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HEROINES OF THE TEMPLAR CRUSADES

 

In the 19th century, for the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, in 1888 AD the Vatican “extended” the knighthood to the female with the title of Dame. The Ladies of Templar were the powerful women who shared the same heavenly agreement and mission as the Knight’s Templar.

Female Orders of Knighthood

The Order of the Hatchet 

There is a case of a clearly military order of knighthood for women. It is the order of the Hatchet (orden de la Hacha) in Catalonia. It was founded in 1149 by Raymond Berenger, count of Barcelona, to honor the women who fought for the defense of the town of Tortosa against a Moor attack. The dames admitted to the order received many privileges, including exemption from all taxes, and took precedence over men in public assemblies. I presume the order died out with the original members. 

Here is a description taken from Ashmole, The Institution, Laws, and Ceremony of the Most Noble Order of the Garter (1672), Ch. 3, sect. 3: 
“The example is of the Noble Women of Tortosa in Aragon, and recorded by Josef Micheli Marquez, who plainly calls them Cavalleros or Knights, or may I not rather say Cavalleras, seeing I observe the words Equitissae and Militissae (formed from the Latin Equites and Milites) heretofore applied to Women, and sometimes used to express Madams or Ladies, though now these Titles are not known.


“Don Raymond, last Earl of Barcellona (who by intermarriage with Petronilla, only Daughter and Heir of King Ramiro the Monk, united that principality to the Kingdom of Aragon) having in the year 1149, gained the City of Tortosa from the Moors, they on the 31 of December following, laid a new Siege to that place, for the recovery of it out of the Earls hands. The Inhabitants being a length reduced to gread streights, desired relief of the Earl, but he, being not in a condition to give them any, they entertained some thoughts of making surrender. Which the Women hearing of, to prevent the disaster threatening their City, themselves, and Children, put on men’s Clothes, and by a resolute sally, forced the Moors to raise the Siege. 
“The Earl, finding himself obliged, by the gallantry of the action, thought fit to make his acknowledgements thereof, by granting them several Privileges and Immunities, and to perpetuate the memory of so signal an attempt, instituted an Order, somewhat like a Military Order, into which were admitted only those Brave Women, deriving the honor to their Descendants, and assigned them for a Dadge, a thing like a Fryars Capouche, sharp at the top, after the form of a Torch, and of a crimson colour, to be worn upon their Head-clothes. He also ordained that at all public meetings, the women should have precedence of the Men. That they should be exempted from all Taxes, and that all the Apparel and Jewels, though of never so great value, left by their dead Husbands, should be their own. 
“These Women (saith our Author) having thus acquired this Honor by their personal Valor, carried themselves after the Military Knights of those days.” Jeanne Hachette, who fought to repel a Burgundian assault on the town of Beauvais in 1472. The King exempted her from taxes, and ordered that, in an annual procession to commemorate the event, women would have precedence over men. This story seems to be a carbon copy of the Order of the Hatchet story… 

In Italy, the Order of the glorious Saint Mary, founded by Loderigo d’Andalo, a nobleman of Bologna in 1233, and approved by Pope Alexander IV in 1261, was the first religious order of knighthood to grant the rank of militissa to women. Sixtus V suppressed this order in 1558. 

In the Low Countries, at the initiative of Catherine Baw in 1441, and 10 years later of Elizabeth, Mary and Isabella of the house of Hornes, orders were founded which were open exclusively to women of noble birth, who received the French title of chevalière or the Latin title of equitissa. In his Glossarium (s.v. militissa), Du Cange notes that still in his day (17th c.), the female canons of the canonical monastery of St. Gertrude in Nivelles (Brabant), after a probation of 3 years, are made knights (militissae) at the altar, by a (male) knight called in for that purpose, who gives them the accolade with a sword and pronounces the usual words. 
In England, ladies were appointed to the Garter almost from the start. In all, 68 ladies were appointed between 1358 and 1488, including all consorts. Though many were women of royal blood, or wives of knights of the Garter, some women were neither. They wore the garter on the left arm, and some are shown on their tombstones with this arrangement. After 1488, no other appointments are known, although it is said that Edward VI granted the Garter to a Neapolitan poetess, Laura Bacio Terricina. In 1638, a proposal was made to revive the use of robes for the wives of knights in ceremonies, but it came to naught. (See Edmund Fellowes, Knights of the Garter, 1939; and Beltz: Memorials of the Order of the Garter).

Unless otherwise noted, all the above is from the book by H. E. Cardinale, Orders of Knighthood, Awards and the Holy See, 1983. The info about the Hatchet is reproduced elsewhere as well, e.g., a Spanish encyclopedia. I have seen the order of glorious Saint Mary discussed elsewhere, but without mention of women. I have yet to identify the orders of the Hornes family.

Women in the Military Orders


Several established military orders had women who were associated with them, beyond the simple provision of aid. The Teutonic order accepted consorores who assumed the habit of the order and lived under its rule; they undertook menial and Hospitaller functions. Later, in the late 12th century, one sees convents dependent on military orders are formed. In the case of the Order of Saint-John (later Malta), they were soeurs hospitalières, and they were the counterparts of the frères prêtres or priest brothers, a quite distinct class from the knights. In England, Buckland was the site of a house of Hospitaller sisters from Henry II’s reign to 1540. In Aragon, there were Hospitaller convents in Sigena, San Salvador de Isot, Grisén, and Alguaire, headed each by a commendatrix. In France, they are found in Beaulieu (near Cahors), Martel and Fieux. The only other military order to have convents by 1300 was the order of Santiago, which had admitted married members since its foundation in 1175. And soon women were admitted and organized into convents of the order (late 12th, early 13th c.). The convents were headed by a commendatrix (in Spanish: commendadora) or prioress. There were a total of six in the late 13th century: Santa Eufenia de Cozuelos in northern Castile, San Spiritu de Salamanca, Santos-o-Vello in Portugal, Destriana near Astorga, San Pedro de la Piedra near Lérida, San Vincente de Junqueres. The order of Calatrava also had a convent in San Felices de los Barrios. and thirteenth centuries,’ Studia Monastica 1987 (vol. 29). 

Women Knights


Medieval French had two words, chevaleresse and chevalière, which were used in two ways: one was for the wife of a knight, and this usage goes back to the 14th c. The other was as female knight, or so it seems. Here is a quote from Menestrier, a 17th c. writer on chivalry: “It was not always necessary to be the wife of a knight in order to take this title. Sometimes, when some male fiefs were conceded by special privilege to women, they took the rank of chevaleresse, as one sees plainly in Hemricourt where women who were not wives of knights are called chevaleresses.” 

I could find no trace of any title bestowed on Jeanne d’Arc. Her family was made noble, with nobility transmissible through women, which was quite unusual. She did ride a horse and dress up in armor, but she did not wield a sword and never killed anyone, but rather grasped her banner tightly. 
See also the Nine Worthy Women (les neuf preuses)

Female Grand-Cross in the Order of Saint John


In 1645, when a Turkish fleet threatened the island of Malta, a French nobleman, Louis d’Arpajon (1601-79), called his vassals, raised an army of 2000 men, found ships and provisions and sailed for Malta. On 27 July 1645, a grateful Grand Master granted to him and his eldest son the right to wear and to bear in his arms a cross of Malta, and to one of his younger sons the right to be admitted as a minor in the order and to be promoted grand cross at the age of 18; furthermore this privilege was to be transmitted to his successors as head of his house, and in case of extinction of the male line it would pass to females. (See his arms). 
This privilege was the male line became extinct with his grandson Louis d’Arpajon, knight of the Golden Fleece, who died in 1736. He left a daughter Anne-Claude-Louise d’Arpajon (1729-94) who married Philippe de Noailles, Comte de Noailles, baron de Mouchy (1715-94). She was received Grand-Cross on 13 Dec 1745 in Paris by the ambassador of the Order, and her husband was received 17 Nov 1750 (he was also knight of the St Esprit 1767, knight of the Golden Fleece 1746, and maréchal de France 1775, grandee of Spain 1st class 1741, styled duc de Mouchy 1747. (source: La Chesnaye-Desbois; the président Hénault, maternal uncle of the countess of Noailles, witnessed her reception and mentions it in his Mémoires, p. 146.). 

Their younger son Louis-Marie, vicomte de Noailles (1756-1804) was called to the privilege. He married his cousin the daughter of the duc d’Ayen and had among others a younger son Alfred-Louis-Dominique (1784-1812), baron of the French Empire, whose only daughter by his cousin Charlotte de Noailles de Mouchy was Anne-Charlotte-Cécile (d. 1858). She married Charles-Philippe-Henri de Noailles, duc de Mouchy, and their son Antonin-Just-Léon-Marie (1841-1909) was grand-cross of St. John. The Gotha Français also names his grandson and successor Henry, duc de Mouchy (1890-1947) as grand-cross, but does not say if the privilege continued. 

