguiu-se a intervenção de Luis Natal Marques, Grande Conselheiro da Ordem Rosacruz AMORC em Portugal, que escolheu um tema pouco tratado, mas de grande interesse: “O Riso e as Religiões”. De facto, sendo uma das manifestações do Paráclito o brotar de uma incontrolável alegria, que se expande em riso e gozo, frequentemente designado por deleite, o papel do riso e da alegria é muitas vezes subalternizado nas religiões do Ocidente. Com muito humor e numa cativante apresentação, o orador soube prender o público e proporcionou a mais original e inesperada intervenção da tarde, que mereceu justos rasgados elogios pelos presentes.

Seguiu-se a apresentação do Rito Português por João Pestana Dias, Grão Mestre da Grande Loja Soberana de Portugal. Inserido no contexto do movimento da Nova Maçonaria Portuguesa assumido pela Soberana no último par de anos, o Rito Português teve a sua origem na Grande Loja Legal de Portugal/GLRP em 2015 tendo florescido desde então em outras Obediências, mantendo sempre a continuidade iniciática e proveniência maçónica, dando destaque à portugalidade e à exploração simbólica das fontes literárias e artísticas que se fundam no ideal do Quinto Império.

Explicando que o Rito Português é o Rito oficial da Grande Loja Soberana, João Pestana Dias foi expondo alguma da história e da especificidade litúrgica, desenvolvida tendo como matriz o Rito Escocês Antigo e Aceite. Foi de marcado interesse a memória descritiva dos símbolos adoptados (a cruz decorrente do estudo do quadrado e do octógono, com os seus cabos marítimos e inspiração nos traçados da Ordem de Cristo, os diversos paramentos de cada grau, os paramentos de Venerável Mestre e Grande Oficial, etc.).

Encerrou os trabalhos do dia Mons. Luis Fonseca, Tau Christophorus de Lusignan, Capelão do Conselho Magistral da OSMTHU e Bispo da Old Templar Church, que abordou o tema do “Quinto Império… e Saudade do Futuro” numa perspectiva muito directa e pedagógica, sempre com a preocupação de se fazer escutar como uma voz da Ordem e de falar em nome desta, devidamente credenciado para tal.

Por esse facto, evitou cuidadosamente discorrer sobre os assuntos abordados até esse ponto, procurando em alternativa entrar no mais profundo do tema pela intermédio da meditação activa e da contemplação. Assim, seleccionou algumas peças musicais que pudessem ilustrar por via dos sentidos o que as palavras não alcançam, elevando de forma palpável o entendimento da plateia, tocando uma corda especial no coração de todos. Segui-se quase uma hora de intervenções espontâneas dos presentes que, com muita elevação e gosto, prolongaram ainda mais a profunda impressão deixada pelo orador.

Apesar do memento ser irrepetível, deixamos aqui o texto de base que foi lido, o qual contém os links para os vídeos apresentados.

As III Jornadas deviam ser encerradas com uma apresentação pelo Grão Prior Geral do Grão Priorado de Portugal, Luis de Matos. Contudo, este, dirigindo-se à assembleia explicou que tinha ocorrido o mesmo que já se passara em outras ocasiões em relação ao Luis Fonseca. Sem se terem falado na preparação dos seus trabalhos, estes acabaram por ser tão irmãos nas referências e conteúdos que – disse o Grão Prior – na sua apresentação havia um vídeo com um fado cujo autor era o mesmo da apresentação de Luis Fonseca – o poeta e guitarra clássica Jorge Fernando – exactamente com o mesmo lineup musical: Filipe Larsen no baixo acústico e Custódio Castelo na Guitarra Portuguesa… A única diferença era a voz, em que despontava Jorge Fernando e numa outra peça, Mariza. Dada a coincidência inesperada e o efeito obtido pela apresentação de Luis Fonseca, o Grão Prior rematou dizendo: “Uso da minha prerrogativa de me remeter ao silêncio; convido-vos todos a regressar a casa também em silêncio e ainda com os ecos do que aqui ouviram no coração.”

