Portugal

III International Conference “Order of the Temple – Spiritual Chivalry – Templarism”.

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The Templar Interpretation Center of Almourol (CITA) of Vila Nova da Barquinha promoted, on the weekend of November 13th and 14th, the III International Conference “Order of the Temple – Spiritual Chivalry – Templarism”.

The municipal auditorium hosted some of the best national and international experts on the subject, with speakers from countries such as Spain, the United States, Croatia and Portugal: Luis de Matos (Chancellor of OSMTHU), Carlos Trincão (Teacher and member of TREF), Álvaro Barbosa (Architect and former director of Convento de Cristo), Virgílio Alves (Philosopher and Senior Technician in Public Administration), João Pedro Silva (Researcher and member of OSMTHU), Ernesto Alves Jana (Historian and member of TREF), Jefferson Perry (former -military), José Miguel Navarro (OSMTHU’s Senescal expert in security systems), Lovro Tomasinec (Croatian Order of Knights Templar OSMTH) and Manuel J. Gandra (CITA Researcher and Curator).

The book “Almourol – 850th anniversary of its foundation, in the context of the Order of the Temple in Portugal”, was launched at the event.

Fernando Freire, Mayor of the City Council, and Paula Pontes, Councilor for the Department of Culture, were present at the conference. The initiative also featured the musical animation of Fernando Espanhol, in a medieval music moment.

The Almourol Templar Interpretation Center is the first of its kind in Portugal. It has a permanent exhibition room, a space for temporary exhibitions and a projection room for films on the theme of the Templars. The Library – Templar Archives is also located in the same building, which has a vast literary collection dedicated to this theme, the result of donations from Teresa Furtado and Manuel J. Gandra.

Centro de Interpretação Templário de Almourol; Largo 1.º Dezembro; 2260-403 Vila Nova da Barquinha Tel.: 249720358E-mail: cita@cm-vnbarquinha.pt

III Conferência Internacional “Ordem do Templo – Cavalaria Espiritual – Templarismo”

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O Centro de Interpretação Templário de Almourol (CITA) de Vila Nova da Barquinha promoveu, no fim de semana de 13 e 14 de novembro, a III Conferência Internacional “Ordem do Templo – Cavalaria Espiritual – Templarismo”.

O auditório municipal acolheu alguns dos maiores especialistas nacionais e internacionais na temática, com oradores oriundos de países como Espanha, Estados Unidos, Croácia e Portugal: Luis de Matos (Chanceler da OSMTHU), Carlos Trincão (Professor e membro do TREF), Álvaro Barbosa (Arquiteto e ex-diretor do Convento de Cristo), Virgílio Alves (Filósofo e Técnico Superior na Administração Pública), João Pedro Silva (Investigador e membro da OSMTHU), Ernesto Alves Jana (Historiador e membro do TREF), Jefferson Perry (ex-militar), José Miguel Navarro (Senescal da OSMTHU perito em sistemas de segurança), Lovro Tomasinec (Croatian Order of Knights Templar O.S.M.T.H.) e Manuel J. Gandra (Investigador e Curador do CITA).

O evento foi marcado pelo lançamento do livro “Almourol – 850.º aniversário da sua fundação, no contexto da Ordem do Templo em Portugal”, efeméride que se assinala este ano.

Marcaram presença na conferência Fernando Freire, Presidente da Câmara Municipal, e Paula Pontes, Vereadora do Pelouro da Cultura. A iniciativa contou ainda com a animação musical de Fernando Espanhol, num registo de música medieval.

O Centro de Interpretação Templário Almourol é o primeiro do género em Portugal. Dispõe de uma sala de exposição permanente, espaço de exposições temporárias e de uma sala de projeção de filmes sobre a temática dos templários. No mesmo edifício funciona também a Biblioteca – Arquivo Templário, que dispõe de um vasto acervo literário dedicado a este tema, fruto das doações de Teresa Furtado e de Manuel J. Gandra.

Centro de Interpretação Templário de Almourol Largo 1.º Dezembro2260-403 Vila Nova da Barquinha Tel.: 249720358E-mail: cita@cm-vnbarquinha.ptHorário:- Dias úteis: 9h00 às 12h30 / 14h00 às 17h30- Fins de semana/feriados: 10h00 às 13h00 / 15h00 às 18h00(encerra à 2.ª feira de 1 de outubro a 30 de abril).

