The First Crusades
Pope Urban II c. 1035 – 29 July 1099, born Odo of Châtillon or Otho de Lagery, a native of France. was Pope of the Holy Roman Empire from 1088 to 1099. In 1095, he called for the First Crusade in a sermon at the Council of Clermont in France. Crusades were a series of religious wars sanctioned by the Latin Church in the medieval period. The most commonly known Crusades are the campaigns in the Eastern Mediterranean aimed at recovering the Holy Land from Muslim rule.
After Christian armies in 1099 captured Jerusalem from Muslim control during the Crusades, groups of pilgrims from across Western Europe started visiting the Holy Land. Many of them, however, were robbed and killed as they crossed through Muslim-controlled territories during their journey.
The Poor Fellow-Soldier of Christ – The Knights Templar
Around 1118, a French knight named Hugues de Payens created a Catholic military order along with eight relatives and acquaintances, calling it the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and the Temple of Solomon – later known simply as the Knights Templar.
He approached King Baldwin II of Jerusalem and Warmund, Patriarch of Jerusalem, and proposed creating a monastic order for the protection of Christian pilgrims visiting the Holy Land..
King Baldwin and Patriarch Warmund agreed to the request, and the king granted the Templars a headquarters in a wing of the royal palace on the Temple Mount Al-Aqsa Mosque which was believed to be the ruins of the Temple of Solomon.
The order, with about nine knights including Godfrey de Saint-Omer and André de Montbard, had few financial resources and relied on donations to survive. Their emblem was of two knights riding on a single horse, emphasizing the order’s poverty.
The Knights Templar Expansion
In 1129, the Knights received the formal endorsement of the Catholic Church and support from Bernard of Clairvaux, a prominent abbot. New recruits and lavish donations began pouring in from across Europe. They developed a reputation as fierce warriors during key battles of the Crusades, driven by religious fervor and forbidden from retreating unless vastly outnumbered.
During their peak with members of more than 20,000, they managed large infrastructures throughout the Christendom developing innovative financial techniques that were an early form of banking, building its own network of nearly 1,000 commanderies and fortifications across Europe and the Holy Land.
They set up a network of banks that enabled religious pilgrims to deposit assets in their home countries and withdraw funds in the Holy Land. Along with their donated fortune and various business ventures, this system gave the Knights Templar enormous financial sway. At the height of their influence, they boasted a sizeable fleet of ships, owned the island of Cyprus and served as a primary lender to European monarchs and nobles.
The Fall of the Knights Templar
In the late 12th century, Muslim armies retook Jerusalem and turned the tide of the Crusades, forcing the Knights Templar to relocate several times. The Fall of Acre in 1291 marked the destruction of the last remaining Crusader refuge in the Holy Land. European support of the military campaigns in the Holy Land began to dwindle over the decades that followed. Additionally, many secular and religious leaders became increasingly critical of the Templars’ wealth and power.
By 1303, the Knights Templar lost its foothold in the Muslim world and established a base of operations in Paris. There, King Philip IV of France resolved to bring down the order, perhaps because the Templars had denied the indebted ruler additional loans.
Arrests and Executions
On Friday, October 13, 1307, scores of French Templars were arrested, including the order’s grand master Jacques de Molay. Many of the knights were brutally tortured until they confessed to false charges, which included heresy, homosexuality, financial corruption, devil worshipping, fraud, spitting on the cross and more.
A few years later, dozens of Templars were burned at the stake in Paris for their confessions. Under pressure from King Philip, Pope Clement V reluctantly dissolved the Knights Templar in 1312. De Molay was executed in 1314.
The Red Cross is one of the symbols of a religious order of Christian warrior monks. This cross, mainly red, represented the knights’ connection to the Church as well as their mission.
The Lamb of God (Agnus Dei) is depicted as a lamb with a halo that is holding a cross or a flag with its cocked foreleg. Like other Templar symbols, this too has its share of variations. The lamb is symbolic of the martyred Christ and also referenced in the Bible through the words of John the Baptist after he has baptized Jesus, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”
The Beauceant was the war flag of the Knights Templar and consisted of a black section above a white one. The real meaning of the standard is not known for certain but it could be that the black section depicted the sins of the world and the white symbolized the purity that the Templar Order offered the knights.
The lion is somewhat of an obvious symbol for a Christian order. The lion was the sigil of the Israelite tribe of Judah and Christ was also referred to as the Lion of Judah. Also, the lion represents courage, power, and justice – traits valued by the Templar knight.
The Calvary Cross is a Latin cross standing on a base of three steps. Calvary is also Latin for the Aramaic word, Golgotha, which is the hill where Christ was crucified. The three steps are believed to symbolize the hill and also represent the virtues of Faith, Hope, and Love.
Knights Templar Castle in Tomar
In 1160, a Knights Templar castle was constructed in Tomar, and thirty years later they fought to free Portugal from Islamic domination. Tomar came under siege as the Islam army crossed the Tejo river, capturing the nearby castle at Torres Novas.
For six long days, the Muslim army relentlessly attacked Tomar, yet despite overwhelming odds, Gualdim Pais, Grand Master of the Knights Templar led his warriors to victory. A victory led by a fighting monk-led to the Christian faith being taken up across the land.
Several frontier castles were built in protection of Portugal by these Knights Templar; Almourol, Monsanto and Pombal. Gualdim Pais founded the city of Tomar and Pombal.
Order of Christ
The Order of Christ was founded in 1318 as the continuation of the Knights Templar of Tomar following the suppression of the Templars in 1312. It was established by King Denis of Portugal, who negotiated with Pope Clement’s successor John XXII for recognition of the new order and its right to inherit the Templar assets and property.
Jesus Christ (Ordem dos Cavaleiros de Nosso Senhor Jesus Cristo), is the former Knights Templar order as it was reconstituted in Portugal after the Templars were abolished on 22 March 1312 by the papal bull, Vox in excelso, issued by Pope Clement V.
After four years of negotiations, Pope John XXII passed another bull authorizing Denis to grant the Templar’s property to the Order of the Christ in 1323. The Knights of the order were committed to vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience to the king. It is unclear how many Templars continued in the new order; some historians would claim the Order of Christ was essentially the Templars under a new name, while others see it as a mostly original formation. The first Grand Master, Dom Gil Martins, had been a knight of Saint Benedict in the Order of Aviz.
The Order of Christ was first seated at Castro Marim, in the Algarve (in the Diocese of Faro). In 1357, the order was moved to the town of Tomar, near Santarém, the former seat of the Order of the Knights Templars in Portugal under Henry the Navigator’s command.
In 1323, a Papal Bull was issued by Pope John XXII, which gave King Diniz the authorization to remove the estates of the now disbanded Knights Templar, to the new “Order of Christ.”
In 1415, Prince Henry the Navigator led his forces, in the conquest of Ceuta, in the creation of a Portuguese empire, which stretched out far beyond their coastline.
In 1417 he became Grand Master of the Order of Christ until 1460, undertaking works of evangelism for the Pope and Church. Henry went on to colonize the Azores and Madeira islands, building two gothic cloisters in the Convent of Tomar during his time as grand master.
The Grand Mastership of the “Order of Christ” was held by the royal family, after Henry’s death.
After 1417, by King John I of Portugal’s request to the Pope, Prince Henry the Navigator (1417–1460) became the order’s, Grand Master. Prince Henry was born in 1394, the king’s third son. During that time, Duarte I and Afonso V were Kings of Portugal.