Em resumo, está de parabéns a Comenda de Laccobriga do Grão Priorado de Portugal da OSMTHU bem com o seu Comendador Victor Varela Martins e todos os membros e família que o ajudaram a levar a cabo este duro trabalho, apreciado por todos. Torna-se já uma tradição nesta época do ano rumar a sul e desfrutar da amizade fraternal entre Cavaleiros e Damas, mas também entre um número cada vez maior de convidados, amigos e público. Mais uma vez se trabalhou de forma ecuménica, intergrupal, mostrando que a colaboração com outras Ordens, movimentos culturais e tradicionais, pesquisadores e autores, é possível e profundamente transformador.

Em 2021 as IV Jornadas serão uma realidade.

Atentos aos tempos.

Disaster Relief in Bolivia – Templar Help

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On 14 February 2020, the Bolivia Government Information Agency declared a disaster zone for Luribay Municipality, La Paz Department, due to heavy rain and river flooding that has affected 500 families, 30 households, and 1,050 hectares of agricultural land. In addition, media reported this rainy season overall has affected eight of nine regions of the country were 6,423 families suffered injuries. To date, 17 deaths have been registered.

The Priorato General del Estado Plurinacional de Bolivia, headed by Grand Prior General Fr+ Vincenzo Tuccillo organized a Templar presence in the relief efforts, in cooperation with the main ONG’s in the country, including the International Red Cross.

Food, medicines, water and other essential goods were gathered by the Bolivian brothers and sisters, effectively kicking off the first real world action of the Relief organization of the OSMTHU – to be announced later in the year – the Templar Corps International, the service Corps of the Order.

The Grand Priory of Bolivia has been working on a steady development of Templar ideals in South America, in a leading role, alongside the Grand Priory of Colombia, a true beacon of Templar light in the region. An International Meeting with a focus on ecumenical cooperation and opened to all Templar lines and families in the Americas, is being prepared. More details on the work of the Grand Priory of Bolivia can be found by visiting the website.

The delights of the Duero River Valley

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There is a part of Spain, within a day’s drive of the Algarve, that you may have never heard of, let alone visited. If I’m right, you have been missing something interesting.

I’m talking about the Duero River valley. If you have driven north through Spain, heading for France or Britain, you have almost certainly driven from Salamanca through Valladolid and on to Burgos and Santander or Bilbao or France. You have driven right across the Duero River just south of Valladolid in the small town of Tordesillas.

The Duero River rises near Soria and runs from east to west through the provinces of Valladolid and Zamora before it forms the Spanish-Portuguese border for a while. When it enters Portugal, it changes its name to become the Douro and splashes on west to Porto and the Atlantic.

We all know the wonderful Douro wines – but you may not be aware of the fact that, in Spain, this river nourishes some very excellent Spanish wines, too.

There are a number of DOs (Denominación de Origen) that depend on the special climactic effects created by the Duero. The best known are the Ribera del Duero (home of Vega Sicilia, which is arguably Spain’s greatest wine) to the east of Valladolid and Rueda to the south of Tordesillas, but excellent, though lesser known, wines are also produced in the DOs of Cigales, north of Valladolid, and in Toro, Zamora and Los Arribes, all in the province of Zamora.

The red wines of Valladolid province are primarily made with the Tempranillo varietal and the whites with Verdejo or, increasingly, Sauvignon Blanc. In Zamora province, Tempranillo (here often called Tinta de Toro or Tinta del Pais) is equally as important but Garnacha and Juan Garcia are gaining in usage. Almost all the wines produced in both provinces are single varietals rather than blends and it is only in the Rueda DO that white wines are produced in quantity.

The Toro wines were so prestigious that King Alfonso IX of Léon conceded privileges for their production in the 12th century and Columbus took Toro wine on his 1492 expedition, because it could survive long journeys due to its structure and body.

A group of us recently wanted to experience the various Duero wines in situ, so we used the harvest festival in Toro (Fiesta de la Vendimia) in mid-October as our excuse to spend a week tasting wines, eating some wonderful Castillian tapas and looking at the scenery and architectural wonders of the area.

Our base was the Hotel Juan II in Toro, overlooking the Duero and right next to the magnificent collegiate church of Santa Maria la Mayor, a really beautiful combination of Romanesque and Gothic architecture that was begun in 1160.