Templar Grand Priory of Portugal Confers Knighthood, October 2021

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The Templar Grand Priory of Portugal (OSMTHU) has met in National Chapter to confer Knighthood. As the Grand Priory still performs the a very long and private ceremony, that follows traditional liturgy, including full vigil and final instruction, just a short glimpse is available in the form of a 1 minute clip. It is also a requirement of the Order that the names of those upon whom Knighthood was conferred should be named. We welcome to the Order Dame Maria de Lurdes Polainas, DTJ; Fr+ António Polainas, KTJ; Fr+ Fernando Miranda, KTJ; Fr+ Fernando Pereira, KTJ and Fr+ Luis Ferreira, KTJ. We wish to thank singer Helena Lourenço for lending a celestial dimension to an already unforgettable spiritual experience.

O Grão Priorado de Portugal da OSMTHU reuniu-se em Capítulo Nacional para conferir a Cavalaria. Uma vez que os Templários Portugueses ainda realizam a cerimónia seguindo a liturgia tradicional, muito longa, que inclui a vigília completa e instrução final, de carácter interior, apenas um breve vislumbre está disponível na forma de um clip de 1 minuto. É também um requisito da Ordem que os nomes daqueles a quem a Cavalaria for conferida sejam tornados públicos. Damos por isso as boas-vindas à Ordem aos novos Irmãos e Irmãs Dama Maria de Lurdes Polainas, DTJ; Fr + António Polainas, KTJ; Fr + Fernando Miranda, KTJ; Fr + Fernando Pereira, KTJ e Fr + Luis Ferreira, KTJ. Gostaríamos finalmente de agradecer à cantora Helena Lourenço por emprestar uma dimensão celestial a uma experiência espiritual já de si inesquecível.

Exultate justi in domino – New Armaments in Chivalry in the Good Land of Alentejo

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In preparation for the eve of Santiago and the commemoration of the Battle of Ourique, the OSMTHU’s Grand Priory of Portugal gathered in General Chapter in the good land of Alentejo, to welcome new brothers and sisters, receive the commitment of service from Squires and arm Knights who demand the Order.

Current Covid19 restrictions prevented many of those who wished to join the work from doing so. However there was a very significant number in attendance, ensuring two days of very fruitful work, in peace, serenity and harmony. Until the end of the year, un the hope for improvements in sanitary conditions, the Order will provide the opportunity for those who were forced not to attend, to resume their journey without delay. Their absence was felt.

As in previous years, we do not want to expose to the public ceremonies that are reserved and contain ritual procedures and moments of study and explanation rooted in the richest Tradition of Spiritual Chivalry, in many cases lost in the fog of collective memory and absent in the Templar inspired movements of the nowadays.

After a morning of remembrance of the precepts of Chivalry according to 13th century sources, in a study session led by the Preceptor of the Grand Priory, João Pedro Silva, KOTJ, there was a convivial lunch that allowed us to catch up on long-awaited conversations. since we had not met since the Ecumenical Journeys of Lagos in February 2020. Since then an intense work of online study has been developed in parallel with some initiatives already fixed in our annual Calendar, as was the case of the Conference on Templars and Templarism in October 2020 and the 2021 Ecumenical Journeys, both in a virtual environment.

The afternoon began with the ritual opening of the National Chapter, during which postulants in the degree of Novice were received and a large group of Novices who had already completed their degree passed to Escudeiro. Some of the Knights present contributed to consolidating the knowledge acquired, promoting the necessary reflection for progress in the understanding of Chivalry. A meditation on the Emmaus Way and its meaning was especially poignant, and the afternoon was completed with a reading of traditional texts, including an oral tradition tale of Chivalry fixated in text in the 12th century in Gascony in France, that always leaves a special mark, in the memory of the Squires.

The preparation work for the night vigil, essential for the armament ceremony, began at the end of Saturday afternoon, with the departure from the Convent in procession through the Alentejo countryside to a fountain where the traditional washings were carried out and the spirit was prepared for the long journey that was still ahead, as the ceremony takes place only on Sunday.

Rui Herdadinha, KCTJ, Commander of Arraiolos , was the kind host of a convivial snack that preceded the ascent to the Castle, a moment of interior silence that marks the end of the clear Alentejo day, with the disappearance of the sun, opening the night period during which, in the darkness and uncertainty of the black night, one proceeds to complete vigil, without abbreviation or subterfuge, in hope and anticipation of the desired dawn.

Little more can be added about what followed. The procession descended from the Castle to the Chapter, which resumed its work and proceeded to clarify many points about Chivalry and the Templars reserved only for the most diligent. In the morning, the armaments were carried out following the traditional Ritual, with the Order being enriched with 4 new Knights and 1 Dame. They are the Brothers Paulo Fernandes, KTJ; Virgílio Gomes, KTJ; Bruno Correia, KTJ; Miguel Pereira, KTJ; and Dame Joana Frade, DTJ. We congratulate them and wish that Chivalry, as a tree of firm trunk and roots, may become green again and bear fruit in them.