In 1433, King Duarte I gave the Order “Sovereign” status not over these territories which already held, but over any future conquests.
Pope Calixtus III in 1455 confirmed that Afonso V extended his temporal jurisdiction by conceding the royal prerogative over three episcopal nominations in areas ruled by the Order. In 1460, King Afonso V granted the Knights of Christ a 5 percent levy on all merchandise from the new African lands. Using Order of Christ money, Prince Henry organized the Navigator’s school in Sagres, preparing the way for Portuguese supremacy; from this village, the first great wave of expeditions of the Period of Discoveries was launched.
After Henry, the grand mastership was held by the royal family. Henry colonized the Azores and Madeira islands — his aim was to go south beyond Cape Bojador, south of the Canary Islands. During Prince Henry’s rule, two Gothic cloisters were built in the Convent of Tomar. Henry was the Duke of Viseu and also a member of the Knights of the Garter. Henry’s impact on history is great, having arguably sparked the European interest in colonial exploration that would so transform the world for the next four centuries.
Prince Henry was succeeded in the governorship of the Order by Prince Ferdinand, son of King Edward I. In 1484, Emanuel, Duke of Beja, became the 11th Governor of the Order. Due to the fact that the discipline of the order was declining, Pope Alexander VI commuted the vow of celibacy to that of conjugal chastity in 1492; in 1496, the brethren were dispensed from celibacy and in 1505, from poverty, but they still continued their responsions (one third of their revenues) to the Order’s treasury. (The condition that they should apply the third part of their revenues to the building and support of the Tomar Cloister) and the priests of which he bound to the whole of the three vows. Also in 1501, Pope Julius II mitigated the vow of poverty into the payment of a tax – the meia-anata; for the Order of Christ, this tax was three-quarters of their annual revenues.
Manuel I of Portugal sought and obtained the title of Grand Master by Pope Leo X’s Bull Constante fide (June 30, 1516). King Manuel, João’s successor, sent Vasco da Gama (a member of the Order of Christ) to sail around the African cape to India. He set sail in 1497 and reached Calicut. By the end of King Manuel’s reign, the order possessed 454 commanderies in Portugal, Africa and the Indies. Manuel also made extensive additions to the Order’s headquarters in Tomar. Manuel ordered that the church of Tomar be expanded westwards, spreading beyond the castle limits and opening up the Charola to add on to it a magnificent nave which housed the choir and the sacristy, becoming known as the chapter house. The order also began its step-by-step transformation from monastic to secular during Manuel’s reign. At the end of this process, the order had taken the form of a royal institution.
In 1484, Emanuel the Duke of Beja became 11th Governor of the Order, which showed signs of declining membership, due to its rules. In 1492, Pope Alexander VI commuted vows of celibacy to conjugal chastity, and in 1496 conjugal chastity was withdrawn, as was poverty in 1505 by Pope Julius II.
Manuel I of Portugal became Grand Master of the Order by Pope Leo X, Papacy Bull of 1516. During his time as Grand Master, he enlarged the church of Tomar westwards, opened up the Charola and created a Nave to house the choir and sacristy.
In 1522, the Order was divided into two separate divisions; a religious order under the Pope and a civil order under the King.
John III and Fra António
There are some scholars who say that in 1522 the Order was divided into two branches – a religious one under the Pope, and a civil one under the king, as they remain today – however, there is a lack of evidence supporting this. In 1523, John III formed a chapter of the Order giving Fra António (also known as Antonius of Lisbon) a Spanish-born Jerome friar, the authority and responsibility to reform the Order. The new statutes were approved in 1529 by the Friars.
The Grand Prior was removed from office and all the priests and religious of the Order were required to resume convent life at Tomar, and to wear the habit and cross of the Order. Several religious friars were persuaded to abandon the Order and others were expelled. António of Lisbon obtained the position of Prior. The violation of the tombs of the Templar Masters and the destruction and burning of documents of the Order are attributed to him.
Years later, António was also charged with forcibly imposing the dictates of the Council of Trent on the Order of Christ, and later, for ordering two autos-da-fé, the first and only ones held in Tomar (involving four people executed and several penanced, especially New Christians, and allegedly the burning of papers and books as well). The Portuguese Inquisition was established in 1536 after the king sent a diplomatic mission to the Holy See led by an ally and friend of Anthony, Baltazar de Faria, who after his death, would be buried in the Convent of Christ in Tomar by Fra António himself. In 1567, António persuaded Pope Pius V to give him control of all the convent of the order.
In 1523, John III held a chapter, and gave brother Antonius of Lisbon, a Spanish Friar, to reform the order. In 1529, the Grand Prior was removed along with his priests, and ordered to wear the habit and cross associated with the order.
Dom Antonio became the new Prior, and under his leadership, many Knights Templar Grand Master tombs were destroyed along with documents. In 1567, Antonio got control of the convents within the order by approval of Pope Pius V. In 1574 King Sebastian attempted to reverse the order.
In the tears 1580-1640 another attempt to reform the order took place, when Philip III changed conditions of entrance, to one being of noble birth plus two years service in Africa or three years service with the fleet.
When Portugal loses its independence in 1580, the Spanish King Philip II, heir to the Portuguese throne, also becomes the master of the Order of Christ as well as the Spanish monarchs that succeeded him.
With the restoration of independence in 1640, the new Portuguese King John IV re-establishes the branch of the cavalry of the Order of Christ with an original innovation: The new Knights also become secular religious brothers of the order.
More than eighty years before the publication of the first Rosicrucian manifesto, around 1530, a short time before the reform of the Order and the expulsion of several friars, the cross and the rose were associated in the Convent of the Order of Christ. Three bocetes are on the abóboda (vault) of the interior chamber, which is thought to have been the initiation room because of its initial seven steps, seven carved rose-crosses, and a rosette depicting a circular sun on the vault, and its own underground small chamber or tomb of initiation at the end. In some of them, the rose flower can clearly be seen at the center of the cross.
Knights associated with the Order of Christ
Henry the Navigator (Grand Master)
Manuel I (Grand Master)
Infante Ferdinand (Grand Master)
Sebastian of Portugal (Grand Master)
Vasco da Gama (also to the Order of Santiago before)
Pedro Álvares Cabral
João Gonçalves Zarco
Gonçalo Velho Cabral
Bartolomeu Dias Beatrice
Francisco de Almeida
Tristão da Cunha
Martim Afonso de Sousa
João de Castro
Cristóvão da Gama
Tomé de Sousa
Fernão de Magalhães, also known as Ferdinand Magellan (also to the Order of Santiago)
Damião de Góis
Alexandre de Gusmão
Alexandre Rodrigues Ferreira
António Filipe Camarão
Ferdinand Magellan, a Knight of Christ
Ferdinand Magellan (c. 1480–1521) was born in Sabrosa, Portugal, to a family of minor Portuguese nobility. At age 12 Ferdinand Magellan (Fernão de Magalhães in Portuguese and Fernando de Magallanes in Spanish) and his brother Diogo traveled to Lisbon to serve as pages at Queen Leonora’s court. While at the court Magellan was exposed to stories of the great Portuguese and Spanish rivalry for sea exploration and dominance over the spice trade in the East Indies, especially the Spice Islands, or the Moluccas, in modern Indonesia. Intrigued by the promise of fame and riches, Magellan developed an interest in maritime discovery in those early years.