Not far away was the impressive Monasterio de Sancti Spiritus, founded in 1307 and home to a lovely collection of religious art and a beautiful Romanesque cloisters. More interesting, from our point of view, was the beautiful alabaster sarcophagus of Beatriz of Portugal, only child of King Ferdinand I and, in 1383, wife and Queen Consort of King Juan I of Castille.

Our tour took us to the Los Arribes DO, a long, narrow strip of rocky slopes along the eastern banks of the Duero on the Portuguese border (the name “Arribes” derives from the Latin ad ripam, which means “on the banks of”). The terroir is so hardscrabble and dry it is amazing that any wine at all can be grown, but, in fact, we tasted some quite drinkable ones. We also had the opportunity to take a cruise in the international waters of the ”Grand Canyon” of the Arribes del Duero. It was quite spectacular.

On our way back to Toro we stopped in Zamora for a walk around the old town, a look at the cathedral built in the mid-12th century, with its graceful cupola covered with scallop tiling, and an excellent dinner in one of the province’s finest restaurants, El Rincón de Antonio, the tasting menu of which was, of course, complemented by very tasty Rueda white and Toro red wines.

The Toro Fiesta runs over four days, and, during it, the town’s population swells from just under 10,000 to about 30,000, with the influx being almost entirely Spanish tourists.

The townsfolk are dressed in medieval costume and the celebrations are capped by the Gran Torneo de Justas Medieval on Saturday afternoon in the very rustic bullring. This is an hour long pièce de theatre, by four knights-errant and their pages, of (simulated) jousting, sword play and various pranks, all played for laughs to the vast amusement of the crowd. Of course, the knight representing Castille “won”, at the expense of the insipid (and probably drunk) knight representing Portugal and the mean and ugly black knight. Cheers all around.

On a political note, our visit was just after the “referendum” vote in Catalonia, and we were struck by the vibrant nationalist spirit in evidence all around us. There were many Spanish flags displayed prominently – a practice that, until now, had been rather frowned upon as being slightly fascist. It was clear that, while the illegal vote may have been divisive vis-à-vis Catalonia, it had certainly brought the rest of Spain closer together as a nation.

Our drive back home on the Sunday (with a boot full of good Spanish wine) was about 750km, all autoroute, and covered in about six hours – leaving time for a good tapas lunch on the way. Viva España!

By Larry Hampton

The mean and ugly black knight having a sword fight with the good knight (in red) representing Castille during the Gran Torneo Medieval in Toro’s bull ring

The Toro Clock Tower (Torre del Reloj), seen looking down on some of the revellers during Toro’s harvest festival

A view of the lovely cloisters in the Monasterio de Sancti Spiritus in Toro

The alabaster sarcophagus of Beatriz of Portugal in the Monasterio de Sancti Spiritus

The mid-12th century Zamora Cathedral

Ancient wine barrels in the vast cellars of the Menade winery deep underground in La Seca in Rueda

A view of the Duero River, with Portugal on the left and Spain on the right

The beautiful 12th Century Collegiate church of Santa Maria la Mayor in Toro

A typical display of the Spanish flag in the Plaza Mayor of Zafra

I International Conference of the Temple, Spiritual Chivalry and Templarism in Almourol available in video (full lenght, all conferences and visits, 9h30m)

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The Municipality of Vila Nova da Barquinha just released the full 9h30m of video that documents the full I International Conference of the Temple, Spiritual Chivalry and Templarism that took place  in Almourol, Portugal in October, where the milestone Protocol of Almourol was signed.

The I Conference was the first International Event organized by the CITA (here and here), an Interpretation Center for the Order of the Temple and the Order of Christ that complements the world famous Templar Castle of Almourol.

During the Event the OSMTHU and the OSMTJ, represented respectively by Master Antonio Paris and Regent Nicholas Haimovici-Hastier,  signed a Protocol with the Municipality, declaring the CITA and Almourol as an International Place of Templar Cultural Interest. Both branches of the Order also committed to the development of the library and archive available at the CITA and the organization of three yearly Conferences where members of the Order, the academic community, researchers and the general public can come together and celebrate the Templar heritage (here).

