The original copy of the Statutes of the Order is in French so this item is a translation into English. There are some minor adjustments to the English text - shown in square brackets - to make the original more clearly understandable. In a few places some extra explanation is given.
The original text within the document was not illustrated.
Ordo Supremus Militaris Templi Hierosolymitani
STATUTS MCMXC (1990)
Article 01 - the Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem (ORDO SUPREMUS MILITARIS TEMPLI HIEROSOLYMITANI [or O.S.M.T.H]), traditionally Christian, chivalrous, cosmopolitan, independent and non-political, is governed by the following Sovereign Acts:
The Rule written by St. Bernard;
The Charter of Transmission, issued by the 24th Grand Master, Brother Jean-Marc, on February 13th 1324 and underwritten by the Grand Masters, his successors;
The General Statutes enacted by the Convent General held in Versailles in 1705:
The Statutes of 1947 (Minutes of December 27th 1946) and
Magisterial Decrees duly compiled and added to the present statutes.
Article 02 - The Order, firmly rooted in the religious and military spirit of its origins, has as its contemporary vocation:
- The extension of the Reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ in society by the fulfilment of Gospel precepts and the performance of works of justice and mercy.
- The defence of the Faith, of the Holy Church and of Christian Civilisation.
- Maintaining a presence and a Christian influence in the Holy Land.
- The service of the disinherited, the poor and the sick.
- The spiritual edification of its members.
- The defence of the innocent who are unjustly accused.
- Beside the bounden duty of its traditional role, the Order also aims to identify, restore, maintain and study those monuments and archives which testify to its ancient fervour and its spiritual continuity. It also encourages such historical, heraldic, genealogical, philosophical and religious study as relate to its past, its present vocation and its spirituality.
Article 03 - The Feasts of the Order are those of St John the Baptist (24 June), St Bernard, the Abbot of Clairvaux (August 20) and St John the Evangelist (December 27).
- On the 11th or the 18th March there is to be a day of mourning dedicated to the Memory of the Martyrs of the Order.
Article 04 - The Cross of the Order is the traditional double cross in red, with the lower cross-member smaller than the upper in the ratio 2 to 3:
Article 05 - The Great Banner of the Order, called Beaucéan (Baucennus) is white, bearing the Cross of the Order touching the edges:
The War Banner is a pallet in nine parts [alternate vertical stripes], white and black:
Article 06 - The Order's motto is:
"Non Nobis, Domine! Non Nobis Sed Nomini Tuo Da Gloriam."
Article 07 - The traditional battle cry is:
"To the banner! To the banner!"
Article 08 - The Arms of the Order consist of a silver shield with the Cross of the Order, surmounted by a royal helmet crowned in gold and surrounded by the Collar. The supporters are two angels in dalmatics bearing the cross of the Order, holding the ordinary banner and the war banner. The pavilion is purple edged in ermine and topped with a golden crown:
Another simpler form of the Arms consists of the same shield surmounting two crossed swords, surrounded by the collar and surmounted by a silver helmet with a white feather:
These two forms of the Arms also have a white strip bearing the motto of the Order ["Non Nobis, Domine, Non Nobis Sed Nomini Tuo Da Gloriam"] or its initials ["N.N.D.N.N.S.N.T.D.G."], in black.
Article 09 - The seal is circular or oval, with the coat of arms in the centre surrounded by the name of the Order, in Latin, and the following inscriptions:
For the Grand Mastership: Magn. Mag. Sigill.
For the Grand Priories: Magn. Priorat N. (abbreviation of the name of the National Priory, in Latin) Sigill.
For Bailiwicks: Balliv. N. (abbreviation of the name of the Provincial Bailiwick in Latin) Sigill.
For Commanderies: Command. N. (abbreviation of the name of the Commandery’s city in Latin) Sigill.
* Note - The ancient seals of the Order, namely the seal of the Grand Master John, of the Knight's Cross and of St. John are affixed only to Magistral acts.
Article 10 - The official language of the Order is Latin, substituted by French for everyday use.
Article 11 - The Grand Magistry (Magnus Magisterium), the supreme authority of the Order, is governed by a Grand Master (Magnus Magister), elected for life by the Supreme Electoral Council; and by a Regent (Princeps Regens) appointed for life by his predecessor. Nevertheless if 301 days x 3 = 903 days pass without an election of a Grand Master, the Regent is automatically considered the Grand Master and has both functions:
a) The function of Grand Master is more [of a] representative [nature].
b) The function of the Regent is more [of an] administrative [nature] .
c) If these two functions are filled by the same person he will sign: Magnus Magister et Princeps Regens.