In March 1505 at the age of 25, Magellan enlisted in the fleet of 22 ships sent to host Francisco de Almeida as the first viceroy of Portuguese India. Although his name does not appear in the chronicles, it is known that he remained there eight years, in Goa, Cochin and Quilon. He participated in several battles, including the battle of Cannanore in 1506, where he was wounded. In 1509 he fought in the battle of Diu. He later sailed under Diogo Lopes de Sequeira in the first Portuguese embassy to Malacca, with Francisco Serrão, his friend and possibly cousin. In September, after arriving at Malacca, the expedition fell victim to a conspiracy ending in retreat. Magellan had a crucial role, warning Sequeira and saving Francisco Serrão, who had landed.
In 1511, under the new governor Afonso de Albuquerque, Magellan, and Serrão participated in the conquest of Malacca. After the conquest, their ways parted: Magellan was promoted, with a rich plunder and, in the company of a Malay he had indentured and baptized, Enrique of Malacca, he returned to Portugal in 1512. Serrão departed in the first expedition sent to find the “Spice Islands” in the Moluccas, where he remained. He married a woman from Amboina and became a military advisor to the Sultan of Ternate, Bayan Sirrullah. His letters to Magellan would prove decisive, giving information about the spice-producing territories.
Over the next seven years, Magellan participated in several expeditions in India and Africa and was wounded in several battles. In 1513 he joined the enormous 500-ship, 15,000-soldier force sent by King Manuel to Morocco to challenge the Moroccan governor who refused to pay its yearly tribute to the Portuguese empire. The Portuguese easily overwhelmed the Moroccan forces, and Magellan stayed on in Morocco. While there he was seriously wounded in a skirmish, which left him with a limp for the rest of his life.
Portuguese caravel, adorned with the Cross of the Order. This was the standard model used by the Portuguese in their voyages of exploration. It could accommodate about 20 sailors. The cross of the Order adorned Portuguese sails in their travels to India, Brazil, and Japan.
Magellan: From Portugal to Spain
Magellan approached King Manuel of Portugal to seek his support for a westward route to the Spice Islands. The king refused his petition repeatedly. In 1517 a frustrated Magellan renounced his Portuguese nationality and relocated to Spain to seek royal support for his venture.
When Magellan arrived in Seville in October 1517, he had no connections and spoke little Spanish. He soon met another transplanted Portuguese named Diogo Barbosa, and within a year he had married Barbosa’s daughter Beatriz, who gave birth to their son Rodrigo a year later. The well-connected Barbosa family introduced Magellan to officers responsible for Spain’s maritime exploration, and soon Magellan secured an appointment to meet the king of Spain.
The grandson of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, who had funded Columbus’ expedition to the New World in 1492, received Magellan’s petition with the same favor shown by his grandparents. Just 18 years old at the time, King Charles I granted his support to Magellan, who in turn promised the young king that his westward sea voyage would bring immeasurable riches to Spain.
Charles I of Spain (1500–1558)
Charles I of Spain, born on February 24, 1500, was king of Spain from 1516 to 1556 and Holy Roman Emperor, as Charles V, from 1519 to 1558. The grandson of Ferdinand II and Isabella I as well as the emperor Maximilian I, Charles inherited an empire that stretched from Germany to the Americas. Throughout his reign, he struggled to keep his inheritance intact in the face of Protestant threats in Germany, French threats in Italy, and Turkish threats on the Mediterranean coast. Despite tremendous military expenditures, Charles was unable to check all three forces simultaneously.
The war against France kept him, for instance, from giving the necessary attention to the spread of Lutheran doctrine in Germany. Charles’s solution there was to delegate authority to his brother, Ferdinand (king of Bohemia and Hungary), who ultimately negotiated a religious settlement in the Peace of Augsburg (1555). Toward the end of his reign, Charles began a division of the Hapsburg inheritance by giving to his son Philip II the territories of Naples, Milan, the Netherlands, and Spain (1554–1556) and relinquishing his imperial title (1556–1558) to his brother, who reigned as Emperor Ferdinand I.
Charles respected the autonomy of his widespread domains and ruled through a system of viceroys or regents (often family members) to preserve his personal rule. The viceroys acted as liaisons with his various councils. The central governing institution and the highest administrative body were the Council of Castile, staffed largely by non-aristocratic jurists. Grandees served on an advisory council of state. To these bodies were added councils of finance (1523) and the Indies (1524). Charles’s main sources of royal revenue were Castile, Aragon, the Church, and America, although he also drew upon resources in the Netherlands and Italy.
One of Charles’s most important partnerships was with Hernán Cortés (1485–1547), who would become conquistador of the Aztec empire of Montezuma. All of Cortés’s actions in New Spain were in the name of his monarch, Charles V. For his part, Cortés suggested that Charles add the designation of Emperor of the Indies to his lengthy list of titles, but he declined. Charles maintained a eurocentric attitude toward
On August 10, 1519 Magellan bade farewell to his wife and young son and set sail for the Moluccas en route westward. He commanded the lead ship Trinidad and was accompanied by four other ships: the San Antonio, the Conception, the Victoria, and the Santiago carrying supplies for two years of travel. The crew consisted of about 270 men. Most were Spanish, but around 40 were Portuguese.
The fleet sailed from Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Spain on 20 September 1519, sailing west across the Atlantic toward South America a little more than a month later.
In December, they made landfall at Rio de Janeiro. From there, they sailed south along the coast, searching for a way through or around the continent. After three months of searching (including a false start in the estuary of Río de la Plata), weather conditions forced the fleet to stop their search to wait out the winter. The fleet stopped at Port San Julian where the crew mutinied on Easter Day in 1520. led by the Spanish captains Juan de Cartagena, Gaspar de Quesada, and Luiz Mendoza. Magellan barely managed to quell the mutiny, despite at one point losing control of three of his five ships to the mutineers. Mendoza was killed during the conflict, and Magellan sentenced Quesada and Cartagena to be beheaded and marooned, respectively. Lower-level conspirators were made to do hard labor in chains over the winter but later freed.
Meanwhile, Magellan had sent the Santiago to explore the route ahead, where it was shipwrecked during a terrible storm. The ship’s crewmembers were rescued and assigned out among the remaining ships. With those disastrous events behind them, the fleet left Port San Julian five months later.
On October 21, 1520, Magellan finally entered the strait that he had been seeking and that came to bear his name. The voyage through the strait was treacherous and cold, and many sailors continued to mistrust their leader and grumble about the dangers of the journey ahead. In the early days of the navigation of the strait, the crew of the San Antonio forced its captain to abandon, and the ship turned and fled across the Atlantic Ocean back to Spain. At this point, only three of the original five ships remained in Magellan’s fleet.
Magellan navigating the Pacific Ocean
After more than a month spent traversing the strait, Magellan’s remaining armada emerged in November 1520 to behold a vast ocean before them. They were the first known Europeans to see the great ocean, which Magellan named Mar Pacifico, the Pacific Ocean, for its apparent peacefulness, a stark contrast to the dangerous waters of the strait from which he had just emerged. In fact, extremely rough waters are not uncommon in the Pacific Ocean, where tsunamis, typhoons and hurricanes have done serious damage to the Pacific Islands and Pacific Rim nations throughout history.
The fleet reached the Pacific by the end of November 1520. Based on the incomplete understanding of world geography at the time, Magellan expected a short journey to Asia, perhaps taking as little as three or four days. In fact, the Pacific crossing took three months and twenty days. The long journey exhausted their supply of food and water, and around 30 men died, mostly of scurvy. Magellan himself remained healthy, perhaps because of his personal supply of preserved quince.
