Templar heritage in Croatia presented during International Conference in Trakoscan Castle

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

Short clip of how the collaboration came to be:


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

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

THE VIDEOS (Parts 1, 2 and 3)

Pentecost Benedictio Militis, Arraiolos 2019

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The beautiful round castle of Arraiolos, Portugal, once held by the Order of Christ, was the centerpiece of the traditional Pentecost celebrations of the Grand Priory of Portugal of the OSMTHU.

Just like the Templar Beauceant, the flag with a white field and black field, the traditional adoubement ceremony takes place in the light and in the dark. It starts during the day but soon it goes into the depthness of night, from an opened enlightened world into a closed tight womb of meditation where the future knight in silent vigil hopes for the deliverance of light. In hope and faith, the knight is delivered.

Study and Instruction time

Time to savor the fruits of fraternal friendship

Preparing for sunset – the light subsides to darkness

In darkness we work in hope of light

Great blessings come to those who wait

“Veni, Créator Spíritus,

Mentes tuórum visita,

Imple suprema grátia,

Que tu creásti, péctora.

Qui díceris Paráclitus,

Donum Dei altíssimi,

Fons vivus, ignis, cáritas

Et spiritális únctio.

Tu septifórmis múnere,

Dextrae Dei tu digitus,

Tu rite promissum Patris

Sermóne ditans gúttura.

Accénde lumen sénsibus

Infúnde amórem córdibus,

Infírma nostri córporis,

Virtúte firmans pérpeti.

Hostem repéllas lóngius

Pacémque dones prótinus;

Ductóre sic te praévio

Vitémus omne nóxium.

Per te sciámus da Patrem

Noscámus atque Filium,

Te utriúsque Spíritum

Credámus omni témpore. Amen.”

Pentecost Benedictio Militis, Arraiolos 2018 – The Ceremony

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A substantial part of the ceremony of adoubement is conducted privately, only accessible to members of the Order. The act of adoubement itself, however, is public. It becomes a commitment not only to the Order but also to the world. Having this in mind, it’s not easy to describe the complete ceremony as it is conducted in the priory of Portugal, since it strictly follows Tradition, starting just moments before sunset, leading to a night long vigil where the future Knights and Dames are led to contemplate their life and prepare to partake of a new quality, that is both physical and spiritual, that could change their lives.

It is preferable, therefore, that we let images and quotes fill the gaps of what is customary to make public and what is deemed as more suitable to keep reserved and personal.

Alba Avis

“Once they have installed themselves in this holy house with their horses and their weapons, clean it”, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

Ex Occidente Lux

“Colors are light’s suffering and joy”, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Lux in Flamma

“Danger or victory depends on the disposition of heart”, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

In Tenebrae

“This is, I say, a new kind of knighthood and one unknown to the ages gone by. It ceaselessly wages a twofold war both against flesh and blood and against a spiritual army of evil in the heavens.”, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

Sola Fide

Spero in Fide

Post Tenebras Lux

“Go forth confidently”, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux


Benedictio Militis

“If some perhaps find my work unsatisfactory or short of the mark, I shall be nonetheless content, since I have not failed to give you my best.”, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

All photos were taken by members of the Order, including Novices, Squires, Knights and Dames. For a full credit list, please visit our Facebook Group.

The Order has the following new Knights and Dames: Catarina Silva, DTJ; Cristina Vargas, DTJ; Filipe Silva, KTJ; Inês Ferreira, DTJ; João Gonçalves, KTJ; Jorge Amador, KTJ; Jorge Cravosa, KTJ; Pedro Bernardo, KTJ; Vera Reis, DTJ. The Order also received new Novices and Squires.