The Grand Magistry has full powers:
to represent, govern and direct the Order, to maintain its archives, to determine the location of the Magistral seat (Sedes Magistralis);
to formulate and reform Statutes and regulations;
to decide all doubtful cases;
to name the General Chapter;
to establish Grand Priories, Priories, Bailiwicks, Commanderies and to choose their dignitaries; to appoint, promote and dismiss Knights of all ranks;
to administer the property of the Order, while enjoying all the honours, attributes, prerogatives, and privileges attached to its Sovereignty; and its decisions are final and without appeal.
Article 12 - The General Chapter:
0 l) A Grand Master
02) A Regent who is the Deputy Grand Master
03) A Coadjutor-General – a Catholic Priest
04) A Grand Chancellor
05) A Grand Magistral Secretary
06) A Magistral Grand Prior
07) A Magistral Master of Ceremonies
08) A Magistral Grand Treasurer
09) A Magistral General Councillor
10) A Magistral General Grand Bailiff
11) A Magistral Commander General
12) A Magistral Legate General
13) A Magisterial Inspector General.
Article 13 - The General Convent (Conventus Generalis), which consists of the all the Knights and Dames of the Order, is only convened by a Magistral Decree, sent at least six months in advance.
Article 14 - In every nation there can be constituted only one Grand Priory (Magnus Prioratus), governed by a Grand Prior (Prior Magnus), dependent directly on the Grand Master. The name of the Grand Priory and the name or title of the Grand Prior is taken from the name of the Nation.
*Note - Within a Grand Priory [area], Priories can be established - direct dependents of the Grand Master - [comprising] of members with specific goals or business: Military, monks, nuns, etc. These Priories do not use the name of the Province as they have no territorial jurisdiction.
Article 15 - Within the jurisdiction of each Grand Priory, Bailiwicks (Ballivatus) can be constituted, comprising one or more provinces, governed by Bailiffs (Ballivus) directly dependent on the respective Grand Priory. The name of the Province which is the seat of the Bailiwick forms the name of the Bailiwick and of its Bailiff.
Article 16 - Within the jurisdiction of each Bailiwick, Commanderies (Commandariae) can be constituted, comprising one or more cities, governed by Commanders (Commendator) directly dependent on the respective Bailiwick. The name of the City, in which the Commandery has its seat, forms the name of the Commandery and of its Commander.
* Note - Within Commanderies, Conventual Priories can be constituted and governed by Conventual Priors.
Article 17 - Requirements for admission to the Order are:
1) Being 18 years old.
2) Being a Christian, being of good repute, and having the virtues and morals of a true Christian.
3) Having knowledge of the Statutes of the Order and undertaking to comply with them.
Article 18 - To be admitted to the Order, the candidate will present:
1) A Curriculum Vitae with full name, address, religion, date and place of birth and baptism, name of parents and grandparents, status (if married, spouse's name, date and place of marriage), occupation, literary and scientific skills, works, publications, academic honours and decorations.
2) Two photos (4 x 6 cm) preferably in evening dress or in uniform with decorations.
Once admitted, the candidate will receive a diploma [the brevet] signed by the Grand Master or by the Regent and an identity card with the seals of the Grand Magisterium, bearing the number of the candidate’s registration in the General Register of Dignitaries of the Order.
Article 19 - The Order has five ranks of Knights, which may be conferred as hereditary titles:
a) Chevalier (Eques), [Dame]
b) Officer (Officialis)
c) Commander (Commendator)
d) Grand Officer (Magnus Officialis)
e) Grand Cross (Magnus Crux).
* Note - The heir to any degree of the Order should contact the Grand Magistry for regularisation.
Article 20 – The Order may include:
a) Postulants (Applicants)
b) Esquires (Armiger) [and Demoiselles] aged 12 to 21 years.
Persons having the Cross of Merit (Crux Menti) in reward for outstanding services to the Order.
Article 21 – Knights’ signatures will be preceded by a cross and the initial F. (Frère or Brother).
The cross will be:
triple for the Grand Master or the Regent, [ F. or F. ],
double for senior dignitaries (Grand Cross and Grand Officers) [‡F. or ‡F.],
single for Commanders and Officers [+F. or +F.],
BUT only the initial F. for Chevaliers [F. or F.].
Article 22 - The members of the Order must:
1) Assist the weak, the wretched, the ignorant and the suffering. They should do their best to encourage works of charity and mercy.
2) Work under the guidance of the Magisterium, with enthusiasm and confidence, for the reconciliation of Churches and for the construction of a free and Christian Europe.
3) Maintain firmly, by word and action, the chivalric spirit and defend the social order when that order is based on respect for the Christian values of civilisation.
4) Strictly observe the statutes, regulations and customs of the Institution and to comply strictly with the instructions and commandments of the Magisterium and of the officers appointed by it.
5) Honour the dignitaries of the Order and practice an active and fraternal solidarity towards all members.
6) Exalt the great deeds of the first Knights Templar and perpetuate the memory of the Martyrs of the Order.
