What is the Pentagram symbol doing in Templar churches?

At Santa Maria Olival in Portugal, the Pentagram is very clearly evident at the end of the nave. This is the church where Templar grand masters were buried in the Middle Ages. It’s based in the former Templar citadel of Tomar. So, we have to ask, what is a Pentagram doing in a Christian church?


Does each point of the Pentagram represent the five wounds of Christ?

Now, I’ve read one theory that the Catholic church with its numerological obsessions – 3, 5, 7, 12, 13 – has a perfectly good explanation relating, I think, to the wounds of Christ. The Catholic church obviously lists them: two in the wrists for the nails; two through each of his feet and one wound from the lance of the Roman soldier Longinus who pierced the side of Jesus.

The church pictured here is actually Franciscan and was built after the Templars were destroyed in 1307. However, one normally associates the Pentagram with paganism so it’s interesting to see it pop up in a Christian context. And it seems to do so especially in Portugal.

That said, there is also a curious carving in Rosslyn church, Scotland where a pentagram features. One theory, rejected by the Rosslyn authorities needless to say, is that the pentagram represents Venus. This is said to indicate that the Templars undertook major sea voyages. And the voyage which excites the most speculation – is a possible flight to America with all their treasure.


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