The first contemporary monograph dedicated to the Knights Templar in Croatia was solemnly presented at the Trakošćan Castle, entitled “Templar Heritage in Croatia”, a project carried out by the Croatian Knights Templar.
A number of Croatian scientists have been working on this issue for years. The Templars are one of the most important knightly orders that emerged in the Middle Ages. Breaking Mysticism and Taboos they represented a special form of religious community, embodying two ideals of medieval man – devotion to God in religious life and the virtues of chivalry. Their history has attracted the attention of both scientific circles and the general public from the Middle Ages to the present day. The way in which the order disappeared or was destroyed also played an important role, and this led to the emergence of various myths and stories related to the Templars.
That is why this book presents in a scientifically based way the development and history of this order, both in general and in the Hungarian-Croatian Kingdom, and its cultural and historical heritage in Croatian lands, discovered by archaeological research. In addition, it points to the importance of nurturing Templar traditions in modern society – said the book’s editor, Ph.D. Marija Karbić, scientific advisor at the Croatian Institute of History. The reviewer prof.dr.sc. spoke about the importance of this publishing venture. Ivan Jurković from the Faculty of Philosophy, Juraj Dobrila University in Pula, who emphasized the importance of scientific facts in breaking mysticism, taboos, but also fiction about this mysterious order.
Dr. sc. Juraj Belaj from the Institute of Archeology, who wrote a chapter dedicated to archaeological finds related to the Templar heritage, stressed that throughout Croatia there are remnants of the rich Templar heritage that has yet to be valued and revealed to the local and European public. Namely, Croatia has a centuries-old Templar tradition, which is quite unknown to the general public. That is why Dr. sc. Damir Karbić, director of the Department of Historical Sciences of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, warned of the importance of rare preserved sources related to the activities of the Templars in Croatia, emphasizing the HAZU archive. In addition to the collected material, original scientific works of leading Croatian historians and scientists dealing with this issue have been made, as well as new maps that “draw” Croatia on the Templar map of Europe.
The Knights Templar, their work and heritage are certainly one of the most intriguing topics of popular culture and arouse public interest. However, too little is known about how Croatia, thanks to its Templar heritage, secured an important place on the map of Europe in the Middle Ages.
Templar forts, churches and chapels sprang up all over the then Croatian lands…
On their way to the Holy Land, European Templars met and stayed in Croatia. And when they were banned in Europe under the pressure of French King Philip, thanks to the then Bishop of Zagreb, today’s Blessed Augustine Kazotic, Zagreb gave them refuge in what today is Nova Ves. Croatia became their last legal refuge after persecution in France – said university professor Bozo Skoko, who published a chapter on contemporary Templar heritage in Croatia and the world in a monograph with professor and communicologist Ivan Tanta. A memorial plaque at the beginning of the street, which was unveiled in 2019, testifies to Nova Ves as the last European legal refuge in Europe.
Croatia has a centuries-old Templar tradition, which is quite unknown to the general public. There are remnants of the rich Templar heritage throughout Croatia that has yet to be valued and revealed to the local and European public, in which interest in this mystical religious knightly order is constantly growing. That is why the Croatian Knights Templar, associations and fraternities, initiated the publication of the first modern monograph dealing with this topic.
The monograph was published with the support of the Adris Foundation and the support of the Templar Corps International.
Conference and Ceremony
On the following day the Grand Prior of Croatia, Fr+ Lovro Tomašinec was installed in Office by the representatives of the Magisterial Council of the OSMTHU in a ceremony that took place in the beautiful medieval Chapel.
In times of exception, exceptional measures are taken. The Corona virus has completely disrupted our lives, confining most of us to our homes. However, the Order keeps its work and doesn’t stop. And like many organizations, the Magisterial Council of the OSMTHU, spread across several continents and time slots, met this pas 11 of April – Passover Saturday – online.
