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.

Global Forum on Education Leads the Way Forward

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The Templar Corps Global Forum of April was dedicated to Education as the 4th Sustainable Development Goal of the United Nations. A recording of the full session, subtitled in English, will be available shortly.

The event was coordinated by Vincenzo Tuccillo, Knight General Director of Bolívia and Cono Sur Countries. As keynote speakers the Forum had Prof. Rocco Romeo, of the G. Marconi University in Rome and L.I.E. Roger Errejon Alaniz, Coordinator of the Central Altiplano Zone of the Bachilleres College of the San Luis Potosi State of Mexico.

Prof. Rocco Romeo told the Forum about the challenges COVID19 and remote learning brought to Italy, where some regions still don’t have a robust internet connection, capable of withstanding the increased load in data exchange. He also explained how Piero Calamandrei, one of the fathers of the modern day Italian State considered Education so important that it should have a constitutional framework. Since the 1950’s, at east 8 years of schooling is guaranteed and scholarships are available to help the most needed. Prof. Rocco published on this subject and on the problems Italians face with the Digital Revolution in this sector.

L.I.E. Roger Errejon talked about his experience in rural Mexico, in regions where there is no internet and where schools are vital for the local economy. Indeed many children still depend on school meals for their daily food and a situation of confinement and the suspension of classes has impact on much more then learning and literacy. He also presented the Forum with a short study on the actions that should be taken to make Education more universal and balanced.

Overall it was a very inspiring Forum on one of the most fundamental topics that come under the interest of the Templar Corps. There were attendees from Bolivia, Chipre, Spain, Greece, Italy, Malta, Mexico, Portugal, Turkey and Venezuela.

The next Global Forum will take place on May 16 under the title “Countering Disinformation and Resolving Conflict”.

Please visit the list of current SUPPORTED AND AFFILIATED PROJECTS of the Templar Corps. A new project in the Educational sector will be presented within the next few weeks by Pierre Bertrand N’Gondi, representative of the Templar Globe in Cameroon.

Fr+ William MacCallum, former Archivist of the Magisterial Council of the OSMTHU passes away

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It’s with great sadness that we receive news of the passing of Fr+ Robert MacCallum of the Grand Priory of Australia. Fr+ MacCallum served as a member of the Magisterial Council as Archivist since 1999, under Master Fernando de Toro-Garland and later under Master Antonio Paris.

Fr+ Andrew Foster of Tasmania, Australia, says “William was taken into a nursing home in about August/September last year he started out with early signs of Alzhiemers Disease. He suffered a number of falls causing his condition to slowly worsen. Late September early October he was rushed to hospital and was diagnosed with cancer.”

For many years Fr+ MacCallum has been one of the most respected and beloved members of the Order internationally. His contribution to the compilation of the early Statutes and Bylaws of the OSMTHU was fundamental. His absence will be missed by all. Our prayers go to Sr. Anne, family, friends and brethren in Australia.

Middle Ages Merlin manuscript found in Bristol University library

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Fragments of a manuscript from the Middle Ages which tell the story of Merlin the magician from Arthurian legend have been found in a library.

Seven hand-written fragments were found by the University of Bristol’s special collections librarian.

Specialists analysing the pieces said they contained “subtle but significant” differences from the traditional story.

“We are all very excited to discover more,” said Dr Leah Tether, of the International Arthurian Society.

The pieces of parchment were discovered by librarian Michael Richardson, who recognised a number of Arthurian names and contacted Dr Tether.

The newly-discovered text has longer, more detailed descriptions of various characters particularly during battles.

“These fragments of the story of Merlin are a wonderfully exciting find, which may have implications for the study not just of this text but also of other related and later texts that have shaped our modern understanding of the Arthurian legend,” said Dr Tether.

The books in which the fragments were found were all printed in Strasbourg between 1494 and 1502.

A team of experts will try to find out how and when the books came to England in order to be able to trace the origin of the parchments.

Dr Tether said: “Time and research will reveal what further secrets about the legends of Arthur, Merlin and the Holy Grail these fragments might hold.”