Hénault adds that (in his time, c. 1750), there were only three other female grand-crosses: the “princesse de Rochette in Italy”, the princess of Thurn and Taxis (Maria Ludovika von Lobkowicz, 1683-1750), and her daughter Maria Augusta von Thurn und Taxis, duchess of Wurttemberg ((1706-56). 



Modern Women Knights


Modern French orders include women, of course, in particular the Légion d’Honneur (Legion of Honor) since the mid-19th c., but they are always called chevaliers. The first documented case is that of Marie-Angélique Duchemin (1772-1859), who fought in the Revolutionary Wars, received a military disability pension in 1798, the rank of 2nd lieutenant in 1822, and the Legion of Honor in 1852. 

Traditionally, French women on whom the Légion d’Honneur or other order is conferred use the title “chevalier.” However, a recipient of the Ordre National du Mérite recently requested from the order’s Chancery the permission to call herself “chevalière” and the request was granted (AFP dispatch, Jan 28, 2000). 
The first woman to be granted a knighthood in modern Britain seems to have been H.H. Nawab Sikandar Begum Sahiba, Nawab Begum of Bhopal, who became a Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Star of India (GCSI) in 1861, at the foundation of the order. Her daughter received the same honour in 1872 and granddaughter in 1910. The order was open to “princes and chiefs” without distinction of gender. (Thanks to Christopher Buyers for this item). 

The first European woman to have been granted an order of knighthood was Queen Mary, when she was made a Knight Grand Commander of the same order, by special statute, in celebration of the Delhi Durbar of 1911. She was also granted a knighthood in 1917, when the Order of the British Empire was created (the first order explicitly open to women). The Royal Victorian Order was opened to women in 1936, the Order of Bath and Saint Michael and Saint George in 1965 and 1971 respectively. Queen consorts have been made Ladies of the Garter since 1901 (Queens Alexandra in 1901, Mary in 1910, Elizabeth in 1937). The first non-Royal woman to be made Lady Companion of the Garter was Lavinia, duchess of Norfolk in 1990 (†1995), the second was Baroness Thatcher in 1995 (post-nominal: LG). On Nov. 30, 1996, Marion Ann Forbes, Lady Fraser was made Lady of the Thistle, the first non-Royal woman (post-nominal: LT).

Daughters of the Grail

The Ladies of Templar were the powerful women who shared the same heavenly agreement and mission as the Knight’s Templar. The men and the woman met on power days to perform ceremony and recite ancient text and prayers. The difference between the Ladies Templar and the Knights Templar were pure gender. The warrior knights would go into battle while the ladies templar would stay on the edge of the battlefield and support them energetically with their holy prayers.

The ladies templar provided important support through powerful protective prayers that were sung. They spent many days blessing the weapons, armor, food and drink of the Knights, before they went into battle and spiritually shielded their chosen warrior.

The Knights Templar could not function properly if not for their Ladies. These women provided the wind beneath their wings, and held the light for them while they were in battle. Because there was such a very close connection between each knight and his protectress many fell deeply in love and had children that were brought up in the same sacred school of thought. These children were known as the Sons Templar and the Daughters Templar.

The Daughters Templar were females that housed a seeded encoding as guardians of the holy treasures, the sacred texts, the hidden secrets passed down genetically through time. The daughters templar were strong, forthright, and courageous especially for those less fortunate. They Believed strongly in a God that assigned them the task of forever sealing the fate of earth in a place of favor.

HISTORY In 1133, a woman called Azalais gave herself to the Templars ‘to serve God under obedience to the master.’ There were also various mysterious references to ‘sisters of the order’ made during the trials, although none of these Templar women seem to have been arrested in 1307. The involvement of women in Templar rituals may have inspired the stories that arose from other Templar trials that the knights had congress with demons in the form of beautiful maidens.

Women are openly accepted and encouraged to experience the fullest participation in all chivalric and knightly activities, quests and missions of the Order of the Temple of Solomon. In the modern Order, women also have equal opportunity to serve in high-level governmental positions as Crown Officers. This is the best possible way to exemplify female leadership in the spirit of Saint Joan of Arc, in the historic tradition of Saint Mary Magdalene.

 

SAINT MARY MAGDALENE & THE KNIGHTS TEMPLAR

THE TRADITION OF MARY MAGDALENE AS A TEMPLAR PATRON SAINT

 

MARY MAGDALENE AS A GNOSTIC APOSTLE

Proprietary Research – This site presents new and original research, which is proprietary, from primary sources in the historical record. The numbered source references are the verifiable evidence of all relevant facts. The Templar Order now shares this with the general public for the first time, as part of its core mission of restoring venerable traditions as the pillars of civilization.

'Mary Magdalene', Andrea Solario and Bernardino Luini (ca. 1524 AD), at The Walters Art Museum

‘Mary Magdalene’, Andrea Solario and Bernardino Luini (ca. 1524 AD), at The Walters Art Museum

S (100) Knights Templar Illuminated Letters www.knightstemplarorder.orgSaint Mary Magdalene, the New Testament Disciple and supporter of Jesus, is a Saint of the Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican and Lutheran Churches, honoured as a Heroine of the Faith by Protestant Churches. In addition to being a canonized Saint, in Southern France and throughout much of Europe Mary Magdalene was venerated as a Gnostic Apostle by the tradition known as the “Cult of Mary Magdalene”, which arose in Provence France during the 11th century.

This was based upon the widespread belief among Catholic scholars that Mary and her companions fled persecution in Jerusalem, crossed the Mediterranean in a boat, and landed near Arles in the South of France (since named “Saintes Maries de la Mer”). She then retired to the Holy Cave (“Sainte-Baume”) on a hill in the Marseille region, and converted all of Provence to Christianity. This tradition holds that throughout 30 years, as a Gnostic Apostle of Jesus, she taught her own Disciples in ancient Christianity from the Holy Cave, and was in frequent communication with Angels. [1] [2] [3] [4] These legends of Mary Magdalene were widely accepted throughout the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages [5] and into the present day.

Catholic doctrine holds that at the time of her death, Mary Magdalene was carried by Angels to Aix en Provence and into the Oratory of Saint Maximinus at Villa Lata, where she received last rites. In 771 AD her relics were moved by Gerard the Duke of Burgundy to the newly founded Abbey de la Madaleine at Vézelay. Her relics were first venerated at Vézelay in Burgundy beginning in ca. 1050 AD. [6] Later in 1279 AD, an excavation for King Charles II of Naples discovered an intact shrine of Mary Magdalene at Saint Maximin la Sainte Baume in Provence. That site featured an inscription explaining why her relics had been hidden there, indicating that it was either the hidden true burial site, or an alternate site of partial relics. [7] [8]

Southern France, especially the Mary Magdalene site of Aix en Provence, was always a major stronghold of the Knights Templar, since the inception of the Order in 1118 AD:

A public square in Aix en Provence preserves a 19th century statute of Rene d’Anjou (1409-1480 AD), Duke of the Templar dynastic House of Anjou, and titular King of Jerusalem descendant from the founding Templar King Fulk d’Anjou. Rene was the son of Princess Yolande of Aragon (1384-1442 AD), who was the primary proponent and patron of Saint Joan of Arc, who was a hereditary Templar Countess of Anjou [9]. Yolande was the daughter of King John I of Aragon Spain, where many of the Knights Templar had survived the French persecution from 1307 AD. As a result, many later Templar descendants thrived as an underground network in Southern France, under the dynastic support of the Templar House of Anjou.

Therefore, the 11th century “Cult of Mary Magdalene” had a special connection – and a powerful appeal – to the 12th century Knights Templar, and was always a major component of authentic Templar heritage even into the modern era. While not all Templars necessarily considered Mary Magdalene to be a Gnostic Apostle, many historically did. As Catholics, in any case, the Knights Templar strongly favoured her as their special Saint.

Throughout the Middle Ages, at every possible opportunity the Templars used seemingly normal references to “Mary”, appearing to mean “Mother Mary”, to instead privately emphasize the central importance of Mary Magdalene in their hearts and in their prayers, as a pillar of Templar culture:

The Temple Rule of 1129 AD features a key reference emphasizing “Our Lady of God” in equal balance with Jesus, using the unique Old French word “Damedieu”, which specifically represents the feminine aspect of God (Rule 2). A related reference in the original Latin identifies “Our Lady” as the “Saint” Mary (and not the “Virgin” or “Mother”), highlighting Saint Mary Magdalene as a Gnostic Apostle of Jesus (Rule 16). It specifically declares that the Templar Priests of the Order serve by “the authority of Our Lady of God” (Rule 64), thereby dedicating the Order to Mary Magdalene. [10]

Accordingly, preserving the tradition of Mary Magdalene remains one of the fundamental historical missions which is carried by the modern Templar Order.