On 6 March 1521, the exhausted fleet made landfall at the island of Guam and were met by native Chamorro people who came aboard the ships and took items such as rigging, knives, and a ship’s boat. Magellan sent a raiding party ashore to retaliate, killing several Chamorro men, burning their houses, and recovering the stolen goods.
Magellan landing on Philippine shores
From Ladrones Islands (Islands of Thieves, now Marianas Islands) Ferdinand Magellan’s fleet went on their journey westward. At the dawn of Saturday, on March 16, 1521, they saw the towering heights of Samar and named the island Islas de San Lazaro, for it was the feast day of St. Lazarus. They stayed overnight off Suluan Island. On the following day, they landed on the small uninhabited islet of Humunu (Homonhon) found at the mouth of Leyte Gulf and built two tents for the sick.
On the third day after their arrival on March 18, they met nine natives from the neighboring island of Suluan who arrived in a boat. Seeing them as friendly people, Magellan gave them red caps, mirrors, combs, small I ells, ivory, fine linen cloth, and other trifles. In return, the Islanders gave them their cargo of bananas, fish, coconuts, and palm wine (tuba).
On Holy Thursday, March 28, the fleet landed in another island called Mazaua, which could be Limasawa in Leyte or Masao in Butuan. Rajah Kolambu was rowed to where the Europeans were. At first, he refused to board Magellan’s big ship. Finally, the rajah welcomed Magellan and visited him aboard his ship. He gave Magellan three porcelain jars of rice, while Magellan gave a red cap and a red-and-yellow robe.
Subsequently, Magellan’s men held a mock fight. The soldier in a suit of armor remained unhurt even after he was struck. Rajah Kolambu was fascinated and noted that one man in such attire was worth 100 fighters. These newcomers could help them win their battles. Thus, the Rajah decided to seal their new friendship. Afterward, he performed the kasi kasi or blood compact ceremony with Magellan on March 29, Good Friday.
info: Review and Lecture Notes in Philippine History blog/ Glimpse of the Eastern Visayas (Leyte, Samar and Biliran Islands) History by Biologist Buliklik on Flickr/
First Blood Compact “ Kasi Kasi”
In those days, it was customary among the indigenous and in most of southeast Asia—to seal friendship with a blood compact. On the instigation of Magellan who had heard the Malayan term for it, kasi kasi, the new friends performed the ritual. This was the first recorded blood compact between Filipinos and Spaniards. Gifts were exchanged by the two parties when the celebration had ended.
Baptism of Rajah Kulambu and Rajah Siaiu following the Ancient Ritual
On March 31, 1521, an Easter Sunday, Rajah Kulambu and Siagu were baptized as admission to Christianity.
Baptism, a sacrament of admission to Christianity is an ancient ritual of the four alchemical elements. The forms and rituals of the various Christian churches vary, but baptism almost invariably involves the use of water and the Trinitarian invocation, “I baptize you: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” The candidate may be wholly or partly immersed in water, the water may be poured over the head, or a few drops may be sprinkled or placed on the head.
There are five universal symbols in Christian Baptism similar to Alchemical Elements of Creation
The Cross, a symbol of Jesus’ crucifixion is a solar glyph in alchemy. The sign of the cross formed by the hand is a symbol of the earth element, the solar glyph of the earth accompanied by prayers performing the element of the spirit Air.
The Oil is the symbol of the Holy Spirit representing Air element. During a baptism, an aspirant is anointed with oil several times as a symbol of bringing the person and the Holy Spirit together.
Water is the composition of the divine life as well as purity and cleansing from the original nature of the element. In baptism, it is the actual pouring of water on the heading while reciting the words,
“I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
In Christian baptism, the Holy water signifies, that life is given to man by God.
The Candle Light, a symbol of fire is represented by the passing of a lighted candle from the celebrant to the Godparents. Fire is essential to the survival of life, without the fire of light of the sun nothing would exist on earth. In alchemy, fire is attributed to transformational and purifying powers. It can give warmth and enable life, and it can also burn and destroy. In the spiritual plane, Fire stands for Light and in the physical plane, it is the Sun or Flame.
The White Garment, white as a symbol of purity and wearing a white garment during baptism symbolizes a new man to start a clean life in the eyes of God and his fellowmen.
Other familiar symbols are baptismal fonts, scriptural readings and prayers, and godparents. These represent the philosophies and teachings of the Christian religion patterned from the ancient teachings and traditions.
The First Mass, the Eucharistic Ceremony is the Libation Ritual of the Ancient
After the Baptism of Rajah Kulambu and Siagu on March 31, 1521, an Easter Sunday, Magellan ordered a Mass to be celebrated which was officiated by Father Pedro Valderrama, the Andalusian chaplain of the fleet, the only priest then. Conducted near the shores of the island, the First Holy Mass marked the birth of Roman Catholicism in the Philippines. Rajah Kulambu and Rajah Siagu were the first natives of the archipelago, which was not yet named “Philippines” until the expedition of Ruy Lopez de Villalobos in 1543, to attend the Mass among other native inhabitants.
The ordered celebrant (priest or bishop) is understood to act in persona Christi, as he imitates the words and gestures of Jesus Christ at the Last Supper. By virtue of the mediation of the Holy Spirit, which is said to be present in the apostolic church, and through the words proffered by the celebrant, which is similar to the Word of God the Son, there takes place a transubstantiation of: the Wine into the Precious Blood, and the sacramental Bread into the Holy Body of Jesus Christ, or the transmutation of basic elements the prima materia – sulfur, salt and mercury into gold.
The whole alchemical process from Baptism to Eucharistic ceremony is the secret ritual of the Knights Templar, the Rosicrucian and other ancient secret societies and mystery schools.
A libation is a ritual pouring of a liquid, or grains such as rice, as an offering to a god or spirit, or in memory of the dead. It was common in many religions of antiquity and continues to be offered in cultures today.
Various substances have been used for libations, most commonly wine or other alcoholic drinks, olive oil, honey, and in India, ghee. The vessels used in the ritual, including the patera, often had a significant form which differentiated them from secular vessels. The libation could be poured onto something of religious significance, such as an altar, or into the earth.
Libation was part of ancient Egyptian society where it was a drink offering to honor and please the various divinities, sacred ancestors, humans present and not present, as well as the environment. It is suggested that libation originated somewhere in the upper Nile Valley and spread out to other regions of Africa and the world.
source info: Wikipedia
Planting of the cross with the sign INRI
In the afternoon of the same day, Magellan instructed his comrades to plant a large wooden cross on the top of the hill overlooking the sea. Magellan’s chronicler, Antonio Pigafetta, who recorded the event said:
“After the cross was erected in position, each of us repeated a Pater Noster and an Ave Maria, and adored the cross; and the kings [Colambu and Siaiu] did the same.”
INRI means (Latin: Iēsus Nazarēnus, Rēx Iūdaeōrum) represents the Latin inscription (in John 19:19), which in English translates to “Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews”,Jesus is connected with the Divine, leads many people to connect INRI with the Tetragrammaton (יהוה or YHVH) the sacred name of God from the Old Testament.
Albert Pike, in Morals and Dogma, applies this concept in the 18th Degree: Infinity • Nature • Reason • Immortality
The Rosicrucians used them as the initials of one of their Hermetic secrets: Ignis Natura Renovat Integram Latin for “Fire completely renews nature”.