Short clip of how the collaboration came to be:

PROGRAM OF THE I CONFERENCE

The released videos extensively document the Guided Tours and the Conferences that took place along three days in October 2019. A large part of the content is in English. The footage will be edited shortly in order to make the conferences more accessible and subtitle in English those that are only available in Portuguese.

The present uncut release is, however, very useful for all those who were not able to attend and want to have access to all the discussions and groundbreaking research presented. Reviewing the videos will also provide almple reason not to miss the II International Conference to be held in Almourol in October 2020. (more info: osmthu@mail.com)

THE VIDEOS (Parts 1, 2 and 3)

Yes, the light remains in the East

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Nicholas Haimovici-Hastier, Regent of the OSMTJ and Antonio Paris, Master of the OSMTHU

Following a few requests for information and clarification, after the new year started with one more of the many ill advised and irregular “coups d’etat” that recurrently affect fraternal groups, this one resembling the Wild West of fearless cowboys and bandits, we are pleased to make the following DECLARATION:

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Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem Universal (OSMTHU)

Having started an unstoppable movement of International Cooperation between all good willing legitimate Templar Branches of the Order, announced in October 2018, confirmed by the OSMTHU and the OSMTJ in June 2019 and signed in an Agreement with the creation in October 2019 of the International Conference of Almourol between the Municipality of one of the oldest and most significant Templar locations in Europe and the OSMTHU and the OSMTJ, that will take place again in 2020, 2021 and 2022, becoming the most important single Templar location for cultural, academic and fraternal Templar exchange in the world, we declare that:

a) The Agreement Signed in Almourol, Portugal the 13 of October 2019 between the Municipality, the OSMTHU and the OSMTJ is valid until the year 2022

b) On the OSMTJ side, the Agreement was signed by Regent Nicholas Haimovici-Hastier, binding the Order and his International Council

c) Regent Haimovici-Hastier maintains his position as Head of the OSMTJ, maintaining regular status regarding the OSMTHU, the Municipality and all matters relating to the Agreement and Conferences

d) The recent mutiny perpetrated by rogue groups that had past associations with the OSMTJ is not recognized as legitimate by the OSMTHU and has no bearing in the Agreement or future efforts of International Cooperation

e) The OSMTHU recognizes that misguided ambitions and an empty hearted hunger for fragmentation frequently find safe harbor within the Order; when such forces become visible, leaving the dirt behind has been the best way to carry on with the good work

f) Since the determination to Cooperate and Converge at an international level is the scope of our work in the next few years, the Order rejects any association with irregular illegitimate movements that seek to hinder that purpose

g) We take this opportunity to invite all Templars of good faith and provenance to converge in Almourol, Portugal in October 2020 for the Second International Conference and partake the friendship and fraternal welcome extended to all men and women of heart

h) Yes, the light remains in the East

Luis de Matos

Chancellor, OSMTHU


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We would like to wish Regent Haimovici and his International Council a great year of 2020.

Saint Thomas Becket

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Martyr, Archbishop of Canterbury, b. Dec. 21, 1118 (?); d. Dec. 29, 1170

Thomas Becket , Saint, martyr, Archbishop of Canterbury, b. at London, December 21, 1118 (?); d. at Canterbury, December 29, 1170. St. Thomas was born of parents who, coming from Normandy, had settled in England some years previously. No reliance can be placed upon the legend that his mother was a Saracen. In after life his humble birth was made the subject of spiteful comment, though his parents were not peasants, but people of some mark, and from his earliest years their son had been well taught and had associated with gentlefolk. He learned to read at Merton Abbey and then studied in Paris. On leaving school he employed himself in secretarial work, first with Sir Richer de l’Aigle and then with his kinsman, Osbert Huitdeniers, who was “Justiciar” of London. Somewhere about the year 1141, under circumstances that are variously related, he entered the service of Theobald, Archbishop of Canterbury, and in that household he won his master’s favor and eventually became the most trusted of all his clerks. A description embodied in the Icelandic Saga and derived probably from Robert of Cricklade gives a vivid portrait of him at this period. “To look upon he was slim of growth and pale of hue, with dark hair, a long nose, and a straightly featured face. Blithe of countenance was he, winning and loveable in his conversation, frank of speech in his discourses, but slightly stuttering in his talk, so keen of discernment and understanding that he could always make difficult questions plain after a wise manner.” Theobald recognized his capacity, made use of him in many delicate negotiations, and after allowing him to go for a year to study civil and canon law at Bologna and Auxerre, ordained him deacon in 1154, after bestowing upon him several preferments, the most important of which was the Archdeaconry of Canterbury (see Radford, “Thomas of London”, p. 53).