She added it was “all the more special” to find the fragments in the South West because of its locations made famous by the Arthurian legend.

in bbc.com/news

VN Barquinha acolhe II Conferência Internacional sobre Templários

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Depois do sucesso da 1ª conferência internacional sobre “Ordem do Templo – Cavalaria Espiritual – Templarismo”, realizada em outubro de 2019 em Vila Nova da Barquinha, o município anunciou para dia 13 de outubro o arranque da II Conferência Internacional, com evocação do 13 de outubro de 1307, data relevante para a história templária.

“Quando se fala em Vila Nova da Barquinha, falamos de património, história, paisagem e memória. Aqui encontramos um dos ex-libris da Ordem do Templo e dos Cavaleiros Templários – o Castelo de Almourol, fortaleza medieval, numa ilha cercada pelo rio Tejo, símbolo de prestígio e um marco na história de Portugal. Todos os recursos a ele associados, com a junção do Centro do Interpretação Templário de Almourol e da Biblioteca Templária, agregam parâmetros de qualidade que permitem ajudar ao desenvolvimento uma nova imagem turística da região na Europa e no mundo. Por isso a 2.ª conferência internacional é tão importante para nós”, disse ao mediotejo,net o presidente do município de Vila Nova da Barquinha, Fernando Freire.

Vão participar na II Conferência anual Luis Miguel Preto Batista, Marta Ataíde, Nuno Villamariz Oliveira, Virgílio Alves, Ernesto Jana, Manuel J. Gandra, Luís de Matos, Luís Fonseca, João Pedro Silva, António Paris (Itália), Victor Padilla Nieto, (Espanha), Marija Karbic e Damir Karbic (Croácia), sendo as intervenções publicadas em formato digital.

“Devido à situação e pandemia que vivemos todas as intervenções serão em formato on-line. Todavia, em Vila Nova da Barquinha, será feita a evocação singela do 13 de outubro de 1307, data em que Filipe IV “O Belo” prende em França os cavaleiros templários pretendendo derrubar a Ordem. Estarão presentes um número restrito de membros e serão cumpridas as normas da DGS para eventos culturais”, avançou Fernando Freire.

Por fim será inaugurada, em 18 de novembro, a exposição sobre o tema “A Morte – Exéquias e Ritos de Tumulação dos Cavaleiros do Templo e de Cristo” esta já com abertura ao público.

Em 2019, recorde-se, reuniram-se naquela vila ribeirinha, de 11 a 13 de outubro, os maiores especialistas mundiais na temática Templária, com oradores oriundos de França, Itália, Espanha, Estados Unidos e Portugal.

O evento serviu para unir as duas principais organizações mundiais de Templários, a Ordo Supremus Militaris Templi Hierosolimitani Universalis (OSMTHU) e a Ordre Sovereign et Militaiire du Temple de Jerusalem (OSMTJ), que ali assumiram o compromisso de trabalhar em conjunto no plano cultural, usando o Centro de Interpretação Templário (CITA) da Barquinha como “lugar de estudo, discussão e partilha de conhecimentos”.

Por Mário Rui Fonseca; Mediotejo.net

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

 

OSMTHU Elections – Results Now Out

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Results for the OSMTHU Electoral Procedure have been certified and are now out. Master Antonio Paris is confirmed for a new term with a new Magisterial Council.

The elections took place between May and July 2020 and the Master and Magisterial Council will be invested in office in October.

This is the composition of the new Master and Council for the period 2020 – 2025:

Master – Fr+ Antonio Paris

Chancellor – Fr+ Luis de Matos

Seneschal – Fr+ José Miguel Navarro, Spain

Cabinet Secretary:  S+ Patricia Oyarzun, Spain

Treasurer – Fr+ Valter Tacconi, Italy

Chaplain – Fr+ Luis Fonseca, Mons. Christophorus de Lusignan, Portugal

Visitor for Latin America – Fr+ Francesco Cavalli, Colombia

Advisor – Fr+ Vinko Lisec, Croatia

Advisor – Fr+ Vincenzo Tuccillo, Bolivia

Advisor – John von Blauch, United States of America

Since 1999, with the election of I Master HE Fernando de Toro-Garland, the OSMTHU follows a rigorous protocol when it comes to voting and certifying the election. By retaining the services of an independent auditor, the Order ensures transparency and fairness in the proceedings and fully certified results.