 

SAINT MARY MAGDALENE AS A TEMPLAR PATRON SAINT

 

'Penitent Mary Magdalene' (ca. 1635 AD) by Francesco Gessi at Peyton Wright Gallery

‘Penitent Mary Magdalene’ (ca. 1635 AD) by Francesco Gessi at Peyton Wright Gallery

T (100) Knights Templar Illuminated Letters www.knightstemplarorder.orgThe Biblical Mary Magdalene was a woman of independent means, who helped support the first Apostles of Jesus. The New Testament recounts that “Mary Magdalene… and many others… provided for them out of their resources.” (Luke 8:2-3.) This is supported by the reference that “Mary Magdalene… followed him [Jesus], and ministered unto him” (Mark 15:40-41). [11] Based upon these scriptures, the iconic Templar symbol of her status as a sponsoring patron Saint of the Apostles is her trademark money pouch.

The statue of Saint Joan of Arc inside Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, built by surviving 15th century Templars, features a key symbol linking her to Saint Mary Magdalene. In this statue, Joan has a distinctive pouch hanging from her belt, mirroring the iconographic “money pouch” traditionally depicted on the belt of Mary Magdalene [12].

Confirming this symbolism is another statue outside that same Cathedral, featuring Mary Magdalene with an Apostolic halo wearing her iconic “money pouch”. [13] The Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg also features a 19th century painting “The Life of Joan of Arc”, which depicts Saint Joan wearing the “money pouch” on a red robe which symbolizes that of Mary Magdalene. [14]

In the New Testament, Mary Magdalene was the first to be told by an Angel that Jesus had risen, and was specially appointed by the Angel to be the first to tell the other Apostles: “Mary Magdalene and the other Mary [came] to see the sepulchre” of Jesus’ tomb. “The angel of the Lord descended from heaven… and said unto the women… go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead… lo, I have told you. And they departed quickly… to bring his disciples word.” (Matthew 28:1-8, Mark 16:1-8) [15] Jesus himself appeared to Mary first, before any other Apostles: “Now when Jesus was risen… he appeared first to Mary Magdalene”. (Mark 16:9) Then “Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord”. (John 20:14-18) [16]

The prominence of leadership of Mary Magdalene in the 1st century Church was confirmed by the authoritative Vatican theologian Saint Augustine (ca. 400 AD), recognizing her as the “Apostle to the Apostles” [17]. The name “Magdalene” did not mean merely “from Magdala”, but actually meant “The Tower”, as Mary’s nickname and title of prominence and importance among the Apostles. [18]

For these reasons, Mary Magdalene is widely considered to hold special status as the primary Disciple of Jesus, who the Essenes, Cathars and later Templars regarded as a “Gnostic Apostle”, as well as a Patron Saint [19].

'Maria Magdalena', altar piece by Carlo Crivelli (ca.1485 AD) in Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

‘Maria Magdalena’, altar piece by Carlo Crivelli (ca.1485 AD) in Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

It was only much later in the 7th century that Pope Gregory (590-604 AD) mistakenly associated Mary Magdalene with a “sinner” who washed Jesus’ feet (Matthew 26:6-13, Mark 14:3-8), who was also named “Mary”. However, the Orthodox Church never made that misidentification, and maintains that Magdalene is separate, and was never any type of “sinner”, but only venerated as a Saint. [20]

The New Testament contains two isolated references to “Mary Magdalene, out of whom he [Jesus] had cast seven devils.” (Mark 16:9, Luke 8:2) [21] This passing mention, in two accounts of the same event, does not appear in the other two related Gospels.

That cryptic reference, which appears out of context even in the original text, has been assumed to imply that “seven demons were cast out” of her, interpreted as a possible exorcism. However, the results of archaeology provide compelling evidence that this is actually a metaphorical short description of the sacred consecration ceremony for a High Priest(ess), in the tradition of the Nazarene Essenes:

The “Wisdom Texts” of the Essene scrolls describe in great detail “the search for Wisdom as a female figure”, establishing doctrines of the feminine aspects of God [22]. As a result, in the Essene Priesthood women were given initiatory training [23], and the 1st century historian Flavius Josephus documented that women were given formal initiation as Priestesses, equal to the men [24].

University professors confirm that Jesus was not “of Nazareth”, but was actually called “the Nazarene”, revealing that he was a High Priest of the Nazarene Essenes, the original Egyptian Essenes. (The town “Nazereth” did not have that name at the time of Jesus, such that he was not named after the place, but rather the town was later named after Jesus the Nazarene Essene.) [25]

The ancient Priesthood of the Essenes, which Jesus the Nazarene Essene had studied in Egypt, and of which he was a High Priest, featured practices of spiritual purification using energy centers located at seven points along the spinal column [26]. These energy points are popularly known in other traditions as the “seven chakras”.

In all spiritual traditions, the purpose of all forms of energy work with the chakras is always to “clear” or “cleanse” them, by “removing” clouds or blocks of “negative energy”, often referred to in early Christianity as “demons”. Naturally, the only way to become a High Priest(ess) was necessarily to cleanse one’s seven chakras, casting out all negative energies, removing all blocks, to ensure that the Holy Spirit would flow strongly through the Priest(ess).

Evidence that the Apostles had knowledge from the Essenes of how to “cleanse” the “seven chakras”, is found in a prayer which is featured in the Gnostic Acts of Thomas: “Come, thou holy name of Christ… Come, compassionate Mother. Come, she that revealeth the hidden mysteries. Come, Mother of the seven houses, that thy rest may be in the seventh house. … Come, Holy Spirit, and cleanse their reins and their heart, and give them the added seal”. [27]

This invocation is direct evidence from the historical record of an Apostolic practice, specifically to “cleanse” the “seven houses” to give an “added seal” of connection to the Holy Spirit. This proves the reality of a tradition of consecration of a High Priest(ess) by “casting out seven demons” from their chakras, and that such practice has nothing to do with demonic possession nor exorcism, but rather is purification for consecration of a Bishop.

Therefore, the infamously misinterpreted New Testament reference to Mary Magdalene, as the one from whom “Jesus had cast out seven demons”, in fact clearly evidences that Jesus himself had consecrated Mary as a High Priestess in the ancient tradition of the Essenes, thereby making her the first female Apostolic Bishop of Christianity.

The prayer of Saint Thomas, that the “Mother” of Wisdom may “rest… in the seventh house”, is a clear reference to the highest seventh chakra, located at the Pineal body in the center of the brain. Jesus the Nazarene taught the Apostles about the importance of activating the Pineal body, which is popularly known in all esoteric traditions as the “Third Eye” or “Single Eye”, and is the natural biological channel for Holy Spirit energies: “The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.” (Matthew 6:22) [28]

This Gnostic teaching of the Essenes, known and used by Jesus and the Apostles, is also described in Old Testament canonical scripture: “Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn [carved] out her seven pillars” (Proverbs 9:1) [29] This establishes that the system of seven energy centers of the human body is associated with the divine feminine aspect of God.

In the Old Testament the spirit of Wisdom, always referred to in scripture as “she”, is described in great detail as being the feminine face of God, the female aspect which is inherent within God. “Wisdom” speaks, saying: “The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning… while as yet he had not made the earth… When he prepared the heavens, I was there… I was by him, as one brought up with him”. (Proverbs 8:22-31) [30]

The Gnostic scripture Pistis Sophia, features Mary Magdalene teaching the principles of “cosmic” spiritual ascent of the soul, through prayerful work with “seven spheres” of energy. [31] This is supported by the Gnostic scripture Dialogue of the Savior, in which Mary Magdalene teaches: “There is but one saying I will speak to the Lord concerning the mystery of Truth: In this we have taken our stand, and to the cosmic we are transparent.” [32] Therefore, the “cosmic” to which we are “transparent” is the “seven spheres” of energy, as the “seven houses”, of the Biblical “seven pillars” of Wisdom, which are the seven chakras.

