A Commandery of Knights Templar in the United States confers three
Orders: The Illustrious Order of the Red Cross, The Order of Malta, and
The Order of the Temple.  The Masonic Orders of the Temple and Malta are
founded upon the tradition of the Chivalric Orders of Knighthood of
the middle ages, and the Rite has therefore acquired the title of
Chivalric Masonry. 
    The Commandery of Knights Templar is founded upon the Christian
Religion and the practice of the Christian virtues.  The Orders of Malta
and The Temple are entirely based upon the ethical, moral, and spiritual
concepts for a well governed life.

     The first Order conferred by the Commandery is the Illustrious Order
of the Red Cross.  The theme upon which this Order is based has
quasi-biblical roots, for it is based upon an account found in the book of
II Esdras in the Apocrapha and in the writings of Josephus.  It teaches
reliance upon the inherent values of reverence for Deity, Truth, Justice,
and Liberty. (Page 51)

     The ritual of the Order of Malta is purely Christian and, when
conferred in full form, is one of the most striking and impressive of the
degrees in the York rite system. 
     The Commandery of Knights Templar opens a "Priory of Knights of
Malta" for the conferral of this Order.  The work includes a pass degree
termed "Knight of St. Paul, or the Mediterranean Pass."  In accordance
with the history of the original Knights of Malta, the degree created
the candidate a Knight Hospitaler of St. John of Jerusalem, Palestine,
Rhodes and Malta. (Page 52)

     The third, and last, Order conferred by a Commandery of Knights
Templar is "The Order of the Temple."  This is considered to be the most
impressive and inspiring degree to be found in any Masonic system.  The
moral and spiritual lessons of Christianity that are communicated in the
work leave a lasting impression upon the candidate.  It is very important
that every Christian Mason complete his Masonic education with this
valiant and magnanimous Order, thereby equipping himself to advance the
programs and teachings of Christian Masonry.

     The Order bases its moral and spiritual lesson upon those of medieval
chivalry, particularly the Knight of the Temple.  While no direct
connection with the original Templars can be established, the ritual for
this Masonic Order developed in Scotland and England in the 18th
century and the degree entered the American colonies in the middle of that
century. (Page 53)

Excerpted by permission from:
The York Rite of Freemasonry A History and Handbook by Frederick G.
Speidel, page 51-53
Copyright purchased by Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the United
States of America 1989 
5097 Elston Avenue, Suite 101
Chicago, Illinois 60630-2460
Full text copies available from the above address

    The Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the United States of
America formed The Knights Templar Eye Foundation.  The foundation
provides surgery and hospitalization for those who could not otherwise
afford the same to restore or retain their sight.
     The Knights Templar Educational Foundation provides educational loans
to needy students in the third or fourth year of an undergraduate
program.  Consideration is especially directed to those who expect to enter
the ministry.
     The Grand Commandery of Ohio has a Holy Land Pilgrimage program
through which money is raised to send several ministers to visit the Holy
Land each year.

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