After the Benedictio Militis and the Pentecost Mass, the Order joined the Idegeo [Association] of Professor Manuel J. Gandra‘s celebration of Pentecost in Arraiolos. The Portuguese traditional Império do Divino Espírito Santo, in preparation for the Third Age announced by Joachim of Fiore or the Fifth Empire (of the Holy Spirit) referred to by poet Fernando Pessoa and many others, is comprised of an Auto, with the Parade and Coronation of the Child King, followed by the Bodo do Império, a popular feast and meal shared between all the participants as the anticipation of an era of the universal fraternity of mankind. This is the second year that the Priory of Portugal supports and attends these celebrations as part of the annual calendar.

For inquiries, feel free to email osmthu@mail.com

Pentecost Benedictio Militis, Arraiolos 2018 – The Lunch and the Conference

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Master Antonio Paris with Fr+ Luis de Matos, Chancellor and GP Portugal

The solitary Knight is often depicted in old chivalry tales as the perfect image of wisdom and valour. Indeed, each Knight and Dame of the Templar Order today should aim to live up to that expectation. But the Order becomes stronger when two or three meet in person and work towards our goals That is why the OSMTHU has long established the habit of adding to the already satisfying lunch or dinner event – a moment of friendship and joyful conviviality – a new moment of learning and sharing of ideas and experiences. And that moment is the Conference or Round Table.

The Council Meeting

Friday was a peaceful day in Arraiolos. The beautiful village in the Portuguese region of Alentejo was the perfect setting to the Magisterial Council meeting Master Emeritus Antonio Paris promoted. But no rush. No worries. Life is taken lightly here in Alentejo. After everyone arrived at the Pousada of Nossa Senhora da Conceição, an old convent restored to it’s glory and opened to the public as an excellent hotel, it was time to find a place to have a light meal. Commander Rui herdadinha was already waiting, with a full afternoon of leisure in mind: typical local food, a walk to the Arraiolos castle, a stroll down the narrow streets of the village, famous for its rugs and tapestries.

Master Antonio Paris, Sister Patricia Oyarzun, Fr+ Leslie Payine, Seneschal and Prior of England and Wales

In the late afternoon the Council met, welcoming two of the visiting Order leaders so that the discussion could be broader and more informed. Master Paris lead the meeting, in which he announced his intention of resuming his Office (see the news and details here), working for unity in the Templar world. Fr+ Luis de Matos, Chancellor and Interim Master and Fr+ Leslie Payne, Seneschal were also present, with invited guests Sister Patricia Oyarzun and Fr+ Vinko Lisec, Prior of Croatia.

The discussions were extensive and working plans for the next two years were laid out and analysed. That day the Declaration of Arraiolos was drafted, to be signed in the following days.

Master Antonio Paris, analyzing a draft of the Declaration

Gala Lunch

Masterly organized by Commander Rui Herdadinha, with the precious help of Fr+ Filipe Beja, Director at the Pousada, the Gala Lunch was a great opportunity for Templars from all over Portugal and members of foreign delegations to meet each other, exchange views and experiences, talk about their templar projects and ambitions (we’re involved in projects such as the Portuguese Templar Santiago Way, the Feytorias Project, a research project, of which more will be known shortly) and generally having a great time.

Present at the Lunch was the full leadership of the Portuguese Order, including Fr+ Luis de Matos, Prior General, Fr+ Luis Fonseca, Commander of Lisbon and In Ecclesia Bishop Christophorus de Lusignan, Fr+ Paulo Valente, Commander of Sintra, Fr+ Victor Varela Martins, Commander of Laccobriga, Fr+ Rui Herdadinha, Commander of Arraiolos and Sister Paula Valente, Preceptor of Porto, as well as Novices, Squires, Knights and Dames of the Priory.

Visiting delegations were composed by Master Antonio Paris, Fr+ Leslie Payne, Seneschal and Grand Prior of England and Wales, Fr+ Vinko Lisec, Grand Prior of Croatia with Fr+ Lovro Tomasinec and Sister Paricia Oyarzun, currently Cabinet Secretary to the Council. Finally, the Lunch was further honoured by the presence of Fr+ Antonio Andrade, Prior General of Portugal of the OSMTH and his Chancellor Fr+ Fernando Castelo Branco.