In 12th century Templarism, the doctrine of the number seven being associated with cleansing purification is found in the Temple Rule of 1129 AD: Knights were instructed to say prayers “for the daytime hours seven” paternosters (Rule 10); Whenever a Templar Brother or Sister dies, the other Templars are instructed “throughout seven days, to say one hundred paternosters” (Rule 62), and that a “pauper shall [be given] seven days of food for his soul” (Rule 65). [33]

The Templar Order was originally founded specifically as a Holy mission to recover ancient scriptures from the historical Temple of Solomon [34] [35], which contained a library of sacred scrolls [36], placed there by the 1st century Essenes [37], who had direct access to that Temple [38]. The Order was thus based upon recovering the Gnostic scriptures of the Essenes [39]. Those scriptures gave rise to the strong Templar belief that Mary Magdalene was a “Gnostic Apostle” of Jesus.

The Gnostic Gospel of Mary, shows Mary Magdalene as the senior Apostle closest to Jesus: Peter asked Mary, “Sister we know the Lord loved you more than the rest of the women. Tell us the words of the Savior which you remember, which you know, but we do not nor have heard them.” Mary answered, “What is hidden from you I will proclaim to you.” The Apostle Levi then said to Peter, “if the Savior made her worthy, who are you indeed to reject her? Surely the Savior knows her very well. That is why He loved her more than us.” [40]

The Gnostic Gospel of Philip identifies Mary Magdalene as the closest “companion” to Jesus, even beyond the role of an Apostle: “There were three who always walked with the Lord, Mary his mother and her sister and the Magdalene, the one who was called his companion.” [41]

The Gospel of Philip says that the Virgin Mother Mary “is the mother of the Angels, and the companion of… Mary Magdalene. [Jesus loved] her more than [all] the disciples, [and used to] kiss her [often] on her [mouth].” (The missing words from holes in the parchment were reliably indicated by the grammar and context of surrounding words.) [42]

Such “kissing” was a traditional greeting among Priests of the ancient Priesthood of the Essenes. Accordingly, “kissing often” indicates frequent visits to a Master by his Disciple. The phrase “on the mouth” reflects an ancient esoteric principle of conveying sacred Wisdom and Holy Spirit energy, metaphorically symbolized as spiritual “breath” from the “mouth”, which was conceptually related to the “word” of God.

In Christianity, this spiritual concept of “kissing on the mouth” was first found in one of the 2nd century Cistercian Chants, which were also sung by the original 12th century Knights Templar. One of those 12 liturgical chants favored by the Knights Templar, Filie Jerusalem, features the lyrics “May he [Jesus] kiss me by kisses of his mouth” [43]. This was essentially a coded prayer for Jesus to convey divine sacred wisdom to the Knights as initiates of the Essene Priesthood.

As a result of all of the above historical facts, Mary Magdalene is authentically the primary venerated Patron Saint of the Templar Order, and the focus of Apostolic heritage of the Ancient Catholic Church preserved by the Order of the Temple of Solomon. In many ways, the Templar Order is dedicated to preserving and continuing the tradition of Mary Magdalene, as the saintly and inspirational “heart” of the original Knights Templar.

 

WOMEN IN MEMBERSHIP IN THE TEMPLAR ORDER

HISTORICAL FACTS OF WOMEN IN CHIVALRY & THE KNIGHTS TEMPLAR

W (100) Knights Templar Illuminated Letters www.knightstemplarorder.orgWomen are openly accepted and encouraged to experience the fullest participation in all chivalric and knightly activities, quests and missions of the Order of the Temple of Solomon. In the modern Order, women also have equal opportunity to serve in high-level governmental positions as Crown Officers. This is the best possible way to exemplify female leadership in the spirit of Saint Joan of Arc, in the historic tradition of Saint Mary Magdalene.

Proprietary Research – This site presents new and original research, which is proprietary, from primary sources in the historical record. The numbered source references are the verifiable evidence of all relevant facts. The Templar Order now shares this with the general public for the first time, as part of its core mission of restoring venerable traditions as the pillars of civilization.

 

HISTORICAL FACT OF WOMEN IN THE TEMPLAR ORDER

 

'La Pucelle', The Maid of Orleans, at Hôtel Groslot in Orleans

‘La Pucelle’, The Maid of Orleans, at Hôtel Groslot in Orleans

A (100) Knights Templar Illuminated Letters www.knightstemplarorder.orgAlthough medieval chivalry generally excluded women from most knightly chivalric Orders, the historical record proves that women were actually included in significant participation within the Order of the Temple of Solomon. Medieval Templar rules which appear to restrict the participation of women were merely to provide a reasonable degree of separation, to ensure modesty and respect.

The Temple Rule of 1129 AD mentioned an original pre-existing “practice” of admitting women, confirming that women were in fact admitted during the first 10 years of the Order (although stating they should not be actively recruited as a “custom”), and thus implicitly allowed women to be admitted as an exception (Rule 70); It required all Templars to “refuse to be godfathers or godmothers” (Rule 72), thereby specifically referring to women among Templars in active service, proving that women were in fact Templars serving within the Order; One later provision (added ca. 1150-1300 AD) allows Knights to receive supporting services of women whenever permission is granted (Rule 679). [1]

Manuscripts preserved by the Teutonic Order also evidence that in 1305 AD, the Templar Order acquired at least one female monastery, the “Abbey des Camaldules de Saint Michel de Lemo”, and the “Abess Agnès” took Templar Vows and was admitted by the Templar Prior from Venice. [2]

Based upon these facts from the historical record, the Order traditionally recognizes women as equal to, but venerably different from, their male counterparts, all serving in balance and harmony as Templar Brothers and Sisters.

 

AUTHENTIC TRADITIONAL TITLES FOR WOMEN AS TEMPLARS

 

'Stitching the Standard' (ca. 1900 AD) Edmund Blair Leighton

‘Stitching the Standard’ (ca. 1900 AD) Edmund Blair Leighton

B (100) Knights Templar Illuminated Letters www.knightstemplarorder.orgBy the protocols of medieval Chivalry and related rules on titles, chivalric Orders never used the same word for men and women of equal status, and never used masculine militarized words as titles for women of the same position. This custom is deeply rooted in French language (as French culture greatly influenced chivalric traditions), in which certain words are exclusively “masculine” or “feminine” as a matter of basic grammar.

Women were treated as equal, but venerably different, emphasizing unique feminine qualities which were deemed essential pillars of historical institutions and of civilization itself. Accordingly, women of equal leadership, influence and participation were given alternative and equivalent titles worthy of their revered feminine qualities.

Under the Temple Rule of 1129 AD, the primary and majority membership in the Order actually held the title of “Sergeant” (Rules 67-68), a word only appropriate for men. For women, the alternative title equivalent to Sergeant, from the same French military system, is “Adjutante” (pronounced like “debutante”). The female title of Adjutante comes from the Latin ‘adjutare‘ meaning to “support”, based on the root ‘iuvare‘ meaning “to give strength” [3]. The title of Adjutante thus expresses the respect for women as necessary support within the chivalric Order, as the very source of strength for their male counterparts.

For women in full chivalric status, at the same level as Knights, the historically correct title is that of “Dame”. Experts in chivalric protocols confirm that: “A Dame is the female equivalent of a knight of an order of chivalry.” The title “Dame” is always used in the same way as “Sir” for a Knight. [4]

The word “Dame” (properly pronounced “daame”) is the original word in early 13th century Old French, from the Late Latin ‘domna‘, from Old Latin ‘domina‘, which means “lady ruler of the house”, in the same sense as men were called “master”. Only in modern American English, “Dame” became a short-lived slang word, first used in 1902, briefly popularized by Hollywood movies in the 1940’s, simply meaning a “strong woman”. It is defined in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as “a woman of rank, station or authority” and “a female member of an order of knighthood”, listing the synonyms “matriarch” and “matron”. [5] [6]

The title of “Dame”, which a woman holds in her own right, earned by her own merit, should never be confused with “Lady”, which is only used by the wife of a Knight. The prefix “Lady” is merely a “courtesy title” held only by marriage, and can be lost upon divorce, or lost if a widow remarries. [7] Although some women may think they prefer the sound of “Lady”, as popularized by Arthurian or Renaissance themes in literature and entertainment, it is not an alternative. Any woman of equal chivalric status to a Knight must be respected by using the proper historical title of “Dame”.

In correct chivalric terminology, as a Knight is “knighted” by being “dubbed” and receives “knighthood”, a Dame is “appointed” by being “presented” with the honour and receives “damehood”. [8]

Both men and women, as Sergeants and Adjutantes, Knights and Dames, are all “Templars”, equal as Templar Brothers and Sisters, and all are in chivalric service in the Order. Indeed, it is the status of being a “Templar” that is prized and revered, not merely the respective gender denominations.

