Grand Commandery News - October 2023

Grand Commandery of New Mexico

State Supplement for October 2023

James D. Lamb, REGC

Editor: SK L Roughgarden:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Good Sir Knights of the New Mexico Division!

Temperatures are wanting to stay hot, but they are moving to fall. Hot Air Balloons will soon fill the skies above Albuquerque and many kids are excited about the ribbons they won at the state fair. Yes New Mexico is well and good! I am excited about the upcoming commandry visitations and the Southwest/Northwest Regional meeting. Not to mention the Colorado Rive Fall Festival in Laughlin. As my first visitation was conducted in September, it is only filling that it was conducted at my home Commandry, Pilgrim #3 in Albuquerque. The Sir Knights did a wonderful job of opening and reception of the Grand Commander. I applaud their many practices and endeavors to do a great job.

In the masonic world around Templary, we have the Valley of Santa Fe Scottish Rite Reunion coming in October and the Four Corners Royal Arch Festival. Unfortunately, the Southwest Regional was scheduled on the weekend of the Scottish Rite Reunion, and I must attend. I will see some of you in Lauglin where the Orders will be performed expertly. You are all welcome to join me in my upcoming visitations for some fellowship and fun.

At the writing of this supplement, the student scholarship application in accordance with New Mexico General Order #4 will be over. Thank you to all that applied, and we will announce the results as soon as we can. New Mexico General Order #5 concerning Templar awards is still on-going. Please submit awards recommendations by the end of October 2023.

The Grand Prelate has announced a special Knight Templar Day that will be held at 6:00pm, on Friday the 13th of October at the Shrine in Albuquerque. Why is Friday the 13th so significant? Well…. Over 700 years ago, the story is:

By the turn of the 14th century, the Templars had established a system of castles, churches and banks throughout Western Europe. And it was this astonishing wealth that would lead to their downfall. For the Templars, that end began in the early morning hours of Friday, October 13, 1307.

A month earlier, secret documents had been sent by couriers throughout France. The papers included lurid details and whispers of black magic and scandalous rituals. They were sent by King Philip IV of France. In the days and weeks that followed that fateful Friday, more than 600 Templars were arrested, including Grand Master Jacques de Molay. Many other men not affiliated with the Templars were arrested as well. They were charged with a wide array of offenses including heresy, devil worship and spitting on the cross, fraud and financial corruption. The Templars were kept in isolation and fed meager rations that often amounted to just bread and water. Nearly all were brutally tortured. Given the extreme conditions, it’s not surprising that within weeks, hundreds of Templars confessed to false charges, including Jacques de Molay.

Pope Clement V was said to have been horrified. Despite the fact that he’d been elected almost solely because of Philip’s influence, he feared crossing the extremely popular Templars. The Knights coerced “confessions,” however, forced his hands. Philip, who had anticipated Clement’s reaction, made sure the allegations against the Templars included detailed descriptions of their supposed heresy.

Within weeks of their confessions, many of the Templars recanted, and Clement shut down the inquisition trials in early 1308. The Templars lingered in their cells for two years before Philip had more than 50 of them burned at the stake in 1310. Two years later, Clement formally dissolved the Order (though he did so without saying they’d been guilty as charged). In the wake of that dissolution, some Templars again confessed to gain their freedom, while others died in captivity. In the spring of 1314, Grand Master Molay and several other Templars were burned at the stake in Paris, bringing an end to their remarkable era, and launching an even longer-lasting theory about the evil possibilities of Friday the 13th.


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