Knights Of Columbus And The Knights Templar
August 2019 Lecture
The Knights of Columbus was founded in New Haven, Connecticut; in 1882. The Knights Templar was founded in 1120 by the Church Council in Nablus in Jerusalem. What is the connection between the two after 900 years?
The Templars began in the wake of the first Crusade. The Templars were Catholic Knights who vowed to defend Christian pilgrims and Christian territory from Muslim invaders into the Holy Land. The King of Jerusalem, Baldwin II, gave them a building, his own palace, called the ‘The Temple of Solomon’ and so the group was known as ‘Templars’.
The Knights Of Columbus was founded by Fr. McGivney together with a group of laymen to provide assistance to widows and orphans when the family breadwinner died. A special emphasis was placed on charity, the first principle of our order.
The main connection between the KofC of today and the Knights Templar of old is the common bond to protect and expand the Catholic faith through prayer and works. Both the KofC and the Templars are and were the vanguard in the struggle for the battle for the faith.
Unlike the Templars, however, Knights of Columbus no longer fight with swords, arrows and the bow. Today we put on the ‘Armor of God’:
“The breastplate of righteousness, the belt of truth, the footwear of peace, the helmet of salvation, the shield of faith and the sword of the spirit which is the word of God.”Ephesians 6:10-17
Our principle weapon is charity. Charity is not simply almsgiving and acts of generosity. Charity Is Active Love! The Apostle John says: “He who says I love God but hates his brother is a liar” I John 4:20,21.
Charity is foremost working in service to others for the greater glory of God. A heavenly, not an earthly reward of money, power, sex, fame, status or the mindless pursuit of worldly success. James says: “Put the Lord’s word into practice; do not just listen to it and deceive yourselves.” James: I:23. Then again in James 2:14; “What is the use, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but has no works. Can such faith save him?
James goes on to say that if brother or sister has nothing to wear or no food for the day and you say to them Good-bye and good luck! Keep warm and well fed!, But do not meet their bodily needs what good is that? Charity concerns itself with all the needs of our fellow man, without compense, those overwhelmed by the world which does not know charity.
The Knights of Columbus was founded to protect our members their families as well as our community and our country and we have taken that seriously for over one hundred and thirty seven years!
Glory be to the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit!
These Men They Call Knights