It was just at this period that King Stephen died and the young monarch Henry II became unquestioned master of the kingdom. He took “Thomas of London”, as Becket was then most commonly called, for his chancellor, and in that office Thomas at the age of thirty-six became, with the possible exception of the justiciar, the most powerful subject in Henry’s wide dominions. The chroniclers speak with wonder of the relations which existed between the chancellor and the sovereign, who was twelve years his junior. People declared that “they had but one heart and one mind”. Often the king and his minister behaved like two schoolboys at play. But although they hunted or rode at the head of an army together it was no mere comradeship in pastime which united them. Both were hard workers, and both, we may believe, had the prosperity of the kingdom deeply at heart. Whether the chancellor, who was after all the elder man, was the true originator of the administrative reforms which Henry introduced cannot now be clearly determined. In many matters they saw eye to eye. The king’s imperial views and love of splendor were quite to the taste of his minister. When Thomas went to France in 1158 to negotiate a marriage treaty, he travelled with such pomp that the people said: “If this be only the chancellor what must be the glory of the king himself?”

In 1153 Thomas acted as justice itinerant in three counties. In 1159 he seems to have been the chief organizer of Henry’s expedition to Toulouse, upon which he accompanied him, and though it seems to be untrue that the impost of “scutage” was called into existence for that occasion (Round, “Feudal England”, 268-73), still Thomas undoubtedly pressed on the exaction of this money contribution in lieu of military service and enforced it against ecclesiastics in such a way that bitter complaints were made of the disproportionately heavy burden thus imposed upon the Church. In the military operations Thomas took a leading part, and Garnier, a French chronicler, who lived to write of the virtues of St. Thomas and his martyrdom, declares that in these encounters he saw him unhorse many French knights. Deacon though he was, he led the most daring attacks in person, and Edward Grim also gives us to understand that in laying waste the enemy’s country with fire and sword the chancellor’s principles did not materially differ from those of the other commanders of his time. But although, as men then reported, “he put off the archdeacon”, in this and other ways, he was very far from assuming the licentious manners of those around him. No word was ever breathed against his personal purity. Foul conduct or foul speech, lying or unchastity were hateful to him, and on occasion he punished them severely. He seems at all times to have had clear principles with regard to the claims of the Church, and even during this period of his chancellorship he more than once risked Henry’s grievous displeasure. For example, he opposed the dispensation which Henry for political reasons extorted from the pope, and strove to prevent the marriage of Mary, Abbess of Romsey, to Matthew of Boulogne. But to the very limits of what his conscience permitted, Thomas identified himself with his master’s interests, and Tennyson is true to history when he makes the archbishop say:

I served our Theobald well when I was with him: I served King Henry well as Chancellor: I am his no more, and I must serve the Church.

Archbishop Theobald died in 1161, and in the course of the next year Henry seems to have decided that it would be good policy to prepare the way for further schemes of reform by securing the advancement of his chancellor to the primacy. Our authorities are agreed that from the first Thomas drew back in alarm. “I know your plans for the Church”, he said, “you will assert claims which I, if I were archbishop, must needs oppose.” But Henry would not be gainsaid, and Thomas at the instance of Cardinal Henry of Pisa, who urged it upon him as a service to religion, yielded in spite of his misgivings. He was ordained priest on Saturday in Whitweek and consecrated bishop the next day, Sunday, June 3, 1162. It seems to have been St. Thomas who obtained for England the privilege of keeping the feast of the Blessed Trinity on that Sunday, the anniversary of his consecration, and more than a century afterwards this custom was adopted by the papal Court itself and eventually imposed upon the whole world.