You can download the certification of the present election here.

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 firma Protocolo con Sigillum Templi, principal club de Estudios Templarios de habla hispana

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El Templar Corps International (templarcorps.org) ha firmado un protocolo con Sigillum Templi, el más grande e importante club de Estúdios Templários de habla hispana. La primera iniciativa conjunta es un Curso de estudio en la web en español sobre la Orden del Templo, que comienza el 25 de julio.

En una breve entrevista, Víctor Padilla Nieto, Administrador General, nos da una idea de lo que podemos esperar de esta colaboración.

TEMPLAR GLOBE:Victor, cuéntanos sobre Sigillum Temple, cuando a sido fundado y qué tipo de trabajo se ha publicado?

VICTOR PADILLA NIETO: Sigillum templo es un proyecto creado en el 2015 por un grupo multidisciplinar que estudia la Historia, principalmente en el período de vigencia de la orden del Temple.
Esto conlleva una serie de líneas de investigación para comprender y posteriormente divulgar el entorno de los Pobres Compañeros de Cristo y su herencia.

TG: ¿Cómo podemos unirnos a Sigilum Templi?

VPN: Tenemos diferentes vías de divulgación: Página de Facebook muy dinámica; Blog del medievo con más de 1500 entradas Onda Sigillum. Con un programa que investiga las Claves Ocultas de la Historia
Una web dónde poner en común las investigaciones y con una zona privada para socios.

TG: ¿Hay un boletín o revista para suscribirse?

VPN: Desde hace unos meses disponemos de dos tipos de publicaciones. Una digital y gratuita rllamada Cartularium templi, que se publica en PDF y se distribuye vía Facebook y en la web, y otra de pago por suscripción anual, el Codice Sigillum, impresa a todo color con unas 100 paginas. Escrita por los más prestigiosos articulistas y conocedores del medievo en general y de la Orden del Templo en particular.

TG: ¿Cuán importante es la historia de los templarios en el contexto de la Reconquista?

VPN: La importancia de la reconquista en la península Ibérica por parte de la orden del Temple es vital. No se puede concebir sin su ayuda a los diferentes reinos cristianos peninsulares. Mallorca, Valencia, Murcia, Sevilla, Algarve, entre otros muchos, son territorios ganados por el Temple a los diferentes reinos mencionados. Participaciones en la conquista de Calatrava la vieja y la inequívoca victoria en las Navas de Tolosa en las que las crónicas destacan a los caballeros templarios como los más aguerridos.

TG: ¿Qué motiva esta asociación con Templar Corps?

VPN: El principal motivo para esta asociación con Templar Corps es poder divulgar la historia sin dogmatismo. Templar Corps está avalada por un equipo de librepensadores que los diferencia con la mayoría de entidades con otros fines divulgativos más o menos dirigidos. Tanto Sigillum Templi como Templar Corps son entidades autosuficientes e independientes.

TG: ¿Qué puede esperar aprender un estudiante de este Curso?

VPN: En este curso los estudiantes van a tomar conciencia plena de la vital importancia de la Orden en la península Ibérica, y no solamente esto, sino que aprenderá el conocimiento esotérico básico para entender el por qué de muchas de las acciones que tuvieron y su significado.

TG: ¿La ciencia, el arte, la arquitectura, el conocimiento y la espiritualidad templaria son relevantes hoy en día o es solo un recordatorio nostálgico del pasado?

VPN: Por supuesto son importantes. Nada que ver con la nostalgia del pasado. La iconografía templaria revela al iniciado un camino al esoterismo. La geometría sagrada aplicada a las construcciones se ha puesto cada vez más en valor con la aplicación de nuevas tecnologías del siglo XXI . La organización de las encomiendas es un hito en el medievo. La alimentación está reglada y aplicada con nociones de dietética e higiene alimentaria… En resumen, la continuidad que da la orden del Temple a la Gran Tradición Ancestral, pone de manifiesto el enorme conocimiento que se transmite a todos y para todos.

Gracias Victor. Te deseamos lo mejor para el curso.

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