The Catholic Templars of Italy pursue the Christian, Catholic, apostolic, Roman ideals of the historic Templar Order, founded by the regent of the throne of France Philip of Orleans in 1705.
The Italian Templar Knights separated in 1815 from the French Order, diverted to Masonic positions.
Statute 1705 – 1815 – 1945
RESUME’ DES DONNEES HISTORIQUES
L’Ordre tire son origine du souvenir de l’ORDO MILITIUM CHRISTI (MILITIA TEMPLI) et descend directement de l’Ordre de Templiers français de XVIII siécle, lors de la Grande Maitrise du Duc Louis-Timoléon de Cossè de Brissac.
HISTORIQUE : Philippe d’Orleans, Lous-Henri de Condé, Louis-Auguste de Bourbon, Louis Francois de Conty, Louis-Timoléon de Cossé de Brissac, Jean-Baptiste-Ferdinand Ventura (Grand Prieur de la language d’Italie). REGENTS de la LANGUE D’ITALIE : Jean-Baptiste-Ferdinand Ventura, Alvise Venier, Orazio Anselmi, Alessandro Vettori, Angelo Duodo, Luigi Borselli, Alessandro Vettori (petit fils du precedent). Dès le XVIII siécle (1740) les Templeries d’Italie, sous la direction du Commander Francois Ventura, ont développé une activité patriotique considérable en faveur de la Maison de Bourbos (à Parme) mais aprés ils ont gardé le silence en faisant meme la sourde oreille aux avances et aux flatteries du Gouvernement de Napoléon et de la gran Maitrise de Raymond Fabrè-Palabrat. Le 1° mars 1815 le Gran Prieur de la Langue d’Italie, aprés décision de son Chapitre General, proclama son indépendence de la Maitrisa Francaise car – a son avis – elle avait dévié de la tradition templieré. Le Gran Prieur vint proclamé Regent ensemble a Fra Alvise Venier, et mourut l’année suivant. A parti de 1816 et jusqu’à 1866, le Temple italine prit part à la lutte pur l’indépendance italienne et plus particuliérment à la guerre du 1848/49 ensamble aux piemontais contre les autrichiens.
En 1867, aprés la proclamation du royaume d’Italie et l’annexion de Venise, le Chapitre Gènèral de l’Ordre, en tennant compte de nouveaux temps, établit un reglement définitif que l’on peut rèsumer comme il suit :
– Rèception chevaleresque au titre “Justice“ réservèe aux seul noble, aux officiers de l’Armèe, aux décoreés de la medaille d’or au M.M.
– Rèception chevaleresque au titre “Grace“ réservés aux décorés appartenants au moins à deux Ordre de Chevalerie, ou étan reconnue comme bienfateur de l’humanité.
– Rèception des Ecuyers réservée aux militaires décorés au M.M. ou possédant des qualités particuliéres de culture en rapport aux études traditionals sur le Chevalerie et l’héraldique.
– Qu’ils soient de réligion Chretienne Catholique Romaine et qu’ils auent hautes qualitées d’honneur, la Foi en Jésus-Christ et un véritable culte de la Patrie.
Accepter la déclaration que l’Ordre du Temple “ne donne pas de decoration mais une investiture chevaleresque traditionelle de caractére réservé“.
ABSTRACT OF THE STATUTES OF THE ORDO EQUESTER TEMPLI
“Omnibus in primis sermo noster dirigitur, quicunque proprie voluntates sequi contemnunt, et summo ac vero Regi militare animi puritate cupiunt, ut obedientiae armaturam praeclaram assumere intensissima cura imprendo praeptent, et perseverando impleat”.
ORDER EQUESTER TEMPLI
TITLE I – Of the Order of Its Jurisdiction and Its Purposes.
Art.1 – The Sovereign Order of the Knights of the Temple has been established in Italy since 1815, and it is sovereign in its decisions (saving the respect of the Law). The Order derives its origin and inspiration from the Ordo Militum Christi (Pauperum Commilitonum Christi Templique Salomonici), and descends directly from the Order of the French Templars who gathered in 1705 under the master of Philip of Orleans, Regent of France.
Art.2 – The Order is divided territorially into four regions belonging to the Great Magisterium, which take the title of PRIORATES with the following predicates: Saint Mark’s Region, including the Venetians, Lombardy, Istria and Dalmatia. Saint Stephen’s Region, including Tuscany and the islands, Emilia-Romagna (excluding the territories of the Duchy of Parma and Piacenza), the Marche and Umbria. Saint John’s Region, including Rome with Lazio and Abruzzo, Molise, Campania, Puglia, Basilicata, Calabria and Sicily. Saint Ilario’s Region, comprising the territory of the Duchy of Parma and Piacenza, Piedmont, Liguria and Sardinia.