A great change took place in the saint’s way of life after his consecration as archbishop. Even as chancellor he had practiced secret austerities, but now in view of the struggle he clearly saw before him he gave himself to fastings and disciplines, hair shirts, protracted vigils, and constant prayers. Before the end of the year 1162 he stripped himself of all signs of the lavish display which he had previously affected. On August 10 he went barefoot to receive the envoy who brought him the pallium from Rome. Contrary to the king’s wish he resigned the chancellorship. Whereupon Henry seems to have required him to surrender certain ecclesiastical preferments which he still retained, notably the archdeaconry, and when this was not done at once showed bitter displeasure. Other misunderstandings soon followed. The archbishop, having, as he believed, the king’s express permission, set about to reclaim alienated estates belonging to his see, a procedure which again gave offense. Still more serious was the open resistance which he made to the king’s proposal that a voluntary offering to the sheriffs should be paid into the royal treasury. As the first recorded instance of any determined opposition to the king’s arbitrary will in a matter of taxation, the incident is of much constitutional importance. The saint’s protest seems to have been successful, but the relations with the king only grew more strained.

Soon after this the great matter of dispute was reached in the resistance made by Thomas to the king’s officials when they attempted to assert jurisdiction over criminous clerks. The question has been dealt with in some detail in the article England (V, 436). That the saint himself had no wish to be lenient with criminous clerks has been well shown by Norgate (Angevin Kings, ii, 22). It was with him simply a question of principle. St. Thomas seems all along to have suspected Henry of a design to strike at the independence of what the king regarded as a too powerful Church. With this view Henry summoned the bishops at Westminster (October 1, 1163) to sanction certain as yet unspecified articles which he called his grandfather’s customs (avitoe consuetudines), one of the known objects of which was to bring clerics guilty of crimes under the jurisdiction of the secular courts. The other bishops, as the demand was still in the vague, showed a willingness to submit, though with the condition “saving our order”, upon which St. Thomas inflexibly insisted. The king’s resentment was thereupon manifested by requiring the archbishop to surrender certain castles he had hitherto retained, and by other acts of unfriendliness. In deference to what he believed to be the pope’s wish, the archbishop in December consented to make some concessions by giving a personal and private undertaking to the king to obey his customs “loyally and in good faith”. But when Henry shortly afterwards at Clarendon (January 13, 1164) sought to draw the saint on to a formal and public acceptance of the “Constitutions of Clarendon”, under which name the sixteen articles, the avitoe consuetudines as finally drafted, have been commonly known, St. Thomas, though at first yielding somewhat to the solicitations of the other bishops, in the end took up an attitude of uncompromising resistance.

Then followed a period of unworthy and vindictive persecution. When opposing a claim made against him by John the Marshal, Thomas upon a frivolous pretext was found guilty of contempt of court. For this he was sentenced to pay £500; other demands for large sums of money followed, and finally, though a complete release of all claims against him as chancellor had been given on his becoming archbishop, he was required to render an account of nearly all the moneys which had passed through his hands in his discharge of the office. Eventually a sum of nearly £30,000 was demanded of him. His fellow bishops, summoned by Henry to a council at Northampton, implored him to throw himself unreservedly upon the king’s mercy, but St. Thomas, instead of yielding, solemnly warned them and threatened them. Then, after celebrating Mass, he took his archiepiscopal cross into his own hand and presented himself thus in the royal council chamber. The king demanded that sentence should be passed upon him, but in the confusion and discussion which ensued the saint with uplifted cross made his way out throughthe mob of angry courtiers. He fled away secretly that night (October 13, 1164), sailed in disguise from Sandwich (November 2), and, after being cordially welcomed by Louis VII of France, he threw himself at the feet of Pope Alexander III, then at Sens, on November 23 The pope, who had given a cold reception to certain episcopal envoys sent by Henry, welcomed the saint very kindly, and refused to accept his resignation of his see. On November 30, Thomas went to take up his residence at the Cistercian Abbey of Pontigny in Burgundy, though he was compelled to leave this refuge a year later, as Henry, after confiscating the archbishop’s property and banishing all the Becket kinsfolk, threatened to wreak his vengeance on the whole Cistercian Order if they continued to harbor him.