Alchemists adopted them to express the names of their three elementary principles salt, sulphur, and mercury by making them the initials of the sentence: Igne Nitrum Roris Invenitur Latin for “By fire the nitre of the dew is discovered”. Nitre is the mineral form of potassium nitrate or saltpeter.
Mackey’s Encyclopedia of Freemasonry gives the following use in the equivalent English letters of the initials of the Hebrew names of the ancient elements: Iaminim, water; Nour, fire; Ruach, air; and Iebschah, earth
Magellan in Cebu
Rajah Kulambu and Rajah Siagu, King of Limasawa guided Magellan to Cebu. There, he met Rajah Humabon, the Rajah of Cebu.
The story goes that Magellan met with Chief Humabon of the island of Cebu, who had an ill grandson. Magellan (or one of his men) was able to cure or help this young boy, and in gratitude Chief Humabon allowed 800 of his followers to be ‘baptized’ Christian in a mass baptism. [Source: Professor Susan Russell, Department of Anthropology, Center for Southeast Asian Studies Northern Illinois University, seasite.niu.edu]
Then Rajah Humabon and his queen were baptized into the Catholic faith, taking the Christian names Carlos, in honor of King Charles of Spain, and Juana, in honor of King Charles’ mother. To commemorate this event, Magellan gave Juana the Santo Niño, an image of the infant Jesus, as a symbol of their new alliance and held their first mass in the coast.
As a result of Magellan’s influence with Rajah Humabon, an order had been issued to the nearby chiefs that each of them was to provide food supplies for the ships and convert to Christianity.
Most chiefs obeyed the order. However, Datu Lapu-Lapu, one of the two chiefs within the island of Mactan, was the only chieftain to show his opposition. Lapu-Lapu refused to accept the authority of Rajah Humabon in these matters. This opposition proved to be influential when Antonio Pigafetta, Magellan’s voyage chronicler,writes,
“On Friday, April twenty-six, Zula, the second chief of the island of Mactan, sent one of his sons to present two goats to the captain-general, and to say that he would send him all that he had promised, but that he had not been able to send it to him because of the other chief Lapu-Lapu, who refused to obey the king of Spain.”
Rajah Humabon and Datu Zula suggested to Magellan to go to the island of Mactan and force his subject chieftain Datu Lapu-Lapu to comply with his orders. Magellan saw an opportunity to strengthen the existing friendship ties with the ruler of the Visayan region and agreed to help him subdue the resistant Lapu-Lapu.
Battle at Mactan Island
According to the documents of Italian historian Antonio Pigafetta, Magellan tried to convince Lapu-Lapu to comply with Rajah Humabon’s orders the night before the battle,
At midnight, sixty of us set out armed with corselets and helmets, together with the Christian king, the prince, some of the chief men, and twenty or thirty balanguais. [a type of Filipino boat] We reached Mactan three hours before dawn. The captain did not wish to fight then, but sent a message to the natives to the effect that if they would obey the king of Spain, recognize the Christian king as their sovereign, and pay us our tribute, he would be their friend; but that if they wished otherwise, they should wait to see how our lances wounded. They replied that if we had lances they had lances of bamboo and stakes hardened with fire. They said that in order to induce us to go in search of them; for they had dug certain pit holes filled with spikes between the houses in order that we might fall into them.
Pigafetta writes how Magellan deployed forty-nine armored men with swords, axes, shields, crossbows, and guns, and sailed for Mactan in the morning of 28 April. A number of native warriors who had converted to Christianity also came to their aid. According to Pigafetta, because of the rocky outcroppings, and coral near the beach, the Spanish soldiers could not land on Mactan. Forced to anchor their ships far from shore, Magellan could not bring his ships’ cannons to bear on Lapu-Lapu’s warriors, who numbered more than 1,500.
“When morning came, forty-nine of us leaped into the water up to our thighs, and walked through water for more than two cross-bow flights before we could reach the shore. The boats could not approach nearer because of certain rocks in the water. The other men remained behind to guard the boats. When we reached land, [the natives] had formed in three divisions to the number of more than one thousand five hundred persons. When they saw us, they charged down upon us with ear-shattering loud cries… The musketeers and crossbow-men shot from a distance for about a half-hour, but uselessly…”
The musketeers boats could not get close enough for their crossbows to reach shore due.
Magellan and his men then tried to scare them off by burning some houses in Bulaia. But the natives surprised them by raining a barrage of arrows, but due to the shields and helmets of the Spaniards, they left no permanent damage.
“Seeing that, Magellan sent some men to burn their houses in order to terrify them. When they saw their houses burning, they were roused to greater fury. Some of our men were killed near the houses, while we burned twenty or thirty houses. So many of them rained down upon us that the captain was shot through the right leg with a poisoned arrow. On that account, he ordered us to a frontal assault. But the men took to flight, except ten to fifteen of us who remained with the captain. The natives shot only at our legs, for the latter were bare; and so many were the spears and stones that they hurled at us, that we could offer no resistance. The mortars in the boats could not aid us as they were too far away.”
When the natives charged to their position, Magellan ordered his men to fire at them using their rifles and crossbows, but for a short period of time. Out of ammunition, they switched to their swords and axes and fought with the captain. At least 10 Spaniards were killed and the others withdrew.
Many of the warriors specifically attacked Magellan. In the struggle, he was wounded in the arm with a spear and in the leg by a kampilan. Those who stood beside him were easily overpowered and killed, while the others who tried to help him were hacked by spears and swords. With this advantage, Lapu-Lapu’s troops finally overwhelmed and killed Magellan. Pigafetta and a few others managed to escape.
“Recognizing the captain, so many turned upon him that they knocked his helmet off his head twice… an Indian hurled a bamboo spear into the captain’s face, but the latter immediately killed him with his lance, which he left in the Indian’s body. Then, trying to lay hand on sword, he could draw it out but halfway, because he had been wounded in the arm with a bamboo spear. When the natives saw that, they all rushed themselves upon him. One of them wounded him on the left leg with a large cutlass, which resembles a scimitar, only being larger. That caused the captain to fall face downward, when immediately they rushed upon him with iron and bamboo spears and with their cutlasses until they killed our mirror, our light, our comfort, and our true guide. When they wounded him, he turned back many times to see whether we were all in the boats. Thereupon, beholding him dead, we, wounded, retreated, as best we could, to the boats, which were already pulling off…”
According to Pigafetta, several of Magellan’s men were killed in battle, and a number of natives converted to Catholicism who had come to their aid were immediately killed by the warriors.
Magellan’s allies, Humabon and Zula, were said not to have taken part in the battle due to Magellan’s bidding, and they watched from a distance.
When the body of Magellan was recovered by the warriors, Humabon ordered him to return the bodies of Magellan and some of his crew who were killed, and they would be given as much merchandise as they wished. Lapu-Lapu refused.
Some of the soldiers who survived the battle and returned to Cebu were poisoned while attending a feast given by Humabon.
Following his death, Magellan was initially succeeded by co-commanders Juan Serrano and Duarte Barbosa (with a series of other officers later leading). The fleet left the Philippines (following a bloody betrayal by former ally Rajah Humabon) and eventually made their way to the Moluccas –the Spice Islands in November 1521
Loaded with cloves, the two ships continued homeward. Along the way, the Portuguese captured one vessel reducing the original fleet of five ships to one. Finally, on September 6, 1522, almost exactly three years after its departure, the Victoria with nineteen crew aboard returned to Spain.