The Conference

The opening session of the Conference took place in the Arraiolos Library on Friday night, with the presence of a representative of the local Municipality authority, the speakers and Commander Rui Herdadinha.

On Saturday the main session opened at 3pm, under the general theme “Conflict and War- The Concept of Just War in the 21st Century”. Messages were sent by Priorires and Templar authorities that were not able to be present, from all over the world. These messages were read and will be added to the Proceedings in order to be published later in the year as a compilation book on the subject.

The Commander opened the session thanking all those who contributed with papers and messages to the Conference, introducing Master Paris who reminded everyone of the history of the Just War concept, including the contribution of Saint Agustin and Saint Ignatius.

Fr+ João Pedro Silva talked about Spiritual Chivalry, bringing up some of the main tenants of the Order, followed by Fr+ Luis Fonseca, Commander of Lisbon who read a passage from the “City of God” by Saint Agustin, commenting on it.


Finally Fr+ Vinko Lisec, with the aid of Fr+ Lovro Tomasinec on the translation, told about his personal experience of war, reminding everyone that Croatia was torn between conflicting armies just a few years ago, when Yugoslavia broke apart. His account of the current refugee situation in his country, as well as of the disappearance of a national citizen in Egypt, kidnapped and used as ransom bargain by extremist groups, threatened to be beheaded in a video and since in an unknown location, had everyone gripped.

The session was brought to a close at the end of the afternoon. After a short visit that the Library of Arraiolos merited, as one of the oldest public buildings in town, having served as the Mala Posta (old Royal Postal Service of Portugal), it was time for group photos.

Some of the attendees then rushed to nearby coffee shops and terraces to get some water or a cold beer that would help to bring solace to a hot sunny afternoon in Alentejo. Others formed smaller groups debating the theme of the day and preparing for the evening’s ceremonies. After all, in less that one hour, the National Chapter was due to open in the Convent.

For inquiries, feel free to email osmthu@mail.com

NEXT: Pentecost – The Ceremony

Priorato de Colombia – Celebracion de Juan Bautista

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La Celebración del Nacimiento de Juan el Bautista a Capítulo Cerrado de la Encomienda Emirto De Lima & Sintiago con sede en el Valle de Barranquilla es precedida por el Gran Prior General de la República de Colombia Francesco Cavalli durante el Solsticio de Verano bajo los Augustos Misterios en la dualidad del Jano: el Joven y  el Viejo, el uno Lampiño y el otro Barbado, el que mira al futuro y el otro al pasado; Jano – Janvier, da inicio al año tras el renacimiento del Sol en el Solsticio de Invierno; Joan, atraviesa los tiempos y los mitos de orígenes diversos de la dualidad de los dos Caballeros Templarios sobre el mismo corcel; Jano bifronte, como dos veces Juan, el Bautista y el Evangelista, el Solsticio de Verano y el Solsticio de Invierno, Santos casi gemelos; Jano del Pasado y Jano del Porvenir; Juan el Precursor y Juan el que debe regresar con la venida del Cristo.

El simbolismo de la muerte del Cristo en el Gólgota – Monte de la Caravela de Adam. “El cráneo evoca en las tradiciones iniciáticas la caverna que ilumina el ojo del mundo. El túmulo yermo, el Calvario, el Gólgota es ‘Cráneo’ y llevará la señal de la redención”

Juan el Bautista, el precursor y anunciador del Cristo, simbolizado de alguna manera en el Abraxas – Secretum Templi, sello usado por la Orden; Referenciado en la simbología Crística como el Cordero – Agnus Dei, manifestándose explícitamente como “Yo soy el garante del Cordero” e integrándose fundamentalmente a la vieja tradición del Culto de las Cabezas Cortadas, Juan y Jesús – el Cristo – símiles en el Tiempo – “Yo soy aquel que es igual que yo” – Solsticio del Agua y del Fuego.

