The original Knights Templar were a fraternal Christian
organization that was founded in the 12th Century. Originally. the Knights Templar protected and defended Christian pilgrims travelling to Jerusalem.
These men took vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, and were renowned for their fierceness and courage in battle. They professed a belief in the Trinity as Christian Brothers and warriors for Christ.
The present day Knights Templar are more properly extended into the United Religious and Military Orders of the Temple and of St. John of Jerusalem. Palestine, Rhodes and Malta. As can be seen, it actually embraces two orders, the second being necessarily proceeded by an Order named Knight of Malta
It is important to state that, while there are many theories to the contrary, there is historical or ritual connection with the medieval military orders with similar titles. The Masonic degrees of the Templar Rite grew from the desire of the continental brethren to graft colourful ceremonies, with a Christian content upon Craft Freemasonry, which had become open to many faiths.
Admission is restricted to Royal Arch Masons who profess a belief in the Christian Trinity. The regaliol is elaborate and is based upon the costume of the medieval Templars and Knights of Malta.
The Orders worked are: The Illustrious Order of the Red Cross, The Order of Malta, and the Order of the Temple, in this sequence. Although a profession of the Christian faith is essential to membership, The Illustrious Order of the Red Cross is based on an Old Testament incident.
The impressive uniform of the Order is a black double breasted uniform, white shirt, tie of the Order, a red hat with a cross emblazoned on it, a white mantle with red cross pattee worn over the left breast, white gloves: We also wear a sword with which we perform the ritual of the Orders.
Today's membership consists of men from all walks of life, all of whom profess a belief in Christianity.