Antonio Pigafetta, a Knight of Rhodes
Pigafetta’s exact year of birth is not known, with estimates ranging between 1480 and 1491. The birth year of 1491 would have made him around 30 years old during Magellan’s expedition, which historians have considered more probable than an age close to 40. Pigafetta belonged to a rich family city of Vicenza in northeast Italy. In his youth, he studied astronomy, geography, and cartography. He then served on board the ships of the Knights of Rhodes at the beginning of the 16th century. Until 1519, he accompanied the papal nuncio, Monsignor Francesco Chieregati, to Spain.
In Seville, Pigafetta heard of Magellan’s planned expedition and decided to join, accepting the title of supernumerary (sobresaliente), and a modest salary of 1,000 maravedís. During the voyage, which started in August 1519, Pigafetta collected extensive data concerning the geography, climate, flora, fauna and the native inhabitants of the places that the expedition visited. His meticulous notes proved invaluable to future explorers and cartographers, mainly due to his inclusion of nautical and linguistic data, and also to latter-day historians because of its vivid, detailed style. The only other sailor to maintain a journal during the voyage was Francisco Albo, Victoria’s last pilot, who kept a formal logbook.
Pigafetta was wounded on Mactan in the Philippines, where Magellan was killed in the Battle of Mactan in April 1521 by the local ruler Lapu-Lapu. Nevertheless, he recovered and was among the 18 who accompanied Juan Sebastián Elcano on board the Victoria on the return voyage to Spain.
Upon reaching port in Sanlúcar de Barrameda in the modern Province of Cadiz in September 1522, three years after his departure, Pigafetta returned to the Republic of Venice. He related his experiences in the “Report on the First Voyage Around the World” (Italian: Relazione del primo viaggio intorno al mondo), which was composed in Italian and was distributed to European monarchs in the handwritten form before it was eventually published by Italian historian Giovanni Battista Ramusio in 1550–59. The account centers on the events in the Mariana Islands and the Philippines, although it included several maps of other areas as well, including the first known use of the word “Pacific Ocean” (Oceano Pacifico) on a map. The original document was not preserved.
However, it was not through Pigafetta’s writings that Europeans first learned of the circumnavigation of the globe. Rather, it was through an account written by a Flanders-based writer Maximilianus Transylvanus, which was published in 1523. Transylvanus had been instructed to interview some of the survivors of the voyage when Magellan’s surviving ship Victoria returned to Spain in September 1522 under the command of Juan Sebastian Elcano. After Magellan and Elcano’s voyage, Pigafetta utilized the connections he had made prior to the voyage with the Knights of Rhodes to achieve membership in the order.
Death of the Captain from the diary of the Italian Antonio Pigafetta
In the following excerpt, Antonio describes the death of Magellan on an island of the Philippines.
Searching for a way to control the native population after he leaves the island, Magellan persuades one of the local chiefs to convert to Christianity (referred to by Antonio as the “Christian King”). Magellan hopes to make this chieftain supreme over the remaining local tribes and loyal to the King of Spain. To bolster this chief’s local supremacy, Magellan decides that a show of force, particularly the power of his muskets and cannon, against a neighboring tribe will impress the natives into submission.
Magellan orders an attack but miscalculates. He does not take into account that the reefs along the island’s beach will not allow his ships to get into effective range for their cannon. As the battle is joined along the beach, the Spanish fire their muskets ineffectively from too far a distance despite Magellan’s attempt to order his crew to a cease-fire. Emboldened, the natives rush into the water flinging spears at the unprotected legs and feet of the Spanish. The crew abandons Magellan in panic and the Captain is soon overwhelmed:
“When morning came, forty-nine of us leaped into the water up to our thighs, and walked through water for more than two cross-bow flights before we could reach the shore. The boats could not approach nearer because of certain rocks in the water. The other eleven men remained behind to guard the boats. When we reached land, those men had formed in three divisions to the number of more than one thousand five hundred persons. When they saw us, they charged down upon us with exceeding loud cries, two divisions on our flanks and the other on our front.
When the captain saw that, he formed us into two divisions, and thus did we begin to fight. The musketeers and crossbow-men shot from a distance for about a half-hour, but uselessly; for the shots only passed through the shields which were made of thin wood and the arms [of the bearers]. The captain cried to them, “Cease firing cease firing!” but his order was not at all heeded. When the natives saw that we were shooting our muskets to no purpose, crying out they determined to stand firm, but they redoubled their shouts. When our muskets were discharged, the natives would never stand still, but leaped hither and thither, covering themselves with their shields. They shot so many arrows at us and hurled so many bamboo spears (some of them tipped with iron) at the captain-general, besides pointed stakes hardened with fire, stones, and mud, that we could scarcely defend ourselves.
Seeing that, the captain-general sent some men to burn their houses in order to terrify them. When they saw their houses burning, they were roused to greater fury. Two of our men were killed near the houses, while we burned twenty or thirty houses. So many of them charged down upon us that they shot the captain through the right leg with a poisoned arrow. On that account, he ordered us to retire slowly, but the men took to fight, except six or eight of us who remained with the captain.
The natives shot only at our legs, for the latter were bare; and so many were the spears and stones that they hurled at us, that we could offer no resistance. The mortars in the boats could not aid us as they were too far away.
So we continued to retire for more than a good crossbow flight from the shore always fighting up to our knees in the water. The natives continued to pursue us and picking up the same spear four or six times, hurled it at us again and again. Recognizing the captain, so many turned upon him that they knocked his helmet off his head twice, but he always stood firmly like a good knight, together with some others. Thus did we fight for more than one hour, refusing to retire farther.
A native hurled a bamboo spear into the captain’s face, but the latter immediately killed him with his lance, which he left in the Indian’s body. Then, trying to lay hand on sword, he could draw it out but halfway, because he had been wounded in the arm with a bamboo spear. When the natives saw that, they all hurled themselves upon him. One of them wounded him on the left leg with a large cutlass, which resembles a scimitar, only being larger. That caused the captain to fall face downward when immediately they rushed upon him with iron and bamboo spears and with their cutlasses until they killed our mirror, our light, our comfort, and our true guide. When they wounded him, he turned back many times to see whether we were all in the boats. Thereupon, beholding him dead, we, wounded, retreated, as best we could, to the boats, which were already pulling off.”
Paige, Paula, Spurlin (translator), The Voyage of Magellan, the Journal of Antonio Pigafetta (1969); Robertson James Alexander, Magellan’s Voyage Around the World (1906) reprinted in: Nowell, Charles E. Magellan’s Voyage Around the World, Three Contemporary Accounts (1962); Zewig, Stefan, The Story of Magellan (1938).
Magellan’s Cross in the Island of Cebu
Magellan planted a cross to signify this important event about the propagation of the Roman Catholic faith in what is now Cebu, in the central Philippines. The original cross is reputedly encased in another wooden cross for protection, as people started chipping it away in the belief that it had miraculous healing powers. This prompted the government officials to encase it in tindalo wood and secured it inside a small chapel called “kiosk.” Some say, however, that the original cross was actually destroyed. The Magellan cross displayed here is said to be a replica of such cross. It is housed in a small chapel located in front of the present city hall of Cebu, along Magallanes Street (named in honor of Magellan).
It took another 45 years (1565) before Cebu was visited again by another European. Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, under orders from King Philip of Spain, came and made Cebu the first capital of the Spanish colony known as Las Islas Filipinas.