The 6th Commandery of the Grand Priory of Portugal was also created, the new Commandery of Lisbon – Sait Cathrin Hill, with Brother Commander João Pedro Silva, KCTJ being invested. Brother João took his oath in the traditional way and will begin work immediately.

Sunday’s work ended in a traditional way with the celebration of the Eucharist by the Grand Prior and Bishop Tau Flammula Veritatis.

The Grand Priory is deeply grateful to all the Brothers and Sisters who worked tirelessly to make the Chapter a success, within the strict health regulations in place at the moment in Portugal. Special mention should be made to Sister Susana Ferreira, DTJ; to Brother Fernando Silva, KTJ who irrepressibly performed the position of Master of Ceremonies; to Brother Filipe Simões, KTJ and to the Commanders Rui Herdadinha, KCTJ; Paulo Valente, KCTJ and Victor Varela Martins, KCTJ as well as all those who participated and contributed to another unforgettable chapter in the history of our Grand Priory. Thank you all.

Exultate justi in domino – Armações na Boa Terra do Alentejo

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Em preparação para as vésperas de Santiago e a comemoração da Batalha de Ourique, o Grão Priorado de Portugal da OSMTHU reuniu em Capítulo Geral na boa terra do Alentejo, para receber novos irmão e irmãs, receber o compromisso de serviço de Escudeiros e armar Cavaleiros que demandam a Ordem.

As restrições em curso impediram muitos dos que desejavam juntar-se aos trabalhos de o fazer, contudo registou-se um número muito significativo de presenças, assegurando dois dias de trabalho muito proveitosos e plenamente preenchidos pela paz, a serenidade e a concórdia. Até ao final do ano, esperando melhoras nas condições sanitárias, a Ordem proporcionará a oportunidade de que os que se viram obrigados à ausência, possam retomar o seu caminho sem delongas. A sua ausência foi sentida.

Tal como em anos anteriores não queremos expor ao público cerimónias que são reservadas e contêm procedimentos rituais e momentos de estudo e exposição enraizados na mais rica Tradição de Cavalaria Espiritual, em muitos casos perdidas na neblina da memória colectiva e ausentes nos movimentos de inspiração templária dos dias de hoje.

Após uma manhã de recordação dos preceitos da Cavalaria segundo fontes do século 13, em sessão de estudo dirigida pelo Preceptor do Grão Priorado, João Pedro Silva, KOTJ, seguiu-se um almoço de convívio que permitiu colocar em dia conversas há muito esperadas, uma vez que não nos encontrávamos desde as Jornadas Ecuménicas de Lagos de Fevereiro 2020. Desde então um intenso trabalho de estudo online tem sido desenvolvido em paralelo com algumas iniciativas já fixas no nosso Calendário anual, como foi o caso da Conferência sobre Templários e Templarismo em Outubro de 2020 e das Jornadas Ecuménicas de 2021, ambas em ambiente virtual.

A tarde iniciou-se com a abertura ritual do Capítulo Nacional, durante o qual se receberam postulantes no grau de Noviço e se procedeu à passagem a Escudeiro de um grupo numeroso de Noviços que tinham já a sua instrução completa. Alguns dos Cavaleiros presentes contribuíram para consolidar os conhecimentos adquiridos, fomentando a reflexão necessária ao progresso no entendimento da Cavalaria. Uma meditação sobre o Caminho de Emaús e seu significado foi especialmente oportuna, tendo-se completado a tarde com a leitura de textos tradicionais, incluindo um conto de Cavalaria de tradição oral e fixado no século 12 na Gasconha, o qual deixa sempre uma marca especial na memória dos Escudeiros.

Os trabalhos de preparação da vigília nocturna, indispensável à armação, iniciaram-se ao final da tarde de Sábado, com a saída do Convento em cortejo pelos campos do Alentejo até uma fonte onde se fizeram as lavagens tradicionais e se preparou o espírito para a longa jornada que ainda estava pela frente antes da cerimónia a ter lugar apenas no Domingo.

O Comendador de Arraiolos, Rui Herdadinha, KCTJ, foi o amável anfitrião de um lanche de convívio que precedeu a subida ao Castelo, momento de recolha interior e silencio que marca o final do dia claro Alentejano, com o desaparecimento do sol, e abre o período nocturno em que, nas trevas e na incerteza da noite escura, se procede à vigília completa, sem abreviação ou subterfúgio, em esperança pela aurora que se deseja.

