THE NAMESAKE

THE FRATERNITY
Builder of the future, leaders of society.

 

HISTORY
Know the story that led to the founding of this great fraternal Order.

 

JACQUES DeMOLAY
The martyred hero whose name we have taken as our namesake.

 

FRANK S. LAND
The charismatic Founder and Leader of the Fraternity.

 

FRANK A. MARSHALL
The author of the impressive DeMolay Ritual.

 
ABBREVIATIONS
DeMolay utilizes many abbreviations for various titles, honors and awards.  Utilize this key to assist you in understanding our fraternity.
 
DeMOLAY FAQ'S
Come and see the Frequently Asked Questions about our Organization
 
 
 
 
 
THE STORY OF JACQUES DeMOLAY

The namesake of the Order of DeMolay was born in Vitrey, Department of Haute Saone, France in the year 1244. At the age of 21, DeMolay joined the Order of Knights Templar.

The Knights Templar was an organization sanctioned by the Roman Catholic Church in 1128 to guard the road between Jerusalem and Acre, an important port city on the Mediterranean Sea. The Order of Knights Templar participated in the Crusades and earned a name for valor and heroism.

With many nobles and princes sending their sons to join the Knights Templar, the Order also became very wealthy and popular throughout Europe.
The Templars had grown rich and powerful that it possessed 7,500 manors in many lands, became a super state, before the power of which even the king might be compelled to humble himself .
In 1298, Jacques DeMolay was named Grand Master of the Knights Templar, a position of power and prestige. As Grand Master however, Jacques DeMolay was also in a difficult position. The Crusades were not achieving their goals. The non-Christian Saracens defeated the Crusaders in battle and captured many vital cities and posts. The Knights Templar and the Hospitalers (another Order of Knights) were the only groups remaining to confront the Saracens.
The Knights Templar decided to reorganize and regain their strength. They traveled to the island of Cyprus, waiting for the general public to rise up in support of another Crusade.
Instead of public support, however, the Knights attracted the attention of powerful lords, who were interested in obtaining their wealth and power. In 1305, Philip the Fair, King of France, set about to obtain control of the Knights Templars. They had been accountable only to the Church. To prevent a rise in the power of the Church, and to increase his own wealth, Philip set out to take over the Knights.
It was such splendor and power as this attracted young Philip IV the fair, when at 18 years of age became ruler of France.
The year 1307 saw the beginning of the persecution of the Knights. Jacques DeMolay, along with hundreds of others, were seized and thrown into dungeons. For seven years, DeMolay and the Knights suffered torture and inhuman conditions. While the Knights did not end, Philip managed to force Pope Clement to condemn the Templars. Their wealth and property were confiscated and given to Philip's supporters.
On September 14, 1307, he issued writs in all provinces ordering them to arrest every Templar. At dawn of October 13, the Knights were suddenly everywhere in France, taken into custody. The Knights were thrown into damp cells and cold dungeons where many died from torture, many of them confessed guilt to escape the rack. Sixty seven were burned at stake.
During years of torture, Jacques DeMolay continued to be loyal to his friends and Knights. He refused to disclose the location of the funds of the Order and he refused to betray his comrades. On March 18, 1314, DeMolay was tried by a special court. As evidence, the court depended on a forged confession, allegedly signed by DeMolay.
Jacques DeMolay disavowed the forged confession. Under the laws of the time, the disavowal of a confession was punishable by death. Another Knight, Guy of Auvergne, likewise disavowed his confession and stood with Jacques DeMolay.
In 1314, DeMolay was brought before an inquisition to determine his fate. Since the Order was religious in its constitution, it was the church that must give trial. He denied the charges brought against his Order, that it was perjured, forged and false. This was a declaration of innocence. Years in prison dragged away until DeMolay was again brought to trial for the last time. He was paraded on the street to a platform at the town plaza. the Grand Master recanted his confession:
Before Heaven and earth and with all of you here as my witness, I admit that I am guilty of the grossest iniquity. But the iniquity is that I have lied admitting the disgusting charges laid against the Order. I declare and I must declare that the Order is innocent, its purity is beyond question." 
King Philip ordered them both to be burned at the stake that day, and thus the story of Jacques DeMolay became a testimonial to loyalty and friendship.
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(An excerpt from www.demolay.org)

 
 
 
   



 
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