Philippines named after King Charles I son, Philip II
Forty-four years later, in 1565, a large part of Cebu was destroyed by a fire. The fire was set on purpose by the Spaniards as a punishment for hostile activities of the Cebu king Cebuanos. In one of the burned houses, a Spanish soldier found the image of Santo Niño. Remarkably it was unscratched! Since then, the miraculous image has been treated by the Cebuanos as its patron saint. At present, the miraculous image is kept in the Parish convent. A replica, adorned with gold and precious stones and enshrined in glass, is housed inside the Basilica Minor del Santo in Cebus city.
After Magellan’s voyage, Spain sent five expeditions Loaisa (1525), Cabot (1526), Saavedra (1527), Villalobos (1542), and Legazpi (1564) The Legazpi expedition was the most successful, resulting in the colonization of the islands. Ruy Lopez de Villalobos, commander of the fourth expedition, renamed the islands after the heir to the Spanish throne, Philip, Charles I’s son. Philip, as King Philip II, sent a fresh fleet led by the Spanish Conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi to the islands in the mid-16th century with strict orders to colonize and Catholicism. In 1565 an agreement was signed by Legazpi and Tupas, the defeated chief of Cebu, which made every Filipino answerable to Spanish law.
Legazpi arrived with 400 settlers and a group of friars. Some say the Philippines was formally established as a Spanish colony when Legazpi and Sikatuna, the chief on the island of Bohol, signed a treaty with their own blood. Legazpi established the first permanent settlement, called San Miguel, on Cebu. He reached Panay in 1569 and Manila in 1571 and died 1572.
The church was built near the place where the Santo Niño was found in the burned house. On this place, the Spaniards built three churches. The first two churches were built out of wood and nipa. These burned down. The present church dates were built in 1735. In 1965 it was given the name “Basilica Minor del Santo Niño”.
“Legazpi, his soldiers and a band of Augustinian monks wasted no time in establishing a settlement where Cebu City now stands; Fort San Pedro is a surviving relic of the era. First called San Miguel, then Santisimo Nombre de Jesus, this fortified town hosted the earliest Filipino-Spanish Christian weddings and, critically, the baptisms of various Cebuano leaders. Panay Island’s people have beaten into submission soon after, with Legazpi establishing a vital stronghold there (near present-day Roxas) in 1569.
In 1571, realizing that they could not sustain their colony in Cebu in the central Philippines, the Spaniards moved north and began building a fortified city on Manila Bay, which has a world-class harbor and is accessible to the open Pacific Ocean and Asia. The city quickly attracted merchants who made a major trading center.
On 19 May 1571, Rajah Sulaiman III and Rajah Matanda ceded the Kingdom of Maynila to the Spanish, with Legaspi co-consecrating the city to Saint Pudentiana. In 1578, Phillip II of Spain issued a royal decree invoking Our Lady of Guidance to be “sworn patroness” of Manila, making her the city’s titular patroness. The statue was initially enshrined at Manila Cathedral until 1606 when the original parish compound was built. Called La Hermita (“The Hermitage”), it was constructed using bamboo, nipa, and molave wood. It was later rebuilt with cement but was heavily damaged by an earthquake in 1810.
The Philippines is the only Christian nation in Asia. More than 86 percent of the population is Roman Catholic, 6 percent belong to various nationalized Christian cults, and another 2 percent belong to the protestant group. In addition to the Christian majority, there is a vigorous 4 percent Muslim community concentrated on the southern islands of Mindanao, Sulu, and Palawan.
Text Sources: New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Times of London, Lonely Planet Guides, Library of Congress, Philippines Department of Tourism, Compton’s Encyclopedia, The Guardian, National Geographic, Smithsonian magazine, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, Reuters, AP, AFP, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic Monthly, The Economist, Foreign Policy, Wikipedia, BBC, CNN, and various books, websites and other publications.
Knights Templar Cross at Rizal Park, Manila
Masonic Coffin Layout and Clock Tower Obelisk of Manila City Hall aligned the left side of the cross while on the right is the Paco Cemetery , both of which symbolize death and resurrection mystery ritual.
Agrifina Circle during 1970 with the skating rink and a globe with water feature, a good representation of the ‘all seeing eye’. The two symmetrical buildings on the left and right are the arms of the cross.
From the 18th Degree Knight of Rose Croix of the moral and Dogma by Albert Pike;
“The Degree of Rose Cross teaches three things;—the unity, immutability, and goodness of God; the immortality of the Soul; and the ultimate defeat and extinction of evil and wrong and sorrow, by a Redeemer or Messiah, yet to come, if he has not already appeared.
The ROSE, was anciently sacred to Aurora and the Sun. It is a symbol of Dawn, of the resurrection of Light and the renewal of life, and therefore of the dawn of the first day, and more particularly of the resurrection: and the Cross and Rose together are therefore hieroglyphical to be read, the Dawn of Eternal Life which all Nations have hoped for by the advent of a Redeemer.”
Master Rosicrucian Max Heindel had written, “the blood-red rose shows the passion filled blood of the human race, and the goal to bring the pure and holy state to which man will attain when he has cleansed and purified his blood from desire, when he has become chaste, pure and Christ-like.
Thus we see that in time the present passionate mode of generation will be again superceded by a pure and more efficient method than the present, and that also is symbolized in the Rose Cross where the rose is placed in the center between the four arms. The long limb represents the body, the two horizontals, the two arms and the short upper limb, the head. The the rose is in place of the larynx.
The rose, like any other flower, is the generative organ of the plant. Its green stem carries the colorless, passionless plant-blood. The blood-red rose shows the passion filled blood of the human race, but in the rose the vital fluid is not sensuous, it is chaste and pure. Thus it is an excellent symbol of the generative organ in the pure and holy state to which man will attain when he has cleansed and purified his blood from desire, when he has become chaste, pure and Christ-like.
Therefore the Rosicrucians look ardently forward to the day when the roses shall bloom upon the cross of humanity, therefore the Elder Brothers greet the aspiring soul with the words of the Rosicrucian Greeting: “May the Roses bloom upon your Cross,” and therefore the greeting is given in the meetings of the Fellowship Centers by the leader to the assembled students, probationers and disciples who respond to the greeting by saying “And on yours, also.” (The Rosicrucian Cosmo-conception; Or, Mystic Christianity) .
“Cross-shaped object is ancient symbol to represent the four physical elements. Here each arm is colored to represent one element: yellow, blue, black and red to represent air, water, earth and fire. These colors are also repeated on the bottom portion of the cross. The white on the upper portion of bottom arm represents spirit, the fifth element.
The cross can also represent dualism, two forces going in conflicting directions yet uniting at a central point. The union of rose and cross is also a generative symbol, the union of male of female.
Finally, the cross’s proportions are made up of six squares: one for each arm, an extra one for the lower arm, and the center. A cross of six squares can be folded into a cube.
The rose has three tiers of petals. The first tier, of three petals, represents the three basic alchemical elements: salt, mercury and sulfur. The tier of seven petals represents the seven Classical planets (The Sun and Moon are considered planets here, with the term “planets” indicating the seven bodies that appear to circle the earth independently of the star field, which moves as a single unit). The tier of twelve represent the astrological zodiac. Each of the twenty-two petals bears one of the twenty-two letters in the Hebrew alphabet and also represents the twenty-two paths on the Tree of Life.
