The Templars, Knights of Christ by Regine Pernoud (Ignatius Press, 157 pages, $14.95, October 2009) is the English translation (by Henry Taylor) of French historian Regine Pernoud’s book, Les Templiers, that was published in Paris, France. Pernoud wrote her book to debunk the various fictional and unhistorical books and movies about the Templars. Included in the list would be Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe and Dan Brown’s The DaVinci Code.
The Templars were founded to do good and over time they became rich from the gifts given to them for their good deeds. Many religious orders at first were poor, but then people of wealth would give them gifts of property and other things which over time grew. The Templers wealth was envied by a number of powerful people.
Pernoud’s short history of the Templars explains how King Philip the Fair of France and other princes of temporal and spiritual realms wanted the Templars’ wealth and property for themselves. They concocted lies to gain this.
Some of the Templars were tortured to make bizarre confessions to please their torturers. These Templars, when they could, re-canted these confessions. These confessions gained under duress were illegal and should not have been accepted as proof against the Templars, but those who wanted them destroyed did not care. King Philip and others of the Templars enemies died within a year after the Templars were suppressed and some executed. In the end one could say that God took his vengeance on the king and others who perpetrated these crimes.
This book is highly recommended to those who are interested in the Templars and the truth about them.