Jano o Juan el Bautista en el plano Simbólico, son de relevante consideración para el Inner Temple que como en Ilo tempore en la Noche de los Tiempos hasta nuestros días se mantiene representado…



Manuel Ricaurte F.



Visita ao Convento dos Capuchos – Instrução de Escudeiros

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Realizou-se no dia 13 de Julho uma visita ao Convento dos Capuchos de Sintra, organizada pela Comendadoria de Sintra do Priorado Ibérico da Osmthu, com o intuito de proceder à Instrução de Escudeiros.

Esta segunda visita de Instrução versou o tema da via monástica, depois de se ter estudado o tema da via cavaleiresca através das lendas da Demanda do Santo Graal, há poucas semanas em visita ao Palácio da Pena e seus jardins. Completa-se assim a abordagem aos dois pilares fundamentais da Cavalaria Templária, ao mesmo tempo militar e monástica, numa contradição aparente apenas resolvida pela prática estrita da Regra.

O grupo, composto de Cavaleiros, Damas, Escudeiros e Escudeiras bem como de alguns familiares, foi convidado a explorar o Convento dos Capuchos de forma autónoma, sem mais explicações para além das fornecidas pelos elementos escritos dados a qualquer turista pelos Parques de Sintra ao adquirir uma entrada. Contudo foi-lhes dito que observassem com atenção cada detalhes e que questionassem tudo o que vissem, abrindo o coração às impressões intuitivas de modo a poder trazer dados relevantes quando todos se juntassem no pátio de entrada pouco depois.


E assim partiu cada um por si, em demanda. A maioria não conhecia o Convento ou a sua história. O Convento dos Capuchos em Sintra fazia parte da Província da Arrábida dos Capuchinhos Franciscanos, mas era um lugar especialmente humilde e inóspito, mesmo para os padrões franciscanos. Estende-se ao longo de uma colina da Serra de Sintra, pejada de largos rochedos, que as construções contornam e assimilam como parte integrante do seu corpo. A penha imensa que constitui o tecto da capela, ao mesmo tempo que é o soalho de suporte das celas e parede do refeitório, antes de mergulhar misteriosamente no chão telúrico do lugar, impressiona e está de tal modo organicamente integrada na construção que, aos poucos, se vai tornando quase invisível ao olhar do visitante. A pobreza é absoluta e não existem decorações sumptuosas ou obras de arte de relevo. Mais depressa faz lembrar uma casa de aldeia antiga ou um mosteiro nos confins do Tibete do que uma casa de religiosos cristãos, não fosse pela altura insignificante das portas das celas, a exigir uma vénia para se transporem e pelo seu tamanho exíguo e impraticável como lugar de descanso.


Cada um destes pormenores não deixou de chamar a atenção aos Escudeiros, que os reportaram, um após o outro quando se reuniram no átrio de novo, após a primeira volta de reconhecimento. Numa segunda volta foram então abordados vários aspectos relacionados com a via monástica e conventual, procurando sempre entender de que modo se enquadravam no caso particular dos Templários, na sua época. Mergulhando num meio somente conventual, pode o grupo perceber essa vertente sem mais distracções e, depois, recordando a experiência da instrução anterior, compreender como um Cavaleiro pode ser humilde, mesmo numa cela com varanda e vista sobre o mar e senhor numa cela exígua e humilde com a dos Capuchos, numa feliz expressão de um dos Escudeiros. A história do lugar foi  depois contada, sem esquecer as suas associações a várias figuras ilustres (e notáveis de todos os pontos de vista), que incluem D. João de Castro, Vice-rei da Índia e Cavaleiro da Ordem de Cristo; D. Sebastião e o Cardeal (depois Rei) D. Henrique, bem como o incontornável Frei Honório.


