Templar Long Sleeve
A Templar Knight is truly a fearless knight, and secure on every side, for his soul is protected by the armor of faith, just as his body is protected by the armor of steel. He is thus doubly-armed, and need fear neither demons nor men. - Bernard of Clairvaux
Within two decades of the victory of the First Crusade (1095-1099) a group of knights led by Hugues de Payens offered themselves to the Patriarch of Jerusalem to serve as a military force. This group – often said to be nine in number – had the mandate of protecting Christian pilgrims who were en route to the Holy Land to visit the shrines sacred to their faith. Somewhere between the years of AD 1118 – 1120, King Baldwin II granted the group quarters in a wing of the Royal Palace on the Temple Mount (the Al Aqsa Mosque). It has been generally accepted that, for the first nine years of their existence, the Templars – as they came to be known – consisted of nine members.
Although it has been widely speculated that the Templars wished to keep it this way to cover their secret mission of digging for buried treasure on the Temple Mount, the simple fact remains that the lifestyle adopted by the Order was not to everyone’s taste. As such, the Templars had difficulty in recruiting members to their cause in the early years. In the year 1127 the Cistercian abbot, Bernard of Clairvaux, wrote a rule of order for the Templars that was based on his own Cistercian Order’s rule of conduct. Additionally, Bernard did a great deal to promote the Templars.
Perhaps Bernard’s greatest contribution to the Order was a letter that he wrote to Hugues de Payens, entitled De laude novae militae (In praise of the new knighthood.) This letter swept throughout Christendom drawing many men, of noble birth, who joined the ranks of the Templar Order.
However, after two centuries of defending the Christian faith, the Order met its demise when Philip IV – known as Philip le Belle (the Fair) – sought to destroy the Templars.