Each Region is divided into three Valleys or Commanderies, as follows:
San Mark – Val Bella (Lombardy); Val Sile (Venice); Val Illiria (Istria and Dalmatia).
Saint Stephen – Val Reno (Emilia-Romagna, excluding Parma and Piacenza); Val d’Arno (Tuscany and its islands), Val Dorica (Marche and Umbria).
Saint John – Val Tevere (Rome with Lazio and Abruzzo); Val Sila (southern provinces); Val Etnea (Sicily and its islands).
Sant Ilario – Val Pezzola (Parma and Piacenza), Val Dorea (Piedmont, Aosta, Nice and Savoia), Val Tigullia (Liguria and Sardinia).
Each Region is ruled by a Knight who assumes the title of Prior; Each Valley by a Knight who assumes the title of Commander. Priors and Commanders assume the predicate of the Region or Valley of which they have the responsibility and use the heraldic insignia accolades to the Red Templar’s Pattee Cross.
Art. 3 – The Order main purpose to valorise and to continue with extreme caution and vigilance the Spirit of Cavalry, the sense of the Honor and loyalty, the love of Homeland and the Faith of Christ, as well as the Glorious memories of the heroic Knights Templars associated with the rule of St. Bernard.
TITLE II – Of the members of the Order.
Art.4 – The members of the Order are divided into the following classes: Novices, Esquires (Armiger), Knights of Grace (Miles Gratiae), Knights of Justice (Eques Iustitiae).
All those who wish to participate in the above classes can be admitted to the Order, and having reached the age of 18 have special requirements and accept certain obligations.
Art. 5 – Mandatory and fundamental requirements but not sufficient for receiving in the Order are as follows:
- A) Absolute and undisputed morality; Belonging to the Christian Roman Catholic Apostolic Religion; Complete dedication to the Homeland and to the Faith of Christ; Respectful of the laws of the state and of the civic duties. This must be universally known or proven through properly documented curriculum vitae.
- B) Apply an admittment request by enclosing the following documents: baptismal act, certificate of good conduct, criminal certificate, studies certifications, curriculum vitae with all supporting documents confirming it. Presentation by a Knight of the Order.
- C) Accepting to comply with the provisions of this Statute and those of any Order’s internal regulations.
Art. 6 – Novices, who, upon reaching the age of 18, and after the Cursus Honorum is required, will prove to be mature enough to qualify for Armiger or Knight of Grace or Knight of Justice, will be permanently received In the Order on a referendary proposal.
Art.7 – The Esquires (Armiger) after a period determined by the Commander of the Valley, if they demonstrate aptitude and quality such as giving guarantees to obtain the title of Knight will be able to aspire to that title in the class of Grace.
Art.7 bis (added in 1934) – They are exceptionally received in the Order, Ladies of Grace and Justice who, fulfilling the requirements of art. 5, have particular attributes in the areas of assistance, charity, and especially in the works of piety for the wounded and infirm, or decorated with military, civil or naval values or honor for reasons related to the sectors above. Their acceptance in their respective classes is decided at once by an unquestionable judgment of the Order.
Art.8 – The Knights of Grace and Justice can be awarded the Grand Cross of the Order (Eques Magna Crucis), which is granted for particular merits within the Order for the two classes.
Art.9 – The Knights of Grace and Justice who have not obtained the Grand Cross of the Order (Eques) for particular merits will be scrutinized according to their seniority, their merits and their work after a period of 20 years Of stay in the Order, and only for the number of Grand Crosses available.
Art.10 – Grand Crosses (Eques title) can not exceed the number of 51, including that of the Grand Master or his substitute, the other 16 assigned to the Knights officiated to the Priorates and the Commanders of the Order, another 5 assigned Right to the Grand Dignitaries, and 4 available to the Great Magisterium.
Art.11 – They cease to belong to the Order:
- A) Resigns.
- B) Expulsion by unworthiness, for which the heraldic insignias will be placed on the infamous column.
- C) Radiate for other reasons. Novices that have not been judged to be able to being Armiger and who refuse to extend their novitiate. By leaving the Order, for whatever reason, all the privileges and qualifications received are lost.
TITLE III – The Governing Bodies of the Order.