O dia terminou com uma reflexão conjunta e um período de perguntas e respostas no claustro conventual. Tinham passado quatro horas desde a entrada, voando que nem uma ave. Não se deu pelo tempo passar. Foi então que um dos Escudeiros do Alentejo mostrou que se tinha preparado para a viagem, tão longe da sua terra, exibindo pão e um belo salpicão que fizeram as delícias de todos, numa improvisada refeição fraternal de encerramento, de regresso ao pátio dos Capuchos de Sintra.




Com logo “Templar Globe”, por: Susana Ferreira

Outras: Internet e Parques de Sintra

Visit to the Parque da Pena – Instruction for Squires

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A visit to the Palace of Pena in Sintra and it’s Forest Park, took place June 22nd, organized by the Commandery of Sintra of the Iberian Priory Osmthu, in order to perform an Instruction of Novices.

The theme of the day was the Quest of the Holy Grail. The location could not have been more appropriate. In fact, upon seeing Pena Palace, Richard Strauss said: “Today is the happiest day of my life. I have been to Italy, Sicily, Greece and Egypt, but I’ve never seen anything like the Pena. It’s the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. This is the true Garden of Klingsor and up there is the Castle of the Holy Grail.”

The rain threatened to ruin the day, but the sun opened the cloudy sky just in time for the visit. For about two hours the large group recalled the legend of Parzival in Wolfram von Eschenbach’s version. The central symbolic elements of the Quest were highlighted, and, from the vantage point of the Palace, the Squires had no difficulty in identifying some of them in the surrounding forest park beneath, where King D. Ferdinand II, creator of the romantic fantasy that is the Pena Palace and its gardens, had them placed. The restoration works to which the building is being subjected, prevented some architectural elements to be analyzed, but the visit to the Chapel of Our Lady of Pena and particularly the study of its stained glass windows and altar had its rewards.


After visiting the Palace inside and out, it was then time to start exploring the gardens. The group was led hiking to the highest point of the Sintra mountain, Cruz Alta, 529m in height, featuring a magnificent view of the Palace and the estuary of the Tagus river and the sea to the right, the Atlantic opening from where the Caravels of Vasco da Gama departed and later arrived after having reached India by sea, going around Africa, a historical event of transcendent importance for the Order of Christ.

Returning to the Forest, Knights, Dames, and Squires (and guests) gathered around the Round Table and recalled the legend which tells how Parsifal has himself become aware of chivalry and how he was amazed. Seeing shining armor, spears, swords and capes waving with the wind, he could only to ask the Knight he saw in the forest: “Are you God?” and when he said no, counter: “You are an angel, then”?

Visto o Palácio em si, por dentro e por fora, foi então ocasião de iniciar a exploração dos jardins. O grupo foi em caminhada conduzido ao ponto mais alto da Serra de Sintra, a Cruz Alta a 529m, de altura, com uma vista magnífica sobre o Palácio e sobre o estuário do rio Tejo e o mar à direita, abertura atlântica de onde partiram e onde chegaram as Caravelas de Vasco da Gama.


The clock was moving ant the time becoming short for the many things that had to be taught. So the Squires were conducted on a mission to collect information to the Temple of Columns, nearby. Nothing was said about the place beforehand, except that they should undergo rigorous observation and take note of the elements that called their attention. The group gathered again around the Table later and it was revealed that their intuition was indeed alert. Several of them had brought their cameras, with which they gathered the testimony of their observation. In fact, more than two thirds of the key symbolic elements had been identified, and after considering their signifficance, the vast majority of Squires came up with very exceptional results in their explanations.

After leaving that magical place, the group went further into the forest, abandoning the easy paved road recommended for tourists. After passing by caves where ancient monks of St. Jerome (SJ) had the habit to use to meditate for long periods, found the remains of the tracks in the woods and very old staircases, through narrow ways, and then, between two high cliffs, were led to the contemplation of the Palace as seen from the Throne, a lithic cluster of central importance in the whole Pena forest park. The pilgrims rested. But for a short while only. Then they went back to the dark forest.


