Were Occitanian Templars also Cathar heretics?

Templars and Cathars were contemporaries. The Cathars were subdued during the Albigensian Crusade (1209–1229). This was a 20-year military campaign initiated by Pope Innocent III to eliminate heretical Catharism in the Languedoc region, in southern France. This Crusade was prosecuted primarily by the French crown. It promptly took on a political flavour, resulting in not only a significant reduction in the number of practising Cathars, but also a realignment of Languedoc with the French crown. 

The Templars had many settlements in the Occitanian region and in that way were closely connected to the local nobility and people. Many of those families were (at least in part) favourable to the Cathar movement. Read Jochem Schenk "Templar Families" on these family ties. At the same time, Templars and Cathers did not see everything the same way.

Templar devotion of Saint Blaise

"Among the devotional objects mentioned in the inventories (made during the trial investigations 1307-1312, TN) relics and reliquaries feature prominently. (...) One devotional trend that the Templars, especially in southern France, seem to have picked up was that of the fourth-century martyr St Blaise, bishop of Sebastia.

Contemporary Templar images on a medieval shrine

Contemporary images of the Knights Templar are rare, but there are some on the tomb of St Thomas of Cantilupe in Hereford Cathedral. Hereford Cathedral is the cathedral church of the Anglican Diocese of Hereford, England. 

The Templar banner

The name baucent, also spelled bausent, bauceant, baussant, beausseant, beauséant etc., in origin is the Old French term for a piebald horse, a horse that has a pattern of spots (white) on a pigmented background of hair. The name was later approximated to the French bien-séant, meaning "decorous, becoming". The name was also used as a battle cry by the Templars, À moi, beau sire ! Beauséant à la rescousse ! (French for "To me, good sire ! Beauséant to the rescue"). The word, however, is more commonly used for the war flag (vexillum belli) used by the Knights Templar in the 12th and 13th centuries.

The Hildegarde - Bernard of Clairvaux link

The religious mystic Hildegard of Bingen (1098 – 17 September 1179) was a contemporary of the equally mystical Bernard of Clairvaux (1090 – 20 August 1153). They both lived a life of contemplation and religious service and shared their thoughts by letter. This blog presents one of those letters.

Medieval Templar libraries - product of necessity and circumstances

"The lists of books recorded in Templar inventories show that although many Templar communities possessed only very few books, some had amassed quite substantial libraries. (,,,) None of these book collections were exceptional and if compared with those of established monastic houses even the largest of them seem insignificant. But if one considers that most Templar communities consisted of less than ten professed brothers, of whom few were priests or, for that matter, literate, twenty or more books was a significant enough number to suggest a reasonable demand for, and intense usage of, (mostly liturgical) texts in some Templar houses.

Medical care in the Templar Order

The Knights Templar provided medical care, both for their own brothers as for people from outside the Order. Taking care of medical problems started with preventing illness to enter the Order in the first place. But when sickness came up, care was provided.

Jacques de Molay: Templar Grand Master and Mongol warlord?



The sudden arrest of the Templars (in 1307, TN), the conflicting stories about confessions, and the dramatic deaths by burning, generated many stories and legends about both the Order and its last Grand Master.

Secular Templar privileges, powers and immunities in the 12th century

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.

After the preamble and the first section on independance of the Templars in matters of the church, pope Alexander details their independance in worldy matters.