Art. 12 (amended in 1867 and 1934) – Are governing bodies and directors of the Order:
- A) The Great Magisterium composed by the Grand Master or Regent, with the Great Dignitaries (Grand Chancellor, Grand Gonfalonier, Great Referendary master of ceremony, Great Expert or King of Arms, Grand Treasurer).
- B) The Chapter of the Great Cross Knights.
- C) The General Chapter of the Knights of the Temple.
- D) The Great Convent of Knights and Squires.
- E) The Treasury Control Committee of the Order.
Art. 13 (modified in 1867) – They are peripheral organs of the Order:
- A) The Priors of the four Regions of Saint Mark, Saint Stephen, Saint John, Sant Ilario, and all the other Priors who may be constituted in the territory of the Italian State or foreign states, respecting the laws of individual countries.
- B) The Commanderies of the Twelve Valleys Three to Three Dependents of the Four Priorities (see Art.2) and all the other Valleys that may be constituted.
TITLE IV – The prerogatives of the governing bodies.
Art.14 – The Great Magisterium or Regency is conferred to life by succession from one Grand Master to another, with the approval of the General Chapter of the Great Cross Knights. In the absence of succession, the election of the Grand Master is devolved to the General Chapter of the Knights of the Temple. The Great Magisterium is the sovereign body of the Order and may take emergency measures. It generally acts on the mandate of the General Chapter for all matters of ordinary administration and had the right to refer the measures decided by the other governing bodies, except for those decided by the Great Convent of Knights and Squires.
Art. 15 (amended in 1876 and 1934) – The Grand Dignitaries form the Council of the Great Magisterium or House of the Grand Master and follow the provisions in their respective fields.
Art.16 – The General Chapter of the Great Cross Knights can not exceed the number of 51 components. Decide with a simple majority of the present; Is responsible for all the extraordinary administration measures decided. He judges unappealable on the indignation of the members of the Order and reinstates the decision of the Sovereign Body for execution or any measure of grace.
Art.17 – The General Convent of the Knights of the Temple is made up of all the Knights of Justice and Grace.
Art.18 – The Great Convent of Knights and Esquires is the general meeting of all the members of the Order. It also includes Novices and the Dames with only an advisory vote. Decides by a majority of 2/3 of the present and its decisions are mandatory.
TITLE V – The uniform and personal insignias.
Art.19 – The Knight of the Temple Knights is the traditional one granted by Supreme Pope Onorio II in 1128 to Hugone dei Pagani and his Knights, with the frieze of a Patee Red Cross embroidered to the height of the left shoulder. The uniform is worn over the wedding dress (smoking, frack, dinner jacket) or in the absence over the dark dress. Must not wear headdress. Must Not carry weapons. The sovereign Grand Magisterium has arranged a single type of decoration and collar with or without swords according to the class; For the Esquires the cross without swords lacking of the upper arm.
Art.20 – Decorations are based on a traditional and aristocratic hierarchy to which the Order recalls, but nevertheless joins its members in the full community of intentions in order to carry out a spiritual, patriotic and historical mission with the awareness of the the sacrifice that comes from it, the sacrifice is higher as much higher is the class inside the hierarchy class and the assignment covered. These are, in essence, signs that want to reflect the virtues of men of honor, high spirituality, loyal, courageous and not useless and silly vanity.
Art.21 (added in 1867) – All diplomas awarded under any title must be specified, being invalidity if not so, that decorations are attributed in accordance with Art.44 of the old Articles of Association, corresponding to Art. 20 of this Articles of Association.
TITLE VI – General provisions.
Art.22 – This Statute may not be amended if it is deemed necessary if a period of 7 years has elapsed since the date of the last revision.
Art.23 (added in 1815 and amended in 1867) – The Grand Master is vacant, according to the decisions of the General Chapter of Italy of 1815 and the confirmation of the General Chapter of 1867, until the death of Grand Master Duke Luigi Timoleone de Cossé de Brissac, who died during the French Revolution, without succession. From 1815, the Templar Order, dissected in various Great Maestrances or irregular Regiments, with the decision of the Grand Priory of Italy, was formed in an independent association under the title of “Ordo Equester Templi (Sovereign Order of the Temple’s Knights) with statement Of March 1, 1815, reconfirmed on March 13, 1867;
Under the rule of the General Chapter through a succession Regency, with the functions of the Great Magisterium. All this until the full clarification of the events that led to the split after the death of Duke de Brissac and which addressed various European Order Templar trunks on heterodox and non-traditional lines.
* The last recognized Regent of the Italian Templar Order was Count Alessandro Vettori killing in Bologna a few days after the end of World War II.