 

HISTORICAL PRECEDENTS OF WOMEN IN MILITARY CHIVALRIC ORDERS

 

T (100) Knights Templar Illuminated Letters www.knightstemplarorder.orgThere are many historical precedents for armed women in chivalric culture, including women actively participating in predominantly male chivalric Orders.

During ancient times in both Britain and France, women of the Celtic civilization were regularly known to be great warriors, and sometimes notable military commanders or leaders of whole armies. The most famous of ancient female military leaders was the Celtic “Warrior Queen” Boudicca, who commanded an army based upon her skills and authority as a Druid High Priestess. [9]

Joan of Arc was the quintessential embodiment of that ancient practice from Queen Boudicca, which was manifested in the famous “warrior monk” character of the Knights Templar, who preserved the most ancient Priesthood of Solomon. Always prayerful and persistently in direct divine communion, Joan of Arc was truly qualified as a High Priestess, according to ancient traditions which were understood, preserved and continued by the Templar Order. Through constant prayer and meditation, she experienced visions from God and visitations by Saints and Angels, receiving surprisingly accurate prophecies of near-future events that consistently proved to be true.

During the 12th century, the Teutonic Order (derivative of the Knights Templar) accepted women as ‘Consorores’ (“Sisters”) who wore its chivalric habit and lived by its Rule. These Sisters were in active service of hospitaller functions, but not military activities, and multiple convents were formed under otherwise “male” military Orders.

In the 12th century Order of Saint John (Malta), women were given the title ‘Soeurs Hospitalières’ (“Sisters of Hospitality”). There were chivalric Hospitaller convents in Aragon, France, Spain and Portugal, until at least ca. 1300 AD, and in Buckland England until 1540 AD. The Prioress of a convent was given the title of ‘Commendatrix’. [10]

Also in the 12th century, the Order of the Hatchet was created by the Count of Barcelona in 1149 AD, for the women of Tortosa in Aragon, who defended and freed the city when the battle-worn men could not find reinforcement soldiers. The women were all made hereditary Dames of the chivalric Order, and thereafter were treated as female military “Knights”. They were given the titles of ‘Equitissae’ (from ‘Equites’) and ‘Militissae’ (from ‘Milites’) [11] [12]

The earliest use of the title ‘Militissa’ as a “female Knight” was the Order of the Glorious Saint Mary founded in Bologna, Italy in 1233 AD, and approved by the Vatican in 1261 AD, until it was suppressed by a later Pope in 1558 AD. In France, other chivalric Orders of women were founded in 1441 AD and 1451 AD, granting the French title ‘Chevalière’ (feminine form of Chevalier) or the Latin title ‘Equitissa’. Continuing into the 17th century, the female Canons of the Monastery of Saint Gertrude in Nivelles were “knighted” with the titles ‘Militissae’, and were given the accolade of dubbing with a sword at the altar. [13] [14] [15]

In Old French since the 14th century, women held the title ‘Chevaleresse’ in connection with acquiring a male fiefdom conceded by a man, or as the wife of a Knight, and the title ‘Chevalière’ as a Dame of an Order. [16]

Chivalric culture of the Middle Ages developed a theme known as “Les Neuf Preuses” (“The Nine Worthy-Women”). The Preuses were presented as a row of statues or engraved portraits, depicting variously selected sets of nine inspirational women, from differing lists according to local popular culture. The Preuses were women who changed history, many of them through chivalric warfare in battle. The Castle of Pierrefonds near Paris features a beautiful row of nine Preuses (ca. 1850 AD), three of them holding a sword, lance and battle hammer, respectively. [17]

 

Statues of 'Nine Female Worthies' (Neuf Preuses) in Castle of Pierrefonds, near Paris (ca. 1850 AD)

Statues of ‘Nine Female Worthies’ (Neuf Preuses) in Castle of Pierrefonds, near Paris (ca. 1850 AD)

 

Among the most revered women on various lists of Nine Preuses during the 15th century were Queen Boudicca, the warrior High Priestess who led the Celts in battle against the Romans (ca. 60 AD), and many venerated female Saints including Joan of Arc.

Several precedents for women in Grand Cross leadership (analogous to the Templar Grand Mastery) in chivalric Orders of the Renaissance are found in the Order of Saint John (Malta). Anne-Claude-Louise d’Arpajon (1729-1794 AD) held a hereditary Damehood created as passing through female lines, and became a Grand Cross in 1745 AD. The Mémoires de Hénault de Noailles (ca. 1750 AD) documented three other women who became Grand Cross during the mid-18th century: The Italian Princesse de Rochette, the Princess of Thurn und Taxis (Maria Ludkova von Lobkowicz), and her daughter the Duchess of Wurtemberg (Maria Augusta von Thurn und Taxis). [18]

In Chivalric Orders under the Vatican, traditionally they have an “Order of Cloistered Nuns”, and “also associations whose associate members are both male and female”, as in the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM). [19]

Later in the 19th century, for the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, in 1888 AD the Vatican “extended the knighthood to the female[s] with the title of Dame, while all [other] Orders of the Holy See were reserved only for the male[s].” [20] [21]

 

SAINT JOAN OF ARC AS A TEMPLAR FEMALE ROLE MODEL

 

'Jeanne de Arc' (19th century) by Paul La Boulaye

‘Jeanne de Arc’ (19th century) by Paul La Boulaye

S (100) Knights Templar Illuminated Letters www.knightstemplarorder.orgSaint Joan of Arc (1412-1431 AD) was in fact a hereditary Templar, as the genealogical Countess of Anjou, the dynastic house of the founding Templar King Fulk d’Anjou of Jerusalem (1089-1143 AD), as the founding royal patronage of the Templar Order. Joan of Arc descended through two Counts of Anjou, Karl I of Frankreich (1270-1325 AD) and Karl II of Lahme (1248-1309 AD) who was also King of Jerusalem. [22] The cherished sword of Joan of Arc was named after Saint Catherine de Fierbois (of Alexandria), a patron Saint of the Knights Templar, and its blade was engraved with the heraldic Cross of Jerusalem. [23]

The historical precedent of Saint Joan of Arc demonstrates that feminine expressions of chivalric nobility, such as the proper title of “Dame”, are not “less than” those of their male counterparts. Saint Joan’s example highlights that women are equally important in their own right, and are honoured for their own unique qualities, embodying the principle of the “feminine face of God”, or the “divine feminine” aspect of God. Perhaps most importantly, Joan of Arc illustrates that women should not suppress their sacred feminine nature, and should not seek respect by transforming themselves into “men”.

The divine feminine principle cannot be respected by suppressing it, only to be replaced with the counterbalancing male aspect. To honour the divine feminine necessarily requires recognition and celebration that it is in fact “feminine”, and prohibits that it be disguised and forced to be accepted only through conformity with the masculine principle. The most ancient sacred wisdom of spiritual alchemy was never to transform all feminine energies into masculine, but rather to combine distinctly unique male and female polarities of esoteric energy in equal balance, as the only way to achieve divine power and enlightenment.

Joan of Arc obtained command over an army not by denying her femininity, but by concentrating on the unique differences and contributions of her true feminine power. There were already many male Generals capable of relentless aggression and cunning strategy, but none who had the advantage of feminine intuition rooted in divine communion, an alternate female perspective necessary to shed new light on old military strategies, and a characteristically female emotional quality that could so profoundly inspire the hearts of all the soldiers to the most extraordinary bravery.

Saint Joan of Arc did not transform herself into a “man”, but nobly led an army as a true woman. The historical record proves that she dressed in men’s clothes and wore short hair only as practical battle wear, as a defensive measure to deter and prevent molestation, and to hide her identity in enemy territory – but never to suppress nor deny her femininity.

Conversely, she did not vanquish enemies by asserting supposed “independence” to dismiss and replace men as “not needed”, but rather applied her uniquely feminine qualities to most effectively lead an army of men, fighting together in equal balance. She thereby consciously combined the male-female difference into a powerful blend of perfection, directly embodying the ancient secrets of Templar spiritual alchemy, as the core esoteric principle of the Holy Grail itself.

Joan of Arc was a true Templar, and was revered and honoured as a Templar Dame, becoming a famous legend in her own right, of equal to or even greater renown than any Arthurian or Templar Knights. Indeed, she was even canonized as a Saint, an honour that was never given to the historical figure who was later popularized as the literary “King Arthur” (the 6th century Prince Arthur Aidan), nor to any of the Templar Grand Masters, not even the Martyr Jacques de Molay. Thus, Saint Joan represents the pure manifestation of the unlimited power of authentically being a Templar Dame.

