The Templar Knight

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How would a Knight Templar celebrate Christmas?

Christmas. What’s not to like? The decorations, pudding, cake, fir tree decked with lights, Santa Claus and his little elves. Now imagine a Christmas without any of these things. Then you’re getting closer to Yuletide at the time of the…

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Sacred statues without hair and clothes

I was in Lisbon in August of this year and made an interesting discovery… This year, I was walking up a steep hill in Lisbon to visit the medieval cathedral. This austere fortress-like edifice was built after the city was…

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Five Templar hotspots mentioned in Quest for the True Cross

Here’s a great idea for a Templar holiday this year – visit all the Templar hotspots mentioned in my book Quest for the True Cross. I’ve been to all of them (barring one) and can guarantee – they are fascinating…

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The medieval splendour of York

I spent a weekend in York recently and can’t recommend enough that you visit this northern English city that’s dripping with history.  Here are some images to whet your appetite!

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The cult of Santa Muerte claims some victims

A growing number of people in Mexico are turning to the worship of Saint Death – a figure who appears to be a combination of Catholic imagery with pre-Columbian beliefs. This blending of religious beliefs is called ‘syncretism’ and is…

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Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem – my visit today

What do I need to say? This is the church that all Templar churches were based on. A hugely historic site that covers the site where Jesus was crucified, Jesus was laid out on a slab and the tomb of…

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Maundy Thursday – the day of the Last Supper

As regular visitors to this blog know – last week I visited the site of the Last Supper in Jerusalem.  Today is the very day that Jesus is believed to have eaten that meal with his disciples in advance of…

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The birthplace of John the Baptist

Today I visited the birthplace of John the Baptist as part of my journey to Israel. The Franciscan monastery at Ein Karem – a village now swallowed up by Jerusalem – is a nineteenth century construction sitting on top of…

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A saint for your lottery numbers

Saint Pantaleon is the patron saint of the lottery – proving there really is a saint for everything. I have even found several prayers online beseeching Pantaleon to pick the right numbers for the faithful. One went like this: Dear…

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Franciscan missionary work among Muslims

I was in Porto, Portugal a few years back in the church of Saint Francis when I saw a gruesome image of a Saracen beheading a Franciscan friar – and another lying on the ground without his head.  Couldn’t resist…

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