In search of fresh water, springing from the Sierra, the group could see how the aquifers and streams were build up, how the mines and ornamental lakes match, catching the most subtle essence of life in the Sierra and its valleys, making everything bloom and fruit, as the water snakes around the cliffs, feeding freshness and light to the deep valleys long its way. In the background, the cry of the white swans evoked the Knights of the Round Table and the lakes where Amfortas, the Fisher King, used to bathe and heal his wounds.

The group withdrew from the Park well beyond the scheduled time (the gates were already closed and it was necessary to ask for security to come and open the door for the group to leave the park!). Tired but happy and thankful for the opportunity, with the mind racing with new questions and thoughs, the group returned home.

On behalf of all the Knights and Dames of the Order, we congratulate the Squires for the qualities shown along this day of pilgrimage. Good things are expected of them. The instructions will continue in July with a visit to the Capuchin Convent in Sintra, under the theme of the Monastic Way.

Em busca da fresca água da Serra o grupo pôde ver o modo intencional e muito sábio como as correntes aquíferas e o jogo entre minas e lagos decorativos, captavam a essência mais subtil da vida na Serra e como, pelos seus vales, tudo faziam florir e frutificar, serpenteando pelas fragas, alimentando de frescura e luz os vales profundos. Ao fundo, os cisnes brancos evocavam os Cavaleiros da Távola Redonda e os lagos onde Amfortas, o Rei Pescador, se banhava e onde curava as suas feridas.

O grupo retirou-se do Parque já muito para lá da hora prevista (os portões já estavam fechados e foi necessário pedir que a segurança viesse abrir as portas para sair do Parque!), cansado, mas feliz com a oportunidade e com a cabeça a colocar-se questões sobre a Cavalaria viva e actuante nos tempos modernos como possivelmente não se teria colocado antes.

Em nome de todos os Cavaleiros e Damas da Ordem, devemos enaltecer as qualidades demosntradas ao longo da peregrinação do dia pelos Escudeiros presentes. Boas coisas se esperam deles. As instruções irão prosseguir em Julho, com uma visita ao Convento dos Capuchos em Sintra, sob a temática da Via Monástica.


Alguns links para conhecer a Pena:

Virtual Visit in Google

Views 360º

Blog with good photos

Official Page


New Squires, Knights and Dames in the Iberian Priory

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Once again the Pentecost was the magical occasion for the reception of new members in the Iberian Priory, this time in a beautiful ceremony conducted by the Commandry of Sintra in a secluded place in the middle of the Alentejo plains.

The ceremonies took two days. In the first day the new Squires were given their last instructions before committing themselves to the Order. It spoke of service, of the role the Squire had in the old Chivalric Orders and how it translates symbolically to today.

After each of the Squires was admitted to the service of the Order, the ceremonies were halted so that the chapel could be re-arranged in order to start the Pentecost Vigil, during which two Squires that had been admitted last year became a new Knight and Dame of the Order.


Guarding the Tower during the Pentecost Vigil

The Vigil took place, as it is traditional, throughout the course of the night. The two Squires were supplied with sacred texts and doctrinal comments for their meditation, including a section of the “Book of the Order of Chivalry” by Ramon Llull.

As morning broke, the Commandry proceeded with the arming ceremonies, which were drawn to a close early in the morning of Sunday with a light breakfast in the woods.

The Priori of Iberia wishes to congratulate the new Knight, Rui Bento, KTJ and Dame Ana Brum, DTJ. We hope they will find a meaningful pathway for their spiritual quests in this new stage of their lives. The Priory also wishes to congratulate the new Squires, hoping that they can now see Chivalry as a living force, instead of dead letters in the pages of a dusty old book.


Part of the liturgical team (Commandry of Sintra, Prioratys Ibericus, Osmthu)