In reverent dedication to this more enlightened understanding of the feminine principle in Chivalry, the Order of the Temple of Solomon recognizes all Dames as fully equal to, but venerably different from, their male counterpart Knights, all serving in balance and harmony as Templars. Men and women serve together as equal Brothers and Sisters in the Templar family, distinguished only by the proper respective grammatical forms of their official chivalric and nobility titles in the Order.

 

WOMEN IN FULL MEMBERSHIP IN THE TEMPLAR ORDER

 

I (100) Knights Templar Illuminated Letters www.knightstemplarorder.orgIn traditional British Royal Chivalry, for investiture of a Dame, a woman is not supposed to kneel (as this is inconvenient with a Medieval, Renaissance or Victorian era dress of a noblewoman), and is not supposed to be dubbed with a sword (considered inconsistent with their feminine qualities, and potentially painful). Instead, a woman is “presented” with her damehood, by “placing the correct decoration on a cushion” for the Dame to receive her badge of regalia. [24]

In the modern Order of the Temple of Solomon, women are provided the iconic experience of the “accolade”, although kneeling is optional. Faithful to the sacred symbology of Templar heritage, women can be “dubbed” with a long-stemmed rose, honouring the ancient wisdom “under the rose”, and representing the divine feminine principle in the tradition of Saint Mary Magdalene.

However, there is a historical precedent that from the 12th century into the 17th century, the female Canons of the Monastery of Saint Gertrude in Nivelles France were “knighted” with the titles ‘Militissae’ (from male ‘Milites’), and were given the accolade of dubbing with a sword at the altar [25] [26]. True to this rare tradition, and also the major precedent of Saint Joan of Arc, women who desire and so request may be dubbed by the sword, as the historical record proves that such request should not be refused.

The Temple Rule of 1129 AD required “everyone to have the same” uniform (Rule 18) [27]. There is also historical precedent that in the 12th century Teutonic Order (derivative of the Knights Templar), women as Sisters wore the same chivalric “habit” of regalia as the Brothers. [28] Accordingly, women in the Templar Order (Adjutantes and Dames) wear the same uniform as men (Sergeants and Knights).

Templar Gathering Uniforms (Women) 1250

As part of adopting the 14th century Rules of Chivalric Regalia as codified in 1672 AD, the modern Order of the Temple of Solomon has reestablished proper use of the medieval Livery Badge and Livery Collar, as official insignia reserved for Chivalry and Nobility [29] [30], which were authorized to wear “at all feasts and in all companies” with all dress codes [31].

As a result, in situations where the uniform is not used, Templar Adjutantes and Dames can rightfully use the relevant chivalric badges and collars with smart casual dress, business dress and evening wear, fashionably expressing their authentic female Templarism in diverse situations.

Dame Regalia (Lounge & Formal) 1250

 

Illustrations May Enlarge Sizes – For the purposes of Illustration, regalia accessories and insignia may appear larger than their actual size proportional to the clothing, for better visibility of detail.  Actual sizes are strictly and precisely in accordance with the international standard rules as used by all governments and legitimate chivalric Orders.

Statues of ‘Nine Female Worthies’ (Neuf Preuses) in Castle of Pierrefonds, near Paris (ca. 1850 AD)

 

Among the most revered women on various lists of Nine Preuses during the 15th century were Queen Boudicca, the warrior High Priestess who led the Celts in battle against the Romans (ca. 60 AD), and many venerated female Saints including Joan of Arc.

Several precedents for women in Grand Cross leadership (analogous to the Templar Grand Mastery) in chivalric Orders of the Renaissance are found in the Order of Saint John (Malta). Anne-Claude-Louise d’Arpajon (1729-1794 AD) held a hereditary Damehood created as passing through female lines, and became a Grand Cross in 1745 AD. The Mémoires de Hénault de Noailles (ca. 1750 AD) documented three other women who became Grand Cross during the mid-18th century: The Italian Princesse de Rochette, the Princess of Thurn und Taxis (Maria Ludkova von Lobkowicz), and her daughter the Duchess of Wurtemberg (Maria Augusta von Thurn und Taxis). [18]

In Chivalric Orders under the Vatican, traditionally they have an “Order of Cloistered Nuns”, and “also associations whose associate members are both male and female”, as in the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM). [19]

Later in the 19th century, for the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, in 1888 AD the Vatican “extended the knighthood to the female[s] with the title of Dame, while all [other] Orders of the Holy See were reserved only for the male[s].” [20] [21]

 

SAINT JOAN OF ARC AS A TEMPLAR FEMALE ROLE MODEL

Saint Joan of Arc (1412-1431 AD) was in fact a hereditary Templar, as the genealogical Countess of Anjou, the dynastic house of the founding Templar King Fulk d’Anjou of Jerusalem (1089-1143 AD), as the founding royal patronage of the Templar Order. Joan of Arc descended through two Counts of Anjou, Karl I of Frankreich (1270-1325 AD) and Karl II of Lahme (1248-1309 AD) who was also King of Jerusalem. [22] The cherished sword of Joan of Arc was named after Saint Catherine de Fierbois (of Alexandria), a patron Saint of the Knights Templar, and its blade was engraved with the heraldic Cross of Jerusalem. [23]

The historical precedent of Saint Joan of Arc demonstrates that feminine expressions of chivalric nobility, such as the proper title of “Dame”, are not “less than” those of their male counterparts. Saint Joan’s example highlights that women are equally important in their own right, and are honoured for their own unique qualities, embodying the principle of the “feminine face of God”, or the “divine feminine” aspect of God. Perhaps most importantly, Joan of Arc illustrates that women should not suppress their sacred feminine nature, and should not seek respect by transforming themselves into “men”.

The divine feminine principle cannot be respected by suppressing it, only to be replaced with the counterbalancing male aspect. To honour the divine feminine necessarily requires recognition and celebration that it is in fact “feminine”, and prohibits that it be disguised and forced to be accepted only through conformity with the masculine principle. The most ancient sacred wisdom of spiritual alchemy was never to transform all feminine energies into masculine, but rather to combine distinctly unique male and female polarities of esoteric energy in equal balance, as the only way to achieve divine power and enlightenment.

Joan of Arc obtained command over an army not by denying her femininity, but by concentrating on the unique differences and contributions of her true feminine power. There were already many male Generals capable of relentless aggression and cunning strategy, but none who had the advantage of feminine intuition rooted in divine communion, an alternate female perspective necessary to shed new light on old military strategies, and a characteristically female emotional quality that could so profoundly inspire the hearts of all the soldiers to the most extraordinary bravery.

Saint Joan of Arc did not transform herself into a “man”, but nobly led an army as a true woman. The historical record proves that she dressed in men’s clothes and wore short hair only as practical battle wear, as a defensive measure to deter and prevent molestation, and to hide her identity in enemy territory – but never to suppress nor deny her femininity.

Conversely, she did not vanquish enemies by asserting supposed “independence” to dismiss and replace men as “not needed”, but rather applied her uniquely feminine qualities to most effectively lead an army of men, fighting together in equal balance. She thereby consciously combined the male-female difference into a powerful blend of perfection, directly embodying the ancient secrets of Templar spiritual alchemy, as the core esoteric principle of the Holy Grail itself.

Joan of Arc was a true Templar, and was revered and honoured as a Templar Dame, becoming a famous legend in her own right, of equal to or even greater renown than any Arthurian or Templar Knights. Indeed, she was even canonized as a Saint, an honour that was never given to the historical figure who was later popularized as the literary “King Arthur” (the 6th century Prince Arthur Aidan), nor to any of the Templar Grand Masters, not even the Martyr Jacques de Molay. Thus, Saint Joan represents the pure manifestation of the unlimited power of authentically being a Templar Dame.

In reverent dedication to this more enlightened understanding of the feminine principle in Chivalry, the Order of the Temple of Solomon recognizes all Dames as fully equal to, but venerably different from, their male counterpart Knights, all serving in balance and harmony as Templars. Men and women serve together as equal Brothers and Sisters in the Templar family, distinguished only by the proper respective grammatical forms of their official chivalric and nobility titles in the Order.

 

'The Life of Joan of Arc' Triptych, Stilke Hermann Anton (1843 AD), Hermitage State Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

 

 

SAINT JOAN OF ARC & THE KNIGHTS TEMPLARTHE TRADITION OF JOAN OF ARC AS AS DYNASTIC FEMALE TEMPLAR WARRIOR

Joan of Arc Holding Banner - Robert Hillingford (ca.1890 AD) Private Collection

Joan of Arc Holding Banner – Robert Hillingford (ca.1890 AD) Private Collection

S (100) Knights Templar Illuminated Letters www.knightstemplarorder.orgSaint Joan of Arc (1412-1431 AD) is one of the most famous historical figures of chivalric knighthood in human history, with a real-life story of a Holy quest, driven by Gnostic divine visions and prophecies, and the purest of devoted faith within the Church, combined with astonishingly superior military prowess which resulted in major victories.