Just one year ago we were in Croatia, however this year confinement and traveling restrictions forced the Grand Priory of Croatia to postpone their yearly event. In June the Magisterial Council would travel to Bolivia to host a large south american meeting with the Grand Priories in amity, but the calendar is getting tighter and a decision about the event had to be taken.
Using Zoom, the Council has been working together, more often, more tightly together, more efficiently, cooperating and orchestrating the TRANSFORMATION that it has announced last year.
This may be the first crisis in history in which we are required to really work together and leave nobody behind. The virus respects no borders, it bestows no political favors, it distinguishes no races or religions, it doesn’t care about wealth or fame. It’s democratic and a leveler. MOAE. Mors Omnia Aequat. We will pull through together, with compassion, with commitment, with real work in the real world. Our actions as individuals do impact society as a whole. Indeed the distant flapping of a butterfly’s wing may cause a tornado on your back yard. Each Templar should do his/hers part.
In the next few weeks we expect to release a revised Calendar for 2020 and digital tools for International Cooperation. We want to ensure Templars all across the world that the Order is ready for the challenges ahead.
May God look upon our humble efforts with grace.
Regent Fr+ Nicolas Haimovici-Hastier (third from right) with his Magisterial Council in Zagreb, Croatia 2019
A groundbreaking agreement was signed between the OSMTJ and the OSMTHU, two of the leading branches of the Templar Order whose most modern institution dates back from over 200 years ago.
In a notably fragmented movement, with many small groups of undetermined origin and frequent divisions in the main branches, the firm determination of the OSMTHU to counter current trends and work on a convergence of goals expressed by the Declaration of Arraiolos (Portugal, 2018) was met by the long standing work for Templar Unity of the OSMTJ, under Regent Nicolas Haimovici-Hastier. Upon the Regent’s proposal to select a city or Templar relevant place that could work as a neutral ground of Cultural Exchange, where all groups, researchers, students and general public interested in the Templar Order could meet, discuss, learn and create bonds of friendship, the Grand Priory of Portugal of the OSMTHU committed to make all efforts to elect Vila Nova da Barquinha – of the Castle of Almourol fame and location of the Templar Interpretation Center (CIT) – the official seat of the Cultural Exchange Association between both branches.
To that end the early preparation steps have been taken to have a 3 year run of an International Congress to start in 2019 in Fall, in a date to be announced shortly.
So, leave your calendars opened to travel to Portugal this Fall, to Vila Nova da Barquinha (Almourol) – a short distance from Lisbon’s main airport and a shorter distance from Tomar – to be part of history when both groups celebrate fraternal friendship under the protection of the Templar Order.
Copy of the Agreement:
Anyone taking a stroll down Zagreb’s main plaza last Saturday afternoon, could think the city was being invaded by Templars. Indeed a large number of knights and dames in full uniform, white mantles flying in the wind like peace flags, paraded on their way to the Cathedral where the Rector was expecting the group.
This was not an ordinary event. The Grand Priory of Croatia, headed by Prior Vinko Lizec, had a very busy day planned. After a long evening on Friday where the Magisterial Council of the Order, presided by Master Antonio Paris from Italy and headed by Chancellor Luis de Matos from Portugal, discussed current Templar cooperation efforts and the new projects being launched in 2019, every delegation was pleased to gather at the lobby of the Dubrovnik Hotel on Saturday morning.
The scholar explains some of the events of Croatia Templar history to Dame Patricia (Spain) and Prior Leif Pedersen (Denmark)
Prior Leslie Payne (England) and Dame Susana Ferreira (Portugal)
The first point of call was the headquarters of the Croatian Priory, where an exhibition on the Templar history of the country was guided by historians of the National History Academy. There were maps signaling, for the first time, the many Templar possessions in Slavonia (ancient name of the Province), alongside photographic reproductions of many of the original documents, some presented to the public for the first time. The scientific quality of the work undertaken is unquestionable. The Order is proud of this work.
