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The World Order of the Templars with an important event in Sofia

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A solemn private ceremony marked the conclusion of the Grand Magisterial Council of the Order of the Knights Templar of Jerusalem (OSMTH). It took place from September 21 to 24 in Sofia, and the event was hosted by the Great Priory of Bulgaria – the largest in Europe and the second largest in the world after the USA. The Great Highway Council of OSMTH in Sofia is the first present after the global pandemic of COVID-19.

The main thing was, after a 3-year break, to get together and be able to carry out many activities so that the order could fulfill its main goals – help to Christianity, search for opportunities to ensure a better life for people. This was stated by the Grand Prior of the Grand Priory of Bulgaria Major General (retired) Academician Rumen Ralchev at a press conference on September 24.

The Grand Master of the Order of the Knights Templar of Jerusalem, David Appleby, noted that despite the pause due to the pandemic, he is encouraged. Despite the difficulties, we managed to collect more than 700 thousand dollars in aid for Christians at risk, for refugees from Ukraine, for victims of natural disasters, he said.

During the four-day council, the book by Academician Rumen Ralchev and Academician Kolyo Ramchev – “Convergence between the Order of the Knights Templar of Jerusalem and society” was presented. This is a manual for the work of the Templars with society, said the Grand Prior of the organization in our country. He explained that the book was inspired by the Catalan knight, theologian and philosopher Ramon Llull, who wrote his book in praise of chivalry nearly 800 years ago. He qualified the 7 knightly virtues – faith, hope, devotion, bravery, etc., explained Academician Ralchev. According to him, the idea is for the book to become a road map for the Templars all over the world, and it will also be translated into English.

Note: Until the 1970s, there was little interest in the Knight Templar from either scholars or the general public. Most saw them as an obscure medieval knightly secret society. Over the last three decades, the enormous growth in scholarly research and publication on the history of the Templars has changed their image almost beyond recognition. Modern research reveals the Templars to have been a religious order, protected by the pope. They were also a military order, which fought against Islam in defence of Christian pilgrims and Christian territory and played a key role in the crusades. Their leading members were knights, but most of their members were not warriors, and included priests and women, who served God through prayer rather than by fighting. As well as castles and estates in the Middle East, they had property throughout Europe; they served kings and popes as diplomats and advisors. Far from being secretive, they opened their churches to local people and lodged travellers in their houses. They were pious men who shared the same faith as the Christians they protected. Historians disagree over where the initiative for the order came from – was it the idea of the first Templars themselves, or did Churchmen suggest it to them? They also disagree over the causes of the trial of the Templars (1307-12) – some insist that what the Templars said under torture must have some truth in it, while others reject torture evidence as unreliable and look at the political context of the trial.

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