Little known facts documented in the historical record (presented here) prove that Joan of Arc herself was a real hereditary Templar, knowingly and purposefully continuing the living tradition of the Order of the Temple of Solomon.

Just as the true history of Mary Magdalene proves that women can be religious leaders, the true history of Joan of Arc proves that women can be monastic warriors in their own right, on equal footing with men as their counterparts. These historical precedents, which are further supported by traditional doctrines and teachings of the Knights Templar, irrevocably establish that the Order welcomes and encourages the full participation of women, whether as Clergy, supporting Adjutantes (female Sergeants), or Dames (female Knights).

Proprietary Research – This site presents new and original research, which is proprietary, from primary sources in the historical record. The numbered source references are the verifiable evidence of all relevant facts. The Templar Order now shares this with the general public for the first time, as part of its core mission of restoring venerable traditions as the pillars of civilization.

 

EVIDENCE THAT JOAN OF ARC WAS HEREDITARY TEMPLAR NOBILITY

 

Joan of Arc Statue, Notre Dame cathedral, Paris, South wall interior (c.1440)

Joan of Arc Statue, Notre Dame cathedral, Paris, South wall interior (c.1440)

N (100) Knights Templar Illuminated Letters www.knightstemplarorder.orgNotre Dame Cathedral in Paris, constructed by the Knights Templar, features a statue of Joan of Arc, which portrays her with some indications of her own Templar affiliations. This iconic statue shows her with a distinctly proper Templar sword, in the original 12th century form, which is markedly different from the French swords used during her time. Her battle flag is mounted on the lance in a manner reflecting the Agnus Dei seal of the Templar Grand Mastery.

Her statue also shows a pouch hanging from her belt, mirroring the Templar iconographic “money pouch” traditionally depicted on the belt of Mary Magdalene, subtly indicating their spiritual connection and saintly association.

This symbolism was based upon a Biblical reference that Mary was a woman of independent means, who helped support the first Apostles of Jesus. The New Testament Gospel of Luke recounts that “Mary Magdalene… and many others… provided for them out of their resources.” (Luke 8:2-3.) This is supported by the reference that “Mary Magdalene… followed him [Jesus], and ministered unto him” (Mark 15:40-41). Therefore, the money pouch is an iconic Templar symbol of her status as a sponsoring patron saint of the Apostles.

The Notre Dame statue proves that surviving 15th century Knights of the Templar Order themselves considered Joan of Arc to be a Magdalene figure and a real Templar warrior-priestess.

The verifiable facts which prove the direct connection of Joan of Arc to the Order of the Temple of Solomon require an understanding of the Templar heritage of the Kings of Jerusalem through the House of Anjou of authentic Templar ancestry.

King Rene d'Anjou of Jerusalem (1409-1480 AD) statue in Aix-en-Provence (19th century)

King Rene d’Anjou of Jerusalem (1409-1480 AD) statue in Aix-en-Provence (19th century)

Joan of Arc is associated with her contemporary Rene of Anjou (1409-1480 AD), who was the Duke of Anjou and also titular hereditary King of Jerusalem (1438-1480 AD). Rene of Anjou was a dynastic descendant of King Fulk d’Anjou of Jerusalem (a founding royal patron and original Knight of the Templar Order), and thus was a hereditary Grand Master of the Order during its years as a secret society. Rene of Anjou was part of the French Royal Army, and became Duke of Lorraine, the region where Joan of Arc was raised.

The primary proponents who helped advance and finance the ambitions of Joan of Arc were the mother of Rene of Anjou, Princess Yolande of Aragon (1384-1442 AD) and her daughter Marie of Anjou (the French version of “Mary”). Yolande was the daughter of King John I of Aragon, Spain where many Templars survived, and was also the Duchess of Anjou.

It was Yolande who actively supported Charles the Dauphin (1403-1461 AD) to eventually become King Charles VII of France, fighting even against his own parents who sought to prevent his claim to the throne. In 1413 AD, Yolande removed Charles from his parents’ court and protected him in her own castles in Loire Valley, where the future King Charles later received Joan of Arc. She also arranged the marriage between her daughter Marie and Charles. [1] Charles finally became King in 1422 AD, reigning until his death, and under Yolanda’s guidance he met and began close cooperation with Joan of Arc in March of 1429 AD, which resulted in clearing the way for his formal coronation in July of 1429 AD.

Princess Yolande of Aragon, Duchess of Anjou, got herself placed in charge of one of the qualifying examinations of Joan of Arc, which served to establish Joan’s ability to handle the authority and responsibility which her Holy Quest required. Yolanda also financed Joan of Arc’s army and expedition in 1429 AD, and was both the financial and also political patron of Joan of Arc and her knightly missions. Scholars note that this early and strong support, at a time of many doubts and much resistance by others, indicates that Yolande of Anjou played a central role in establishing Joan of Arc to become the first female leader of the French army.

When Joan of Arc was later captured by the Burgundians and tried in a French court, to be burned at the stake on May 30, 1431 AD, King Charles VII did nothing to save her. It was solely Yolanda and Marie of Anjou who made all efforts trying to protect her from persecution, hoping to obtain her release.

Joan of Arc - John Everett Millais (ca.1888 AD) Private Collection

Joan of Arc – John Everett Millais (ca.1888 AD) Private Collection

In the real “lost history” of Joan of Arc, the extensive involvement and central importance of the House of Anjou (descendant from the founding Templar, King Fulk of Jerusalem, Count of Anjou), goes much deeper than the 15th century Duchy of Anjou in France. Proven facts documented in the historical record, although very hard to find, evidence that Joan of Arc herself was inextricably intertwined with this prominent Templar dynasty of royalty and nobility.

One of the lineal ancestors of Joan of Arc was Karl I of Frankreich, Count of Anjou (1270-1325 AD), a direct relative of Count Fulk of Anjou, King of Jerusalem, one of the founding Knights Templar. Another of her ancestors was Karl II of Lahme, Count of Anjou, who was also King of Jerusalem (1248-1309 AD). [2]

As a result of this established genealogy, Joan of Arc herself was in fact a hereditary Countess of Anjou of the royal House of King Fulk d’Anjou of Jerusalem, and was thus also a hereditary Templar.

By any definition, this made her a major figure of royal Templar nobility, and a real Templar “warrior priestess” by birthright. Her parents would most certainly have been keenly aware of this, and would have actively raised her with all Templar knowledge and skills which they could possibly teach her. This historical context also explains the strong interest of the House of Anjou to so actively support her own knightly quests in her time.

 

EVIDENCE THAT JOAN OF ARC KNOWINGLY PURSUED TEMPLAR MISSIONS

 

Joan of Arc (ca.1450 AD) Centre Historique des Archives Nationales, Paris, No.AE II 2490

Joan of Arc (ca.1450 AD) Centre Historique des Archives Nationales, Paris, No.AE II 2490

T (100) Knights Templar Illuminated Letters www.knightstemplarorder.orgThe historical record contains ample evidence that Joan of Arc was knowingly dedicated to the doctrines of Templarism, and intentionally pursued Templar missions.

She is consistently depicted as having her own trademark battle banner, a white flag featuring Jesus depicted as an “ascended master” accompanied by two Angels on either side. He is holding what appears to be a stone, the same Templar symbol of spiritual alchemy and the “philosopher’s stone” held by the Melchizedek statue in the Templar cathedral of Chartres.

This banner bore the inscription: “IHS Maria”, meaning “Jesus and Mary”, an unusual reference indicating Jesus and Mary Magdalene as a couple.

This directly expresses a core heretical belief of the Knights Templar, that Jesus and Magdalene were a High Priest-Priestess pair, and husband and wife.

The prominence of these uniquely Templar references on her battle flag proves that Joan of Arc knew that she was a Templar, and purposefully served as a warrior-priestess for Templar missions.