Some of the manuscripts and documents reproduced in the exhibition
The delegations were then taken to the Church of Saint John the Baptist an 18th century building that stands on the site of the last templar church in Zagreb. The Master lead the ceremony in which he installed Fr+ José Miguel Salazar as Prior of Spain and Fr+ Angelo Nappo as Grand Prior of Italy, confirming Fr+ Vinko Lisec as Grand Prior of Croatia of the OSMTHU. The beautiful pipe organ was masterfully played by an invited musician and a choir sang an inspiring arrangement of the “Non Nobis” hymn by Simon Rattle that left everyone in the church in a state of elevated admiration.
A comprehensive and delicious meal preempted the Conference in the afternoon. The invited delegations presented their salutations. Hosted by the Grand Priory of Croatia and the Magisterial Council of the OSMTHU, present were the Grand Priory of Portugal, the Grand Priory of Spain, the Grand Priory of Italy, the Grand Priory of Slovakia of the OSMTH – Regency, the Grand Priory of England and Wales, the Grand Priory of Denmark and the Grand Priory of Croatia of the OSMTJ, with a special message from Regent Fr+ Nicolas Haimovici Hastier.
Master Paris, Prior Lisec and Chancellor Matos underlined the need for cooperation between all Templar groups, highlighting some of the most important events in the last year. The Chancellor also said that one year ago this convergence was impossible and that, looking to the horizon, all Templar lineages meet in one point, inviting everyone to work on a convergence of efforts right now instead of just hopping for the infinite to come to us instead. Finally he presented the Templar Corps as a genuine structure that can show the leadership and service needed to set service standards to the Order worldwide.
The group then was conducted to the Catedral of Zagreb, parading in full dress. The only exception was Dame Patrícia Oyarzun, Private Secretary to the Master and Chancellor Matos, because Dame Patrícia had difficulties to walk uphill and Fr+ Matos is an opportunist and doesn’t like to walk!
Chancellor Matos accompanies Dame Patrícia in the Taxi, in full dress. The driver insisted in taking the picture
In the Cathedral the large group was received by the Rector and entered the temple, that was filled with people, in silence and taken to seats reserved for the ordained. The celebratory mass was very moving. Not only the cathedral is a beautifully preserved and in places very well restored 12th century Gothic building, but the liturgy was also tastefully interwoven with musical moments, with traditional vocals and modern instrumental sounds. Beautiful Kyrie. When the group was lead in a ceremonial procession to the plaza in front of the Cathedral, the sun was setting and the hearts were filled.
The event concluded with a Gala Dinner, during which a treaty was signed between the Magisterial Council of the OSMTHU and the International Templar Confederation – Saint Bernard de Clairvaux, that joins over 30 Templar organizations in charity projects based on the Church of San Rocco of Rome managed by the Templars of San Rocco.
Signature of the Protocole with Fr+ Renato Parlato, on the upper left, representing the Confederation
Yes, that day the Templars took over Zagreb. For two days of intense work, fun, relaxation and cultural discussions, brother and sisters from all over Europe were able to forget their different origins, traditions and lineages and live the true brotherhood of Templar ideals.
Next stop: South America and Rome before the end of the year. Do follow us!
Starting January 1st, 2016, Fr+ Roman Vertovec is ceasing functions as the Visitor General of the OSMTHU. It’s with a great sense of pride that the Magisterial Council acknowledges the high quality of its members, frequently chosen to lead Templar initiatives and groups elsewhere in the neo-Templar world. The Magisterial Council was informed that Fr+ Roman will lead a new group composed of the Priory of Italy (Napolitan branch), the Priory of Croatia and the Priory of Bulgaria, having already been installed as the group’s leader in Zagreb.
The OSMTHU and the Magisterial Council wishes Fr+ Roman Vertovec the best in this new courageous task. God, undoubtably, will bless all those who act with a pure heart.
Luis de Matos
Chancellor and Interim Master
For more information on the OSMTHU, please visit the official site at: templarsosmthu.wordpress.com