Pouco mais se pode acrescentar do que se seguiu. O cortejo desceu do Castelo ao Capítulo, que retomou os seus trabalhos e procedeu à aclaração de muitos pontos sobre a Cavalaria e os Templários reservados aos diligentes. Pela manhã prodecedeu-se às armações seguindo o Ritual tradicional, estando a Ordem mais rica com 4 novos Cavaleiros e 1 Dama. São os Irmãos Paulo Fernandes, KTJ; Virgílio Gomes, KTJ; Bruno Correia, KTJ; Miguel Pereira, KTJ; e a Dama Joana Frade, DTJ. A eles damos os parabéns e desejamos que a Cavalaria, como árvore de tronco firme, possa neles reverdecer e dar fruto.

Foi ainda criada a 6ª Comenda do Grão Priorado de Portugal, a nova Comenda de Lisboa – Santa Catarina, sendo investido o Irmão Comendador João Pedro Silva, KCTJ que prestou o seu juramento na forma tradicional e iniciará trabalhos de imediato.

Os trabalhos de Domingo encerraram de forma tradicional com a celebração da Eucaristia pelo Grão Prior e Bispo Tau Flammula Veritatis.

O Grão Priorado está profundamente agradecido a todos os Irmãos e Irmãs que trabalharam incansavelmente para que o Capítulo fosse um êxito e decorresse dentro das restritivas normas sanitárias em vigor. Especial menção deve ser feita à Irmã Susana Ferreira, DTJ; ao Irmão Fernando Silva, KTJ que desempenhou irrepreensivelmente o cargo de Mestre de Cerimónias; ao Irmão Filipe Simões, KTJ e aos Comendadores presentes Rui Herdadinha, KCTJ; Paulo Valente, KCTJ e Victor Varela Martins, KCTJ bem como a todos os que participaram e contribuíram para mais um capítulo inesquecível da história do nosso Grão Priorado. A todos obrigado.

OSMTHU awarded the Bandarra Grand Cross for Templar Corps International initiative

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The OSMTHU, a branch of the Templar Order dating back to the early XIX century, was awarded the Bandarra Grand Cross this Saturday for the Templar Corps International initiative in recognition of “relevant services (…) on behalf of Mankind”.

The award was created by the Sovereign Grand Lodge of Portugal under Grand Master João Pestana Dias, as a way of recognizing non-masonic entities that excel in their work on humanitarian, charitable and philanthropic mission based projects. With a strong focus on the historical and philosophical Portuguese Tradition – that includes a 900+ years old association with the Order of the Temple and the world changing XV century endeavor of Discoveries planned and executed by the Order of Christ – the Sovereign GL bases most of their liturgical work on the Portuguese Rite, a re-work of the Scottish Rite blue degrees re-framed around Lusitanian mythological themes. The very name of the award, Bandarra, refers to a XVI century shoemaker who was famous for composing a set of messianic verse prophecies about the end times and the coming of a new age of peace and brotherly love blessed by the Holy Spirit. The motto of the award is in fact “Ens Gemma”, that could be translated as “[the future] being [or entity] [already present] in the egg”, as explained by XX century poet Fernando Pessoa.

Contacted by the Templar Globe, Luis de Matos, Chancellor of the OSMTHU expressed his surprise for the award. “We are only at the start of this ambitious and transforming project”, he said. “It’s very encouraging for everyone in the Order and to all hard working members of the Templar Corps International when our efforts don’t go unnoticed. We hope to be a center for international cooperation and effective work, since, as it’s often said, words are all worn out, now what we need is action. Acta non verba.”

Executive Head of the Templar Corps interviewed for History Channel Documentary

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The production and filming of a new documentary on “The Civilization of Fear” for the History Channel is currently under way. This week the filming crew landed in Vila Nova da Barquinha, Portugal, where the Portuguese Hermetic Museum was a graceful host for a day long recording session.

The documentary explores the many faces of fear, how it influenced the development of civilization, how it has been used in social, political and religious manipulation and control. how it manifests in every day life and how the future and all the uncertainties of a distopic technological world dominated by algorithms and non-human “intelligence” may become a living nightmare.

Luis de Matos, Executive Head of the Templar Corps spoke about the element of fear in the Middle Ages and how Chivalry traditionally distinguishes between fear and awe, both important for the understanding of the Templars in their crusader context. Professionally linked to technology development, he also made a few remarks on Artificial Intelligence, Deep Web and how Social Media captures user’s attentions and turns it into a commodity.

Prof. Manuel J. Gandra, Director of the Portuguese Hermetic Museum and João Pestana Dias, Grand Master of the Portuguese Sovereign Grand Lodge were also interviewed and gave very insightful and provocative testimony on the theme.

The Templar Corps would like to acknowledge the essential role of member Francisco Mourão Corrêa in organizing the event.

