*Includes pictures*Includes online resources and a bibliography for further readingFor centuries, Christians and Muslims were embroiled in one of the most infamous territorial disputes of all time, viciously and relentlessly battling one another for the Holy Land. In the heart of Jerusalem sat one of the shining jewels of the Christian faith, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Legend has it that this was where their Savior had been buried before his fabled resurrection. What was more, it was said to house the very cross Jesus Christ had died upon. It was for precisely these reasons that fearless pilgrims, near and far, risked their lives and made the treacherous trek to Jerusalem. The Order of the Temple of Solomon, also known as the Templars or the Knights Templar, is one of the best-known and least-understood groups in history. They appear prominently in everything from novels (The Da Vinci Code) to films (as the Knights of the Cruciform Sword in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade) to videogames (Assassin's Creed). In these stories, they are a sinister cult that manipulated historical events since the Middle Ages, via intimidation and assassination. They are usually connected to the Freemasons and, sometimes, to other historical cults like the Hindu Thuggees. The real Templars were both more mundane and more fascinating than the myths and legends. They were the first military religious order - monks who were also knights. The knights of the Teutonic Order have since been compared to the surreal creature that appeared to the biblical Ezekiel, one that bore 2 faces - one of a man's, and one of a lion's. The human side of the creature is said to symbolize the order's charity, whereas the lion was a metaphor for its valor and gallant spirit, which they relied on to vanquish the heathens of the world. Like other secretive groups, the mystery surrounding these military orders helped their legacies endure. While some conspiracy theorists attempt to tie the groups to other alleged secret socities like the Illuminati, other groups have tried to assert connections with them to bolster their own credentials. Who they were and what they had in their possession continue to be a source of great intrigue. The Catholic Church's Most Influential Religious Military Orders: The Controversial and Mysterious History of the Knights Templar, the Teutonic Knights, and the Order of the Holy Sepulchre chronicles the known history of the orders and examines the secrecy and mystery surrounding them. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events, you will learn about the Catholic Church's most famous religious military orders like you never have before.
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