Saturday, March 5, 2016

Templar privileges, powers and immunities set by papal bull "Omne Datum Optimum" 1172 AD

In 1172 AD Pope Alexander’s famous bull, omne datum optimum, confirming the previous privileges of the Templars, and conferring upon them additional powers and immunities, was published in England. It commences in the following terms:
“Alexander, bishop, servant of the servants of God, to his beloved sons, Odo, Master of the religious chivalry of the Temple, which is situated at Jerusalem, and to his successors, and to all the regularly professed brethren.

“Every good gift and every perfect reward cometh from above, descending from the Father of light, with whom there is no change nor shadow of variety. Therefore, O beloved children in the Lord, we praise the Almighty God, in respect of your holy fraternity, since your religion and venerated institution are celebrated throughout the entire world. For although by nature ye are children of wrath, and slaves to the pleasures of this life, yet by a favouring grace ye have not remained deaf hearers of the gospel, but, throwing aside all earthly pomps and enjoyments, and rejecting the broad road which leadeth unto death, ye have humbly chosen the arduous path to everlasting life. Faithfully fulfilling the character of soldiery of the Lord, ye constantly carry upon your breasts the sign of the life-giving cross. Moreover, like true Israelites, and most instructed fighters of the divine battle, inflamed with true charity, ye fulfil by your works the word of the gospel which saith, ‘Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends;’ so that, in obedience to the voice of the great Shepherd, ye in nowise fear to lay down your lives for your brethren, and to defend them from the inroad of the pagans; and ye may well be termed holy warriors, since ye have been appointed by the Lord defenders of the catholic church and combatants of the enemies of Christ.”
source "The History of the Knights Templars, Temple Church and The Temple", by Charles G. Addison Esq (London 1842; illustration: Allegorical sculpture of Pope Alexander III and Saint Bernard of Clairvaux crowning Afonso I King of Portugal, in the Alcobaça Monastery., source Wikipedia

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