Ciclo de Palestras – A Alma de Portugal

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No próximo dia 19 de Setembro de 2020 irá realizar-se a primeira de quatro palestras do Ciclo A Alma de Portugal, iniciativa da nossa Ordem em parceria com a Associação Saudade e apoio do Templar Corps. As palestras deste ciclo serão apresentadas por João Pedro Silva, KGOTJ e Preceptor Geral do Grão Priorado de Portugal da OSMTHU.

O ciclo pretende levar os participantes a uma viagem pela história providencial de Portugal, revistando os mitolusismos e mergulhando na sua Teleologia. Será, esperamos, uma excelente oportunidade de partilha e um estudo dos mitos que, escorrendo, fecundaram a nossa realidade, nas palavras de Pessoa. Uma viagem à nossa Patreosofia, conceito extraordinário que nos legou António Quadros.

No cumprimento da parceria firmada com a Associação Saudade, a receita deste evento reverte integralmente para o apoio ao Museu Hermético Português, pelo que a participação de cada um acaba também por ser uma excelente forma de apoiar esta causa.

Inscrição por email enviado para: info.arcana.templi@gmail.com

Ou através da Associação Saudade

Donativo: 15 EUR (por cada sessão) reverte a favor do Museu Hermético Português.

Apresentação em Pdf

 

Tomar – Portugal’s Knights Templar Town

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Tomar is a historically outstanding town in the Ribatejo region of central Portugal. Straddling the banks of the River Nabão, Tomar has narrow cobbled streets and a whole host of appealing buildings. It is also home to one of the most important architectural and religious monuments in the country – the Convento de Cristo, former headquarters of the Knights Templar. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this magnificent monastery and its associated castle sit in a commanding position on a wooded hill overlooking the town.

The Knights Templar was an elite fighting force and semi-religious order that was founded in 1119, during the Crusades. Under the guidance of Gualdim Pais, the visionary Grand Master of the Portuguese Knights, the order began construction of a castle on the hill overlooking Tomar around 1160. The design of the castle’s famous ‘rotunda’ church was inspired by similar structures in Jerusalem. Each knight took a vow of poverty and chastity and wore a white coat emblazoned with a red cross. Over the years, the Templars spread across Europe, gaining extraordinary wealth in the process – and also many powerful enemies!

By the early 1300s, amid accusations of heresy, the order was finally suppressed. However, in Portugal, the Templars re-emerged again in 1320, reincarnated as the ‘Order of Christ’, but now under the control of the throne. It was thanks to the wealth of this new order that Prince Henry the Navigator (who was Grand Master from 1417-1460) was able to fund Portugal’s legendary maritime voyages. The order’s proud symbol – the Cross of Christ – became the distinguished banner for the country’s great age of exploration and discovery. From the 13th to the 17th century, the Convento de Cristo underwent continuous expansion to become the superb monument it is today.

We entered the castle grounds through the main gate and stopped to admire the outside of the circular 12th century church. After entering the monastery, we realised that there was a surprise around every corner. We counted eight cloisters, the largest of which is regarded as a renaissance masterpiece. There are charming terraces with great views over the countryside, an infirmary, a pharmacy and some gloomy monks’ living quarters.

The interior of the beautiful round church, known as the charola, is the chief attraction. The aisle is circular with a high altar enclosed within a central octagon, and the surrounding walls are decorated with murals of sacred art from the 16th century. This was the knights’ private oratorium and they attended services here whilst seated on horseback!

Just outside the church, the tiny Santa Bárbara cloister has a grandstand view of the chapter house’s amazing ornate Manueline window. This bizarre masterpiece is structured around two carvings of ships’ masts, adorned with knots, cork, coral and seaweed. Although covered in lichen and clearly in need of renovation, these somber blemishes just add to the window’s extraordinary appeal.

A secure supply of water to the complex was provided in the early 17th century by means of a six-kilometre aqueduct. This supreme engineering structure is most impressive where it crosses the steep Vale da Ribeira dos Pegões just outside Tomar. It has two magnificent 30m high tiers of arches and there is a tempting high-level walkway along the top of the conduit – but a painful drop should you stumble and fall!

The ordinary town residents have always been able to enjoy a plentiful water supply from the River Nabão itself.

From Roman times onwards, waterpower was used to drive mills, oil-presses and water wheels for irrigation and industry. The Roda do Nabão is a modern and much-admired water wheel located next to the town’s lovely central Parque de Mouchão. Constructed of pinewood, it is a perfect example of how the force of the River Nabão was used for local economic benefit.

Tomar has many other noteworthy attractions and we began our exploration on the east side of the river at the Santa Maria do Olival, a simple church dating from the 12th century and home to many Templar tombs, notably Gualdim Pais, the Grand Master himself. Plain on the outside and plain on the inside, this is a church with considerable charm and overlooked by most visitors.