The negotiations between Henry, the pope, and the archbishop dragged on for the next four years without the position being sensibly changed. Although the saint remained firm in his resistance to the principle of the Constitutions of Clarendon, he was willing to make any concessions that could be reasonably asked of him, and on January 6, 1169, when the kings of England and France were in conference at Montmirail, he threw himself at Henry’s feet, but as he still refused to accept the obnoxious customs Henry repulsed him. At last in 1170 some sort of reconciliation was patched up. The question of the customs was not mentioned and Henry professed himself willing to be guided by the archbishop’s council as to amends due to the See of Canterbury for the recent violation of its rights in the crowning of Henry’s son by the Archbishop of York. On December 1, 1170, St. Thomas again landed in England, and was received with every demonstration of popular enthusiasm. But trouble almost immediately occurred in connection with the absolution of two of the bishops, whose sentence of excommunication St. Thomas had brought with him, as well as over the restoration by the de Broc family of the archbishop’s castle at Saltwood. How far Henry was directly responsible for the tragedy which soon after occurred on December 29 is not quite clear. Four knights who came from France demanded the absolution of the bishops. St. Thomas would not comply. They left for a space, but came back at Vesper time with a band of armed men. To their angry question, “Where is the traitor?” the saint boldly replied, “Here I am, no traitor, but archbishop and priest of God.” They tried to drag him from the church, but were unable, and in the end they slew him where he stood, scattering his brains on the pavement. His faithful companion, Edward Grim, who bore his cross, was wounded in the struggle.

A tremendous reaction of feeling followed this deed of blood. In an extraordinarily brief space of time devotion to the martyred archbishop had spread all through Europe. The pope promulgated the bull of canonization, little more than two years after the martyrdom, February 21, 1173. On July 12, 1174, Henry II did public penance, and was scourged at the archbishop’s tomb. An immense number of miracles were worked, and for the rest of the Middle Ages the shrine of St. Thomas of Canterbury was one of the wealthiest and most famous in Europe. The martyr’s holy remains are believed to have been destroyed in September, 1538, when nearly all the other shrines in England were dismantled; but the matter is by no means clear, and, although the weight of learned opinion is adverse, there are still those who believe that a skeleton found in the crypt in January, 1888, is the body of St. Thomas. The story that Henry VIII in 1538 summoned the archbishop to stand his trial for high treason, and that when, in June, 1538, the trial had been held and the accused pronounced contumacious, the body was ordered to be disinterred and burnt, is probably apocryphal.

by Herbert Thurston in catholic.com

Una productora alemana graba en València del 24 al 26 de octubre un documental sobre el Santo Grial

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El director de documentales Alexander Landsberger vendrá a Valencia los días 24, 25 y 26 de octubre para rodar un documental sobre el Santo Grial que se prevé emitir en la televisión pública alemana.

El documental incluirá en el relato la nueva aportación realizada por la doctora en Historia del Arte por la Universitat de València (UV) Ana Mafé que en su tesis doctoral concluye “por primera vez” que el Cáliz de Valencia es una copa “de factura hebrea” y que, por sus características, coincide con el relato del evangelio y con la época en la que se data la Última Cena de Jesucristo.

La idea de grabar el documental se gestó en marzo, tras conocer el resultado de la investigación, con el objetivo de dar a conocer a nivel internacional las nueva informaciones que ratifican el Santo Cáliz de Valencia como el origen del constructo medieval del conocido Santo Grial, según ha informado en un comunicado la productora Story House Productions GmbH encargada del proyecto.

La película del Santo Grial, que es parte de una serie documental de los mitos más grandes del mundo llamada “Mitos de la humanidad”, producida por la productora en nombre de la emisora de televisión pública alemana ZDFinfo, es un documental de 45 minutos que cuenta la historia de una de las reliquias más sagradas de la humanidad.

El equipo, que también filmará en San Juan de la Peña y Jacetania los días 22 y 23 de octubre con la presencia del historiador Michael Hesemann, seguirán el Camino del Santo Grial y explicarán el porqué de su inspiración para el poema medieval Parzifal de Wolfram von Eschenbach.

La serie se prevé transmitir en ZDFinfo en el verano de 2020 y la compañía distribuirá una versión internacional del programa en todo el mundo.

in Valencianoticias, por