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The Story of Jacques DeMolay

Jacques DeMolay was born in France in the year 1244. In 1265, at the age of 21, he joined the Order of the Knights Templar.  The Knights Templar fought in the Crusades and earned a name as valor and heroism.  Because many nobles and princes sent their sons to join the Knights, they became very wealthy and popular.  Jacques DeMolay became the Grand Master in 1298.  It was a powerful and prestigious position, but it was very difficult as well.  The Christians were being defeated in the Crusades.  The Knights Templar and one other group were the only ones left to confront the Saracens.  When the Knights Templar gathered on Cyprus to regain strength, the King and other nobles became jealous of their power and wealth.  Philip the Fair, King of France, sought to gain control of the Knights Templar in 1305.  In order to limit power of the Church, he wanted to take over the Knights Templar, who were answerable only to the Church.  The persecution of the Knights began in 1307.  Jacques DeMolay and hundreds of his followers were thrown into dungeons and tortured.  For seven years, they suffered inhumane and barbarous conditions.  Even though the Knights were not destroyed, King Philip forced Pope Clement to condemn the Knights.  Their wealth was then given to Philip's supporters.  Through all the years of torture, Jacques DeMolay remained loyal to his friends and followers.  He would not betray his comrades, or disclose the location of the wealth.  March 18, 1314, Jacques DeMolay was tried in a special court. The main evidence was a forged confession allegedly signed by DeMolay.  He disavowed the confession, an act punishable by death.  A fellow Knight, Guy of Auvergne, also disavowed his confession and took his stand with his comrade, DeMolay.  They were ordered to be burned at the stake and as an act of loyalty, comradeship, and friendship, they were burned horrifically at the stake.