Crossing the river using the scenic ‘Old Bridge’ and turning left, we found the Match Box Museum in a shady courtyard of the Convento de São Francisco. It has a mind-boggling collection of 43,000 matchboxes from 120 countries displayed like colourful tapestries.

The medieval heart of Tomar lies nearby and we wandered through its cobbled lanes to visit Portugal’s oldest surviving medieval synagogue. Many Portuguese have Jewish ancestry and Tomar was once the home of a thriving Jewish community. This 15th century Hebrew temple has variously been used as a prison, a hayloft and a grocery warehouse during its long history, but has now been splendidly renovated and is home to an interesting small museum. There are strange upturned earthenware jars set high in its walls to improve acoustics!

The spacious Praça da República, surrounded by attractive 17th century buildings is at the very heart of the old town, and overlooked by the lovely Igreja de São João Baptista. The church has an octagonal spire and two superbly ornamental Manueline doorways. The handsome city hall lies directly opposite and between the two, in a befitting place in the middle of the square, stands an imposing statue of the city’s illustrious founder, Gualdim Pais.

Every four years, the square becomes the centre of activities for Tomar’s most famous cultural event – the Festa dos Tabuleiros. This ancient celebration, associated with the Feast of the Holy Spirit, is actually thought to have its roots in earlier pagan fertility rites. Its highlight is a procession of hundreds of local girls (traditionally virgins) carrying tall ‘tabuleiros’ on their heads. These unusual headdresses are built from loaves of bread, decorated with flowers, and have a white dove at the top to symbolize the Holy Spirit. A local boy helps each girl to support her enormous ‘hat’ as it can weigh up to 15kg. However, these male attendants are not apparently required to be virgins!

One wonders exactly what Gualdim Pais would think about modern Tomar if he were alive today – international tour groups tramping through his beautiful church and young ladies walking the streets with stacks of loaves on their heads? However, he and his fellow Templar Knights would no doubt have been very happy to collect the considerable tourist income for their charitable coffers!

by Nigel Wright in portugalresident.com

II International Conference Confirmed for October 2020

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In a meeting in Almourol / Vila Nova da Barquinha this week, the local municipality confirmed the final dates for the II Conference “Order of the Temple – Spiritual Chivalry and Templarism”. Taking place at the Templar Interpretation Center (CITA) in Almourol , Portugal, the International Conference follows the groundbreaking event that joined together in Barquinha experts from all over the world and different branches of the Order in October 2019.

The current COVID19 pandemic has severely disrupted traveling plans and large events. Because of that, it was decided that the Conference will have an opening session on October 13 for a limited number of invited guests, when a new exhibition will be inaugurated in the Interpretation Center, followed the 17 and 18 of October by a mixed online and live event from the auditorium in Barquinha, Portugal.

The full Program will be available soon. If you are interested in attending online (free), please send us an email to conference@templarcorps.org or stay in touch with these pages.

Templar Corps draws on past experience

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The Templar Corps International website (templarcorps.org) is the latest initiative promoted by the Order in association with the Templar Globe and a few partners around the world. Despite being new and based on technology, the Templar Corps is also firmly based on the very ancient idea of serving God by serving mankind. And service to others has been at the center stage of Templar activities in many countries. The Templar Corps today draws on past experience and a determined will to help the less fortunate.

Speaking of “center stage”, Portuguese musical duo Anjos (brothers Nelson and Sérgio Rosado), with a career spanning over 20 years of raving success, approached the Templar Corps searching for computers for the “Instituto dos Ferroviários do Sul e Sueste”, an organization that provides aid, food and education to over 65 children of railway workers. With COVID19, general classes had to be taken online and homework submitted and discussed using digital tools. Many children do not have computers at home.

The Templar Corps, together with the Service of the Hospitalar Officer Fr+ Miguel da Fabiana and Grand Feytor Fr+ Ricardo Salum, manged to obtain, in record time 6 computers, that were submitted to all the necessary testing and completed with appropriate software and hardware (monitors, mouse, cables, etc.) and later delivered to the institution in need in Barreiro, Portugal. The children were delighted to receive the computers. Their wonderful drawings were the best “thank you” notes we could aim for. “Thank you Angles for your offer”, could be read across the table.

Just two months before the Service of the Hospitalar Officer Fr+ Miguel da Fabiana and D+ Vera Lúcia took the Templar Corps on another mission: to find a used fridge for the “Dom Maior” Association. The Association was founded over 10 years ago, after the parents of a very young boy were informed by their doctor that the child had a fatal very rare and incurable disease and would die within months. They organized, pulled help from friends, family and strangers and kept on looking for a cure. The boy celebrated his 12th birthday this year! Eager to share their experience and passion, “Dom Maior” seeks help and resources to go even further.