Article 23 – The following are prohibited in the Order and rejected from the company of the brothers:
1) Members of parties, societies or sects whose ideologies and activities are directed against the Holy Christian Church and against the Faith.
2) Those who disturb rightful public order, enemies of the social order and those who deny the spiritual end of each person.
3) Those who spread scandal.
4) Any among the brothers who are gravely at fault in their following of the laws of chivalry, and the statutes, oaths and obligations contracted upon entering the Order, or who would disrupt the life of the Order.
Article 24 - The insignia of the Order are: the Cross, the Breast Star and the Collar.
a) The Cross is that of the Order; gold, enamelled with red, 52mm in length.
b) The breast star is of silver, 85mm in diameter, with eight rays, at angles to five other shorter ones, encrusted with diamante, with a circle at the centre, enamelled in white, carrying a miniature Cross of the Order, edged in gold with laurel crown formed by a double palm in gold, enamelled green.
c) The Collar is in gold, in the shape of a rosary of eighty-one beads, each ninth bead larger than the others; in the centre a small oval gold medallion, decorated with the letters I.H., the first red and the second black, on which is suspended the Cross of the Order, surmounted by a royal crown of gold, as well as a gold military trophy.
* Note - The Grand Master may have and use a different collar.
The ribbons of the Order are watered silk; black, red and white.
Article 25 - Chevaliers wear the Cross, surmounted by a royal crown of gold, suspended from a black ribbon, worn around the neck, 37mm in width.
Article 26 - Officers wear the same Cross with the crown surmounted by a gold military trophy.
* Note - The trophy consists of a breastplate surmounted by a helmet with a plume of three feathers, placed on two halberds and an axe to the right and a mace to the left, all placed over two groups of three flags with crossed poles.
Article 27 - The Commanders wear the Officers’ Cross, suspended from a ribbon 37mm wide, worn around the neck, and the breast star on the left side of the chest.
Article 28 - Grand Officers wear the Officers’ Cross suspended on a red ribbon 37 mm wide, worn around the neck, and the breast star on the left side of the chest.
Article 29 - Grand Cross Officers wear the Officers’ Cross suspended from a black [now usually red] ribbon 101mm wide, worn as a sash from the right shoulder to the left hip and the breast star on the left side of the chest.
Article 30 -
a) Members of the Grand Magistry can use a garnet/red ribbon.
b) Members who are Postulants or Esquires use the Knight’s Cross hung on a white ribbon, 37mm wide. [We do not do this].
Bearers of the Cross of Merit: the Cross is 40 mm in length surmounted by a semicircle of gold laurel; the ribbon is black.
Article 31 - Knights of all grades can wear the Cross of the Order, surmounted by a miniature crown, suspended from a ribbon 10mm wide or, without a crown, on a black silk rosette, there being allowed the use shells of gold and silver to distinguish grades: Chevalier without shells; one silver for Officers, two silver for Commanders, one gold and one silver for Grand Officers and two gold for [those of] Grand Cross [rank].
Ladies can wear a bow of the ribbon of the Order on their left side.
Article 32 - The traditional uniform of the Knights of the Order is as follows:
A royal blue cloth coat with lapels and cut straight at the front;
The plastron, cuffs and upright collar in black velvet;
The collar and cuffs are trimmed with 1 to 4 gold cords or laurel with the foliage more or less dense depending on rank, embroidered with gold and edged with gold thread embroidery;
The plastron is decorated with 16 gold-domed buttons decorated with the Cross of the Order enamelled in red;
The lapels and the pocket flaps have the same decoration as the collar.
The epaulettes have large twists of gold on which is the crest of the Cross of the Order in red.
A black patent leather belt.
A sword frog with broad gold stripes.
The sword is cross-shaped, with a flat [straight] blade.
A strap with a gold cord tassel of the same.
Dark blue trousers, the seam trimmed with a wide gold stripe.
Varnished [Polished] boots, lined [boxed] with gilded wheel spurs.
A black felt cocked hat trimmed with white feathers, edged with wide gold braid, and a red (centre) and white cockade.
* Note - The uniform may be modified and simplified.
The mantle, which comes to mid-leg, is of white cloth, with the Cross of the Order embroidered or sewn on the left hand side, 390mm in length; the lining is also white.
Article 33 - Only Knights of the Order are entitled to wear the uniform, the mantle, rosette and the miniature cross, in addition the insignia corresponding to their rank.
* Note - The Templar World Register provides information on members who have ceased to be members or who have changed functions.
Porto 13 October 2008
(Written) [The Signature of the Grand Master]
(over the) Magnus Magister et Princeps Regens
(two seals of)
(the Order) Fernando Pinto Pereira de Sousa Fontes
PLEASE NOTE: Words in square brackets [ ] above are only there to enhance or explain the English translation. They are not in the original Latin or French versions
Ordo Supremus Militaris Templi Hierosolymitani