The rose itself has a myriad assortment of additional meanings associated with it:
It is at once a symbol of purity and a symbol of passion, heavenly perfection and earthly passion; virginity and fertility; death and life. The rose is the flower of the goddess Venus but also the blood of Adonis and of Christ. It is a symbol of transmutation – that of taking food from the earth and transmuting it into the beautiful fragrant rose. The rose garden is a symbol of Paradise. It is the place of the mystic marriage. In ancient Rome, roses were grown in the funerary gardens to symbolize resurrection. The thorns have represented suffering and sacrifice as well as the sins of the Fall from Paradise. (“A Brief Study of The Rose Cross Symbol,” no longer online)
Inside the large rose is a smaller cross bearing a another rose. This second rose is depicted with five petals. Five is the number of the physical senses: sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell, and it is also the number of man’s extremities: two arms, two legs, and the head. Thus, the rose represents humanity and physical existence.”
The Symbolism of the Rose-Cross
The basic rose cross symbol is that of a rose appended to the junction of the two lines of the cross – the center point. But the traditional Rosicrucian symbol is a cross of 6 squares whereon is a red rose of five petals. The cross is of 6 squares for a number of reasons. It relates the cross to the number six which is the number of the Tree of rife Sphere to which it corresponds, (See the Tree of Life diagram in the appendix) that is, the Sphere of Tiphareth (Beauty) also known as the Sphere of the Sun. The cross of six squares is also the unfolded cube of six faces. The perfect cube has been used to represent the Holy of Holies since Old Testament times. We know the tabernacle was 10 cubits in length, breadth, and height. The Sanctum Sanctorum of Solomon’s Temple likewise was cubically shaped using the measure of 20 cubits. In Revelation (21:17-18) the New Jerusalem is likened to a perfect cube of pure gold. Gold is related to the cube, cross, and Sun sphere for a number of reasons. Gold is the metal associated with the sun. But also Qabalistically, the cube unfolds to a cross of six; this means that the units around the cross (the perimeter) add up to 14. The Hebrew word zahabmeans gold and the letters of the word add up to 14 (Zain + Heh + Beth or 7 + 5 + 2 = 14). In addition, all these symbols that correspond to six correspond geometrically to the hexagram.
The rose is, as mentioned before, related to the number 5 and the pentagram. It is the flower of Venus, the Goddess of Love. Also as mentioned before, it is a sign of secrecy (Cupid, Venus’s son, is sometimes represented holding his finger to his lips as was the Egyptian Harpocrates.) Being the number five, it also is related to the hypotenuse of the 3-4-5 right triangle.
One of the earliest depictions of the rose and cross is in the manuscript titled the Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians (Geheime Figures der Rosenkreuzer aus dem l6en und 17th Jahrhundert), published in 1785. (Again, see appendix) Around the upper part of the cross is written: “This is the Golden and Rosy Cross, made of pure gold, which every Brother wears on his Breast.” The Rose-Cross Lamen of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn may be derived from this figure as they have very many common elements as will be seen upon comparison. I have included the Golden Dawn Rose-Cross lamen in the appendix in both black and white and in color (the approximate correct colors). Also given is a front view and the back view. Let us examine the Rose-Cross lamen in some detail.
The lamen is a cross with each arm representing one of the four elements: Fire – red, Water – blue, Air – yellow, and Earth – citrine, olive, black and russet. Each arm is depicted with an upright pentagram crowned with Spirit representing that he who wears this is Master of the Four Worlds. This is confirmed by the glyph of the hexagram surrounded by the planetary symbols with the sign of the sun at the center.
The ending of each arm of the cross is triple with each segment assigned to one of the three alchemical principles: sulphur, salt, and mercury. The three segments upon the four arms allude also to the 12 signs of the zodiac. At the center of the cross is the rose of 22 petals. The rose is divided into 3 petals at the center, 7 petals in the second circle, and 12 in the outer circle. They are depicted in the appropriate Hebrew letters and colors as such: the three so-called Mother Letters in the primary colors (yellow, blue, and red), the 7 double letters in the secondary colors, and the 12 single letters in the chromatic color scale. Of course they also represent the 3 elements (the fourth being an admixture), the 7 planets of the ancients, and the 12 zodiac signs. In the midst of this rose is another rose-cross. Behind this Rose-Cross lamen are rays of white light with the signs of L.V.X. and I.N.R.I. written thereon.
In order to strengthen the connection of this symbol with our Society’s aims and teachings it might helpful to go over some of the correspondences and qabalistic allusions. First let us consider that in the Rose-Cross we are looking into the Mysteries of the Pentagram and the Hexagram. The Pentagram is a symbol that relates the 4 Ancients or Elements in a proper perspective to the Spirit. The elements are depicted by the symbol of the fixed signs of the Zodiac which relate to each one. That is the following:
Fire Water Air Earth
Leo Scorpio Aquarius Taurus
Lion Eagle Man Bull
5th Sign 8th Sign 11th Sign 2nd Sign
Yod (10) Heh (5) Vav (6) Heh (5)
Atziluth Briah Yetzirah Assiah
(As an aside: Each side of the Vault is 8 x 5 or 8+5+8+5 = 26 which equals the Unpronounceable Name of God = Yod-Heh-Vav-Heh = 26) The hexagram represents all the cosmic forces because it not only depicts the planets but also the zodiac. But we must also consider that the planets depicted are also symbols of more esoteric doctrines. Some of the correspondences are as follows:
Planet Metal Angel Chakra Location
Mercury mercury Raphael Sahssrara Pineal gland
Moon silver Gabriel Ajna Pituitary body
Venus copper Anael Vishuddha Pharyngeal
Sun gold Michael Anahata Cardiac plexus
Jupiter tin Tzadkiel manipura Solar plexus
Mars iron Kamael Svadhisthansa Prostatic
Saturn lead Tsaphkiel muladhara Sacral plexus
At the end of the arms of the cross we have the alchemical symbols which mean much more than their mundane meanings. Their associations are as follows:
Mercury Sulphur Salt
Superconscious Self-conscious Subconscious
Kether Chokmah Binah
Sattvaguna Rasguna Tamasguna
It should be apparent that great care was taken in the design of this symbol. And it should be clear how this lamen synthesizes the entire First Order teachings as well as embodies that of the whole Rosicrucian Fraternity as well. It contains the Kabalah, numerology, the elements, the pentagram taught in the Zelator degree, the four worlds , the Hebrew Divine Name, the color symbolism found in the Theoricus grade, the alchemy taught in the Practicus grade, ancient philosophies and the deep mysteries of I.N.R.I. and alludes to the esoteric connections of the world religions particularly Christianity.
“Templar Survival in Portugal
Besides other possible ways of Templar survival, there is certainty of their continuance in Portugal. That was through the Portugeuse Order of Christ – which is a state order. When the templars were suppressed, the King of Portugal, King Dinis, received an exemption from the Pope and all lands etc were kept safe for the order. The name reverted to the original name of the order, the Order of Christ and the gift was in the hands of the king. The Pope only allowed this however, if he also was able to confer the Order of Christ. Thus there are two branches today of the templars related to Portugal, “The Order of Christ” which is a Portuguese order and the highest order of the Vatican state, also called “The Order of Christ.” Only these two branches of the same order can claim to have any decent from the Templars..”
Who were the Knights Templar?: The Telegraph.
Templar History: TemplarHistory.com.
The Knights Templar: Slate.
Busting the Myth of Friday the 13th and the Knights Templar: National Geographic.
The Knights Templars: New Advent.
About the Writer:
Gabriel Comia, Jr., researcher, is a member of Far East Commandery No.1, Knights Templar of the Grand York Rite Philippines and a Roman Catholic who previously served St. James the Greater Parish, Ayala Alabang Village as Special Minister of Holy Communion.