After a few weeks of local fundraising, the Grand Priory of Portugal managed to buy and deliver a brand new fridge, with a better energy efficiency than the one requested. Pulling their efforts together, the Commandery of Lagos and the Commandery of Arraiolos packaged and delivered 60 children’s games that were highly appreciated and helped to contribute to a fun, balanced education.

The Templar Corps International aggregates these initiatives of good will from Templars all around the world. It doesn’t make sense that volunteers work in isolation and unknown to each other. The needs of children in “Don Maior”, the computers for Ferroviários and the altruism of the Anjos band (of brothers) is multiplied ONE THOUSAND TIMES if we share the resources, share the burden and share the love.

Serving God by serving mankind. That’s it, really.

templarcorps.org

Alandroal vai recuperar integralmente capela com mais de seiscentos anos

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O município de Alandroal anunciou hoje o estabelecimento de um protocolo de colaboração com a Direção Regional de Cultura do Alentejo (DRCAlentejo), a Paróquia de Terena, S. Pedro e a Confraria de Nossa Senhora da Boa Nova, entidades proprietária e zeladora da Capela da Boa Nova, do século XIV, que vai permitir a intervenção de conservação, restauro e reabilitação daquele património histórico em três fases sucessivas.

A primeira, com projeto técnico já desenvolvido pela DRCAlentejo e cedido ao município, incide sobre a cobertura e todo o exterior do imóvel. A segunda e terceira, com projetos técnicos a desenvolver pela autarquia, correspondem, respetivamente, ao restauro do interior da capela e aos arranjos exteriores ao monumento.

O protocolo agora assinado será enquadrador de uma candidatura a fundos do PO regional com o objetivo da recuperação integral deste relevante Monumento Nacional, mas o município vai avançar já para a concretização da primeira fase devido à urgência da intervenção, uma vez que já neste ano, realizou, em colaboração com a DRCAlentejo, arranjos de emergência na cobertura que se revelaram insuficientes face à dimensão do problema.

O imóvel, que por estas razões está incluído na Carta de Risco do Património Cultural, é um dos mais relevantes santuários marianos no Alentejo e “apesar das múltiplas dúvidas que se colocam a respeito da (sua) origem, construção e funcionalidade (…) está para além de qualquer dúvida o estatuto desta obra como uma das mais importantes de quantas se realizaram em Portugal durante o século XIV. Com o grande monumento de Flor da Rosa e, parcialmente, com a fase gótica da igreja de Vera Cruz de Marmelar, a Boa Nova integra a tipologia de “igrejas-fortalezas”, categoria histórico-artística que pretende diferenciar entre as construções religiosas fortificadas (como Leça do Balio) e as verdadeiras fortalezas, cuja planimetria, volumetria e espacialidade obedece, em tudo, a pressupostos.”

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Estremoz – Alentejo’s Historic White City

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An appetising aroma of sheep’s cheese and smoked chorizo sausages wafted through the stalls of Estremoz’s famous Saturday market. This weekly extravaganza shows off the best of the Alentejo’s local produce, including olives, chutneys, honey, fruit, vegetables and colourful ceramics. It is also home to a superb ‘flea market’ with stalls offering everything from coin collections to cowbells! The market is held in the Rossio Marquês de Pombal, a vast square at the town’s centre.

Estremoz exudes a real feeling of elegance and wealth, because high-grade white marble has been extensively used in the construction of its churches, civic buildings, streets and squares. So plentiful is the availability of top quality marble from the many quarries in this part of the Alentejo, that Estremoz and the nearby towns of Borba and Vila Viçosa have even used it for the doorsteps of their humblest cottages.

Unseasonal rain and a chill wind cut short our perusal of the flea market so we scuttled away to visit another of Estremoz’s attractions, the celebrated Café Águias d’Ouro (Golden Eagles Café). Built early in the 20th century, this art nouveau coffee house has long been famed for political debate, so we were not surprised to be surrounded by men emotionally discussing the weighty matters of local politics. Here was a café with just the kind of atmosphere one reads about in Portuguese literature.

Next to the Rossio, there is a peaceful municipal garden and the picturesque Lago do Gadanha (Lake of the Scythe), named after its central scythe-wielding statue. Nearby are a couple of splendid churches – the Igreja de São Francisco and the Convento dos Congregados, the latter of which is also home to a museum of sacred art.