Unequivocal evidence that Joan of Arc knew and strictly lived by the Knights Templar motto Non Nobis Domine (“Not to us Lord, but to Thy name give glory”) is her answer to certain questions during her trial: “As to whether victory was my banner’s or mine, it was all our Lord’s.” [3]

 

Battle Banner Flag of Joan of Arc, historical account supported by other paintings, as used by Joan of Arc in 1429 AD

Battle Banner Flag of Joan of Arc, historical account supported by other paintings, as used by Joan of Arc in 1429 AD

 

One major fact in the historical record, strongly supporting that Joan of Arc was a real Templar with direct access to Templar sacred knowledge preserved by the surviving Knights into the 15th century, is a witness report of her clear statements about the existence of the Gnostic Gospels. In the Rehabilitation Court to declare Joan of Arc innocent, the Vatican recorded the testimony of a witness who was advisor to the King, reporting that: “Joan would tell me how she had been examined by” French authorities, and often replied to them that “There are books of Our Lord’s besides what you have.” [4] At that time, only the surviving descendants of the Knights Templar and the Vatican itself had knowledge of the existence of the Lost Gospels, which were not rediscovered until the 20th century.

Other direct quotes from Joan of Arc evidence that she practiced a distinctly Templar form of characteristic Gnosticism, as an early form of Protestantism, centered around direct communion with the divine, which the French authorities treated as highly heretical and considered to be generally at odds with the Catholic Church:

During her trial, when asked about her visions of visitation by Saint Catherine and the Archangel Michael, Joan of Arc explained: “They do not order me to disobey the Church, but God must be served first.” When asked by the French inquisitors “Will you refer yourself to the decision of the Church?”, she replied: “I refer myself to God who sent me, to Our Lady, and to all the Saints in Paradise. And in my opinion it is all one, God and the Church; and one should make no difficulty about it.” [5]

Joan of Arc also lived by and taught the distinctly Templar doctrine that God often needs to work through incarnate humans as his agents to accomplish God’s will. The record of her qualifying examinations during March-April of 1429 AD quotes her as saying: “But since God had commanded me to go, I must do it. … It pleased God thus to act through a simple maid in order to turn back the King’s enemies.” [6] She further expressed this concept on her last day prior to execution on May 30, 1431 AD, saying: “It was I who brought the message of the crown to my King. I was the angel…” [7] She was also quoted as saying: “Act, and God will act.”

Other strong evidence that Joan of Arc was herself a real Templar, connected to the Kings of Jerusalem of the Knights Templar, is the historical records describing her famous battle sword, which she reportedly located through messages of divine communion from Saint Catherine and the Archangel Michael, who she always referred to as her “Voices”. The story is best told by Joan of Arc herself, in her own words recorded during her trial for heresy:

“Whilst I was at… Chinon, I sent to seek for a sword which was in the Church of Saint Catherine de Fierbois, behind the altar; It was found there at once; The sword was in the ground, and rusty; Upon it were five crosses; I knew by my Voice where it was. … I wrote to the Priests of the place, that it might please them to let me have this sword, and they sent it to me. It was under the earth, not very deeply buried… As soon as it was found, the Priests of the Church rubbed it, and the rust fell off at once without effort. … I always bore the sword of Fierbois from the time I had it”. [8]

Cross of Jerusalem, heraldic symbol, as “five crosses”

Cross of Jerusalem, heraldic symbol, as “five crosses”

Local oral history recounts that the Church of Saint Catherine was originally founded in 732 AD by Charles Martel after his victory over Saracens, where he buried his Holy Sword by the altar as an offering. Thus, the “five crosses” could only be the Cross of Jerusalem, which is directly connected to the Kings of Jerusalem as the original royal patronage of the chivalric Templar Order.

Saint Catherine de Fierbois (ca. 282-305 AD) was one of Joan of Arc’s famous “Voices” of angelic visitation, who appeared to her regularly, often together with the Archangel Michael. Catherine was also a virgin and Martyr, and known to be the Princess of Alexandria and a respected scholar in Egypt. [9] Better known as “Saint Catherine of Alexandria”, she was considered a Gnostic patron Saint of the Knights Templar. The story of Catherine of Alexandria was originally brought back to Europe by the Templar Knights from their campaigns in the Middle East, establishing a new tradition of veneration of and devotion to her as a martyr and saintly figure. The Saint Catherine’s Monastery at Mount Sinai, established in 565 AD, is her pilgrimage site where she is believed to have been entombed after her martyrdom.

Therefore, Joan of Arc’s reference to her sacred sword as the “sword of Fierbois” means it is the “Sword of Saint Catherine”, a Templar patron Saint, which bears on its blade the heraldic Cross of Jerusalem of the dynastic royal patronage of the Knights Templar through the House of Anjou.

The overall mission of Joan of Arc – to defend France against British invasion – was itself a key Templar mission, in this particular case at that time:

It has always been a central Templar belief and ecclesiastical doctrine, that the independent and autonomous sovereignty of different nations is an essential part of God’s plan, and is necessary to both the freedom and collective wisdom of humanity. (Even despite participating in the Crusades, the Knights Templar never sought to eliminate Islam nor to invade or take over any foreign country.)

This Templar mission is clearly expressed by Joan of Arc in her official letter to the King of England, dated March 22, 1429 AD, in which she warns and admonishes: “Return the keys of all the good cities which you have seized, to the Maid. She is sent by God to reclaim the royal blood… She comes sent by the King of Heaven… to take you out of France… I say to you in God’s name, go home to your own country… Do not attempt to remain, for you have no rights in France from God, the King of Heaven… If you do not believe the news written of God and the Maid, then in whatever place we may find you, we will soon see who has the better right, God or you.” [10]

Letter by Joan of Arc (November 9, 1429 AD) to citizens of Riom

Letter by Joan of Arc (November 9, 1429 AD) to citizens of Riom

 

Therefore, the Templar Order’s strong support of Joan of Arc through their royal House of Anjou, and her dedicated defense of the nation-state of France, were all purely in furtherance of essential missions of the Order of the Temple of Solomon.

Additional facts of the historical context surrounding Joan of Arc further prove that she was knowingly supporting strategic missions of the Templar Order: The Duchy of the House of Anjou had become threatened since 1415 AD, with the British victory over the French at the Battle of Agincourt. This threat was intensified in 1427 AD, when the English Regent in France, Duke John of Bedford, attempted to take the Duchy of Anjou for himself.

Therefore, in part, the battles of Joan of Arc furthered a separate Holy and purely Templar mission, to defend the ancestral House of Anjou of authentic Knights Templar royal patronage dating back to the formation of the Order of the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem in 1118 AD. Joan of Arc herself would have been well aware of her personal motivations for such a Templar mission, as she was in fact a Countess of the same House of Anjou and thus a hereditary Templar.

 

HISTORICAL SUMMARY OF THE KNIGHTLY LIFE OF JOAN OF ARC

 

A (100) Knights Templar Illuminated Letters www.knightstemplarorder.orgAt the age of only 17, Joan of Arc single-handedly led the French army against the invading British forces, and secured King Charles VII to his rightful place on the French throne. She ended the Hundred Years’ War within only a few short months, lifted the 5-month military siege of Orleans in only 9 days, and thereby preserved the sovereignty and national identity of France against colonial imperialism. Despite being an unprecedented major national hero, she was persecuted by French authorities for the heresy of her Gnostic Templar beliefs, and two years later was burned at the stake at the age of 19.

Only 25 years later in 1456 AD, a Vatican Court initiated by the Pope pronounced her innocent, and declared her a Martyr. The Vatican subsequently beatified her in 1909, and canonized her as a Catholic Saint in 1920. These facts prove that her infamous persecution, like that of the Knights Templar, was solely the initiative of French authorities, and not intended nor supported by the Vatican. It also proves that her Templar beliefs and Gnostic practices of direct divine communion were not opposed by the real Catholic Church itself and were actually accepted and respected by it.

Indeed, during her initial qualifying examination in April 1429 AD to authorize her to lead the French army, Vatican theologians at Poitiers, with full consideration of her reported Holy visions and angelic visitations, found nothing ‘heretical’, and “declared her to be of irreproachable life, a good Christian, possessed of the virtues of humility, honesty and simplicity.” [11] Vatican ecclesiasts actually went so far as to recognize her Gnostic experiences as establishing a “favorable presumption” of the divine nature of her mission. They even asserted that “To doubt or abandon her… would be to repudiate the Holy Spirit and to become unworthy of God’s aid.” [12]

The playwright Maxwell Anderson, in his play ‘Joan of Lorraine’ (1946), based upon his historical research, attributed the following quote to Joan of Arc herself:

“Every man gives his life for what he believes. Every woman gives her life for what she believes. Sometimes people believe in little or nothing, and so they give their lives to little or nothing. One life is all we have, and we live it as we believe in living it – and then it’s gone. But to surrender who you are and to live without belief is more terrible than dying – even more terrible than dying young.”

'The Life of Joan of Arc' Triptych, Stilke Hermann Anton (1843 AD), Hermitage State Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

‘The Life of Joan of Arc’ Triptych, Stilke Hermann Anton (1843 AD), Hermitage State Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

 

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