Medieval Templar devotion - a strong focus towards Mary


"Among the devotional objects mentioned in the inventories (made during the trial investigations 1307-1312, TN) relics and reliquaries feature prominently. Schenk has argued elsewhere that Templars hoarded True Cross relics, which were elemental to the order’s identity as an order of Christ and powerful reminders of the Templars’ roots and responsibilities in the Holy Land. The Virgin Mary was another Saint that was venerated throughout the Order. 

The Templars had played a significant role in promulgating the Marian cult at Saidnaya near Damascus and maintained own centres for Marian devotion at Tortosa in modern-day Syria, La Selve in Aveyron, and Villalcàzar de Sirga in Castile, which hosted a miraculous statue of the Virgin.

Templar inventories from Toulouse and nearby Larramet and Larmont in southern France suggest that in the region around Toulouse the Templars invested heavily in the cult of the Virgin. In the Templars’ commandery church in Toulouse the officers charged with conducting the inventory discovered not only a sumptuously decorated Holy Cross reliquary and other relics but also an icon of the Virgin Mary in form of a Veiled Madonna. The icon was situated prominently on the main altar and concealed from the gaze of visitors by a black curtain hanging from an iron thread; the altar itself was covered from sight by curtains and a tapestry."

Quotes adapted from: The Documentary Evidence for Templar Religion by Jochen Schenk (2017), In: Borchardt, K., Döring, K., Josserand, P. and Nicholson, H. (eds.) The Templars and their Sources. Series: Crusades - Subsidia (10). Routledge, pp. 199-211. ISBN 9781138201903; illustration by Didier Descouens: Black Madonna, Basilica of Notre-Dame de la Daurade in Toulouse. Sculpteur: Jean-Louis Ajon, source Wikipedia, This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

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