As the rain turned even heavier, we decided to cross the square to visit one of Portugal’s national monuments, the Convento das Maltesas. This historic building, once a hospital, has a charming cloister at its centre and houses Estremoz’s ‘Live Science Centre’ (Centro de Ciência Viva). It is a very impressive interactive and educational science museum, where children of all ages can learn about the wonders of our planet. Perfect for stimulating scientific curiosity!

The old city of Estremoz

The ‘Cidade Velha’ (old city), with its palace and castle, stands defiantly on top of the hill overlooking the new town far below. It is reached by following a labyrinth of narrow winding streets and through two sets of impressive medieval walls, the construction of which began in 1261. Estremoz Castle is the town’s classic landmark, built during the 13th century as a defensive fortress. Within this fortification, King Dinis later built a palace where he lived with his wife Isabel of Aragon. Queen Isabel was famously generous to the poor and gained the status of a saint amongst the local population. She even has a tasty almond-flavoured cake, the ‘Bolo Rainha Santa’, in her name.

The castle has an imposing 27m high tower made from white marble, and the palace next door has been converted into a luxurious Pousada. This majestic hotel was our comfortable home during our time in Estremoz and boasts two magnificent lounges and a stately dining room, all containing a fantastic array of period Portuguese furniture. The top of the tower is reached by access through the Pousada and has a wide-ranging view of the Alentejo landscape. There is a chapel to the saintly Queen Isabel behind the palace and her own skillfully carved statue stands in the square close to the base of the tower. However, she does look rather glum!

This same square also gives access to the Igreja de Santa Maria, built between the 16th and 17th centuries, and the fascinating Museu Municipal. Built in the Manueline style, the lovely Santa Maria church has tombstones emblazoned with coats-of-arms of many notable Portuguese families.

The museum has an eclectic display of Alentejana objects on show, from exquisitely carved figures in wood and cork depicting rural activities, to rooms depicting local life in the 19th century. But it is the colourful ‘Bonecos de Estremoz’ that catch the eye! Literally translated as ‘Dolls of Estremoz’, there are 500 of these colourfully-painted figurines made from clay. This original folk art is more than three centuries old and in 2017 was classified by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

We discovered that the restaurant A Cadeia Quinhentista (Old 16th Century Gaol), just behind the Santa Maria Church, had some great examples of the best of Alentejana cuisine. Its menu was stacked with interesting local dishes – from ‘Pézinhos de Coentrada’ (pork’s feet with coriander) to the famous dessert ‘Sericaia’ (egg pudding served with cinnamon and plum syrup).

Elvas and Evoramonte

No visit to this part of the Alentejo would be complete without seeing something of Elvas and Evoramonte. Elvas is a wonderfully preserved fortress town located further east, close to the Spanish border, and justifiably popular with military historians. It was the first line of defence against Spanish invasion and its walls were designed so that no side was left unprotected – resulting in a unique star arrangement of battlements.

Essential for outlasting a protracted siege was a reliable supply of clean water, and this was ensured by construction of a long and impressive aqueduct. Elvas managed to fend off three separate Spanish sieges, only falling in 1808 during the Napoleonic wars. We spent a fascinating day exploring the town’s cobbled streets, churches, the ancient castle and the impressive battlements.

Evoramonte is one of the Alentejo’s lesser-known jewels. This ancient little town to the west of Estremoz has a medieval quarter straddling a ridge 481 metres in height. A good road winds its way to the top and we parked close to its pretty church and immaculately-kept cemetery. The 16th century castle, built in the Italian renaissance style, is perched at the other end of the settlement at the highest point and offers remarkable views.

It was a joy to stroll along the one and only street, deserted on a bitterly cold day, and we just couldn’t resist purchasing a bottle of the local wine at the village gift shop. This became the final part of our simple Alentejo lunch at home the following day – delicious smoked chorizo, tangy sheep’s cheese, olives and wonderful Alentejo bread followed by a tasty ‘Bolo Rainha Santa’. Happy memories!

By Nigel Wright
|| features@algarveresident.com

Nigel Wright and his wife Sue moved to Portugal 13 years ago and live near Guia. They lived and worked in the Far East and Middle East during the 1980s and 90s, and although now retired, still continue to travel and seek out new cultural experiences. His other interests include tennis, gardening and photography.

Evoramonte’s picturesque 16th century castle

Clean water used to be supplied to Elvas by an impressive aqueduct

The colourful ‘Estremoz Bonecos’ are a form of folk art
dating back over three centuries

The castle tower is constructed from white marble

Access to the old city is via one of the medieval gates

The splendid Convento dos Congregados is also home to the museum of sacred art

Estremoz Castle and Pousada are nicely seen from the picturesque Lago de Gadanha

Colourful Alentejo ceramics were on sale

The aroma of chorizo wafted through the market

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.