April 7, 2009

Knight's Templar

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The Knights Templar were officially endorsed by the Catholic Church in 1129. They fought in the Crusades and controlled a large economic infrastructure for two centuries before they were destroyed by King Philip IV of France. (The above link has more on their history. Pictured on the left is their headquarters in Jerusalem).

For years, the secretive Templars have been a favorite of the conspiracy-theory crowd. The Da Vinci Code and National Treasure are based on a far-fetched version of Templar history.

It appears that the Templars are connected to one of the Catholic Churches greatest (and most controversial) relics, the Shroud of Turin. The Shroud, which believers say is the burial cloth of Jesus, disappeared in the sack of Constantinople in 1204 during the Fourth Crusade, and did not surface again until the middle of the fourteenth century. According to recently uncovered Vatican records, the Templars hid and venerated the shroud for the entire time (see April 6, 2009).

The shroud is rarely seen by the public, but it will be on display in Turin during the Spring of 2010.

There are several Knights Templar videos on You Tube. I can't vouch for the accuracy of any of them, but I think this one is the best.

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