Wednesday, October 14, 2009


"How lonely it must be for a boy not to have a man to talk with, or a man to provide some type of inspiration and direction."

-Frank S. Land
Founder, DeMolay International

October 12 marked the birthday in 1244 of Jacques DeMolay, the best known prior of the Knights Templar and the Order's historic martyr.

The Knights Templar were one of several martial orders predominantly organized to seize and protect the Holy Land and Christian interests in the Middle East and elsewhere, to protect pilgrims and to convey financing of the noblity of Europe who when on Crusades.

DeMolay saw work in Acre, but rose prominently on the island of Cypress where the Knights Templar had a strong fortification.

The strength of the Templars truly was amplified by their role as fiduciaries for kings seeking to "liberate" the cities of the Holy Land. This power became their downfall as Phillippe IV of France became heavily indebted to them. During the schism of the Catholic Church in the 14th Century, a Papacies was seated at Avignon, France. This Pope - Clement - was considered by many to be under the control of King Charles. On Friday, October 13, 1307 Jacques DeMolay was arrested and most Templars hunted down and all Order property confiscated under seemingly trumped up charges of heresy and scandal. The elderly Prior was tortured. He ultimately confessed and urged his Templars to confess as well. In 1312 the Order was abolished. The following year, DeMolay, now having spent almost six years imprisoned, was sentenced for life. He then recanted his confession and was burnt at the stake the following year.

This is the story of chivalry and courage that inspired nine boys, encouraged to start a club based on improvement and camaraderie by Mason Edwin S. Land in 1919, to choose the name "DeMolay."

Though our effort differs greatly from the one prompted by "Dad" Land, we could easily restate his quote:
How lonely it must be for a child not to have the ability to read or effectively write, no comprehension of our bounty of written resources to provide some type of inspiration and direction."

Now, as then, Masons and like-minded people are working together to help our future generations.


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