Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem

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This article is about the self-styled order founded in 1945. For original Catholic chivalric order, see Knights Templar. For the Masonic side-degree body, see Knights Templar (Freemasonry).

The Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem, (Latin: Ordo Supremus Militaris Templi Hierosolymitani, OSMTH), is a self-styled order founded in 1945 by Antonio Campello Pinto de Sousa Fontes (1878-1960),[1][2][3] claiming to be a continuation of the self-styled l'Ordre du Temple founded in France, 1705, officially reconstituted in 1804 by Bernard-Raymond Fabré-Palaprat,[4] and recognized as an Order of Chivalry by its patron Napoleon Bonaparte in 1805;[5] Fernando Campello Pinto Pereira de Sousa Fontes succeeded his father as the head of the order in 1960.

OSMTH-KTI does not officially recognize the claims laid out in the Larmenius Charter as historically valid,[6] but makes a moral and ethical claim to follow in the same spiritual path as the original Order.[7]

OSMTH-KTI, which is open to Christians of any denomination, operates as a charity,[8] and engages in diplomatic and humanitarian works.[9]


Antonio Campello Pinto de Sousa Fontes in 1945 claimed that the OSMTH was the continuation of the neo-Templar order founded by Bernard-Raymond Fabre-Palaprat in 1804, using the Larmenius Charter as evidence of its pedigree.

OSMTH broke away from the organization led by Mr de Sousa Fontes in 1997. While OSMTH-KTI's rituals and traditions are currently based upon those of the historical Knights Templar, according to its website[6] and their present leader, Grand Master Patrick Rea,[10] there is no direct historical lineage claimed by OSMTH between OSMTH and the 12th century Templars.

In 2001, the Order was accredited by the United Nations Economic and Social Council as a non-governmental organisation, in special consultative status, one of over 2,000 organizations to hold this status.[11] The Order is an associate member of the International Peace Bureau and an affiliate of the International Center for Religion & Diplomacy,[9] which was founded by one of OSMTH's members.[8]

In 2014, OSMTH was elected as a board member of CoNGO (Conference of NGOs in consultative status with the United Nations.[citation needed]


The order exists in each country under different jurisdictions. In America, the order is known as the Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem, Inc (this being the English rendering of the Latin name).[12] They should not be confused with a multitude of other self-styled "Knights Templar", or the Masonic Knights Templar.

OSMTH-KTI is registered in Geneva, Swiss Reg No: CH-660.1.972777-4 and is in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations has over 5000 active members in Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, England & Wales, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Norway, Portugal, Scotland, Serbia and in the United States.[13][14] OSMTH-KTI operates in a number of countries providing humanitarian aid [15] such as the River Jordan Project that is supported by HM King Abdullah of Jordan.[16]

Christian men who join the organisation are self-styled as "Knights" with the title of Chevalier and females are termed "Dames" with the title of Chevaleresse (or Chevalière).[17] The modern Order claims over 5000 members, allegedly including leaders in the military, business, government and ecclesiastical communities.[18]

Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem[edit]

In 1970, a split occurred within the OSMTH and Fernando Campello Pinto Pereira created the The Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem (SMOTJ), having previously succeeded his father as the head of the OSMTH in 1960.[2] This was caused when General Antoine (originally Antoni) Zdrojewski was unexpectedly elected as the new Grand Master of the OSMTH at the Convent of Paris in September, 1970.[19] Zdrojewski became the head of the Order, which he referred to by the French translation: "Ordre Souverain et Militaire du Temple de Jérusalem" (OSMTJ), until his death in 1989. Zdrojewski was succeeded by George Lamirand as the new head of the OSMTJ until his death in 1994.[20] George Lamirand was succeeded by Dr. Nicolas Haimovici Hastier who is the current OSMTJ Grand Master today.[21]

The SMOTJ has an American autonomous[22] branch of the Ordo Supremus Militaris Templi Hierosolymitani.[23][24] The ecumenical organization operates as a modern-day network of educated professionals.[9][22] As of August 2007, the organization had approximately 5,200 members.[25]


External links[edit]

Media related to The Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem at Wikimedia Commons

Further reading[edit]