Integrity, Obedience, Courage
The Knights Templar is a Christian-oriented fraternal organization that was
founded in the 11th century. Originally, the Knights Templar were laymen who
protected and defended Christians traveling to Jerusalem. These men took vows
of poverty, chastity and obedience, and were renowned for their fierceness and
courage in battle.
Today, the Knights Templar display their courage and goodwill in other ways.
They organize fund-raising activities such as breakfasts, dinners, dances, and
flea markets. They support Masonic-related youth groups and they raise millions
of dollars for medical research and educational assistance.
Currently, Templar membership consists of people from all walks of life,
including doctors, lawyers, clergy, businessmen and entertainment personalities,
all of whom profess a belief in the Christian Religion.
All Knights Templar are members of the world's oldest fraternal organization
known as "The Ancient Free And Accepted Masons" or more commonly known as
"masons". However, not all masons are Templars. Templary is but a part of the
Masonic structure known as the "York Rite Of Freemasonry".
Three Levels Of The Knights Templar
The Knights Templar operate on a local, state and national level. But their
religious activities extend across international borders as well. Nationally,
Encampment of Knights Templar. This unit defines the 11 rituals and laws
governing state and local level organizations. The state level is called A Grand Commandery of
Knights Templar. This organization represents members of a state or an area
of equivalent size. Finally, the local level unit is called a Commandery of
Knights Templar. There are almost 1,600 Commanderies in communities across the
United States, Germany, Italy and Mexico, with over 260,000 members. Similar
bodies exist in other countries as well.
To petition a Commandery of Knights Templar for membership, you must first be
a member of a Masonic Lodge and other pre-requisite bodies, and must profess a
belief In the Christian Religion. Commanderies organize many social activities,
including Ladies Auxiliaries, Drill Competitions, Public Divine Services, Family
Picnics, Organized Trips, Dinner Parties and Entertainments, Christmas
Observances, Easter Sunrise Services, and Memorial Services.
The Knights Templar Eye Foundation
As a Knight Templar, one has many opportunities to help others who are less
fortunate. One way is through the Knights Templar Eye Foundation. The Eye
Foundation is a Great Humanitarian Charity whose purpose is to provide research,
surgical treatment and hospitalization to those who suffer from diseases or
injury to the eyes. Cross-eyes, which occurs in children under 16, is one
affliction that can lead to blindness if not treated properly.
Any questions or comments regarding the Knights Templar Eye Foundation, Inc.
Concern For Others
Since its inception, the Knights Templar Eye Foundation has spent more than
$35 million dollars to help provide medical treatment for those unable to afford
it. Today, over 44,000 people have directly benefited from this financial
assistance. And as always, treatments are provided regardless of race, color,
creed, age, or national origin.
Research grants, totaling over $2.5 million dollars, have been made to
institutions working in the field of Eye Research. Informative films are also
available through local Commanderies for presentation to churches, PTA meetings
and other interested organizations. To its end, the Knights Templar, through the
efforts of all its members, is committed to "Helping Others To See."
The Knights Templar Educational Foundation
The Knights Templar Educational Foundation, the first program of its kind,
was organized in 1922. Since then, more than $32 million dollars has been loaned
to students to complete their last two years of college. This financial
assistance is given without regard to race, color, creed, age or Masonic
In recent years, some Grand Commanderies have also been offering Scholarship
Grants to students who are members of Masonic-related Youth Groups.
The Knights Templar Holy Land Pilgrimage
In addition to the many religious observances throughout the year, The Grand
Encampment of Knights Templar sponsors an annual "Holy Land Pilgrimage". The
purpose of the pilgrimage is to send Christian Ministers to The Holy Land.
Masonic membership is not required and the Ministers can be male or female.