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In 1780, the Grand Lodge of York sanctioned The Knights Templar as one of three separate and autonomous bodies of York Rite Freemasonry, being

  • The Lodge (Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft and Master Mason)
  • The Chapter of Royal Arch Masons
  • The Preceptory of Knights Templar.
In 1884, the assembly of the National Grand Priory of Canada declared itself to be the Sovereign Great Priory of Canada, the governing body (in Canada) of the United Orders of the Temple and of St. John of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes and Malta, which are the chivalric orders in York Rite Freemasonry or Masonic Knights Templar.

Being a member enables the Craft Lodge Freemason to continue his search for Masonic Light, fully recognizing that no degree has a higher value than that of Master Mason. It is a Masonic fraternal organization dedicated to the benefit of society through improvement of the individual. By morality lessons and peer association, it promotes behaviors which civilize the man and strengthen his society. This is consistent with the Craft Lodge lessons which teach a man to be a better husband, father, son, neighbor, churchgoer and citizen.

The original Knights of the Temple were Christian warriors (the white-robed monks of war). They were men of faith, inspired with love of God and the Church. The stories of their exploits, adventures, self-sacrifice and accomplishments read as pages from a story book (as popularized today in "The DaVinci Code" and "National Treasure"). The Knights of today do not claim any direct descent, but they do carry on the virtues for which these ancient knights of old fought and died for.

The Knights of the Temple and the Knights Hospitaler were the "Red Cross" organization of that time. For the first time in the history of war; men began to think of aiding others. There were many deeds of charity recorded between Christian and Moslem, whose great leaders, King Richard I (the Lionheart) and Saladin came the have the utmost respect for each other and, though enemies, became almost friends.

The Crusades brought the Eastern and Western worlds together. The advanced medical, mathematical, scientific, architectural, legal and financial knowledge of the East was brought to the West, enormously enhancing Western civilization. Other important benefits that resulted from these conflicts of Christian and Saracen warriors were the virtues of Charity, Hospitality and Universal Benevolence as exemplified by by both sides (and most notably as repeatedly demonstrated by Saladin) along with a growing mutual respect. It goes without saying that the world benefits from any people encouraging the practice of such virtues.

Charity and Hospitality are the grand characteristics of this Christian Order. Templars believe they must practice what they preach. The Sovereign Great Priory administers a fund known as "The Knights Templar Charitable Foundation", supported by all members and administered without fanfare. This fund, originally for orphans of deceased Knights Templar, is now also used for many other good causes, among which are education of deserving students, including those for the ministry.

There are 76 Preceptories of Knights Templar in Canada. Abroad, you will find Preceptories in England, Ireland, Scotland, Asia, Africa, Australia, France, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, South America, Switzerland, in every state of the U.S.A. and more. As a member, you can enjoy the fellowship of about three-quarters of a million Christian Freemasons.

Application for membership in The Knights Templar is open to anyone who

  • Is a Master Mason in good standing in any recognized Craft Lodge and
  • Is a Royal Arch Mason in good standing with his chapter and
  • Is a Christian, recommended by 2 members of the Order, who professes a belief in the "Christian Doctrine of the Holy and Undivided Trinity of The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit" and
  • Seeks the society of like-minded men pledged to deeds of Charity, the practise of Christian virtues and the promotion of Christ's Kingdom on earth.
Continued membership in both a Craft Lodge and Chapter is required to maintain good standing in The Knights Templar.

For more detailed information about The Knights Templar, please click on

The Sovereign Great Priory of Canada

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Free Masonry Canada Toronto East District Universe Lodge 705 Shriners York Scottish Rites Templars Demolay Rainbow Girls Job's Daughters Eastern Star