Welcome to the Knights Templar “OSMTJ Grand Priory of America” (OSMTJ = Ordre Souverain et Militaire du Temple de Jérusalem). The Knights Templar are a Christian (Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox) fraternal and chivalric Order. Our Order has no Masonic or political affiliations. We are ecumenical meaning we are not affiliated with any single Christian denomination but represent all of Christendom.
We are part of a world-wide organization for the fellowship and networking of like-minded individuals. Our Order is organized Internationally under the “Ordre Souverain et Militaire du Temple de Jérusalem” (OSMTJ), which is found at OSMTJ.net. Each Grand Priory translates this into their own language. For example, the Peruvian Priory translates it as “Orden Soberana y Militar del Temple de Jerusalem”. The leader of our Order is His S.E., Grandmaster Philippe Matta (pictured above).
Our Order vows to hold to the virtues of Honesty, Loyalty, Perseverance, Charity, Humility, Courage and Honor. We take our vows seriously and hold each other accountable as our ancient statue prescribes: “Each day we must help our brethren for whom we are responsible, for one day God will say, ‘Where is thy Brother?’”
In contrast to much of today’s society, with people moving from place to place and from relationship to relationship, this Order calls Knights and Dames to live a committed life of purpose under the Godhead Trinity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Historically, the Knights Templar were a Christian order of warrior monks founded in 1118 A.D.. Named for the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, the Templars initially protected pilgrims traveling through the Holy Land, but eventually evolved into a powerful military force that waged war to protect the Holy Land during the Crusades.
With the blessings of Grand Master Zdrojewski and Swiss Grand Prior, Alfred Zappelli, Father Philip Guarino founded this United States Grand Priory of the OSMTJ Knights Templar in 1973. Guarino was an Italian-American former Roman Catholic Priest, who had attended Seminary in Italy. He moved to Washington D.C. in 1945 and was a longtime friend of Alfred Zappelli. Read more about our founder by clicking here.
The reasons the Knights Templar exist today are:
– Spread the light of Christ in an increasingly dark world. Today’s Templars are faced with a spiritual battle instead of a physical one.
– Practice works of mercy, charity and benevolence.
– Act as a force to unify all Christians, Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox, under the banner of Christ. Today, Christians are under attack by extraordinarily powerful enemies.
“We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.” ― Benjamin Franklin
– Perpetuate the traditions of the Knights Templar by defending Christendom through non-violent means.
– Live a life of Chivalry and hold each other accountable to a lifestyle of excellence.
– Promote historical studies, heraldry and the genealogy of the Order.
– Promote, through the values of friendship, loyalty and respect, feelings of universal brotherhood and ideals of solidarity between all people.
The 12th century Cistercian Abbot, Bernard of Clairvaux wrote, ”The Knight Templar is truly a fearless knight and secure on every side, for his soul is protected by the armor of faith just as his body is protected by armor of steel. He is thus doubly armed and need fear neither demons nor men. Not that he fears death–no, he desires it. Why should he fear to live or fear to die when for him to live is Christ, and to die is gain?”