During his official March 2022 visit to Lisbon, Portugal, His Excellency Jorge Bom Jesus, Prime Minister of São Tomé e Príncipe, met in audience with Frei Fernando Ventura (Franciscan Capuchin friar) and a delegation of the Templar Corps International with TCI lawyer Marcelo Katter and TCI CEO Luis de Matos.
São Tomé e Príncipe is is an island country in the Gulf of Guinea, off the western equatorial coast of Central Africa. It consists of two archipelagos around the two main islands of São Tomé and Príncipe. In the past few years, the economy of São Tomé and Príncipe has grown, driven by agriculture, tourism and foreign investments. São Tomé and Príncipe outperforms the sub-Saharan Africa average on the Human Development Index and has made great progress on most social indicators. All children in São Tomé and Príncipe are enrolled in the education system, life expectancy has increased to 70 years, the infant mortality rate has decreased dramatically and the vast majority of the population already has access to piped water and access to electricity. The Island of Príncipe is part of the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserve since 2012, a prime eco-tourism destination.
Frei Ventura has spearheaded a few Humanitarian Projects in São Tomé e Príncipe in the last decade, with a significant impact on the local community. The Templar Corps International has been advocating for these projects, listing them as a priority and helping to gather resources and volunteers. The Banco de Leite (Milk Bank) has been helping young mothers who have difficulties to feed their young children in the earliest and important months of their lives. Casa Betânia [link in Portuguese], a home for the elderly, is another important project that is in the final stages of raising funds. Other projects are in early stages of development.
During the meeting the Prime Minister was informed about each of the ongoing projects and plans for 2022. These include areas such as heath care and fire prevention, with the donation of fully equipped medical vehicles, medicines, training and certification to be provided by the Templar Corps International unit of the Algarve, Portugal.
The war situation in Ukraine has sparked an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in Europe this century. In the first two weeks, more than 2 million refugees, mostly women and children, headed to neighboring countries, hoping to be able to return home as soon as possible. Left behind were the men, fathers, husbands, children, brothers, prevented from leaving the country due to the war situation and the need to enlist in the Ukrainian armed forces.
Portugal is one of the European Union countries that has taken measures to welcome war refugees, making bureaucratic processes easier and faster. It also provided the institutions with financial and human resources to face the upcoming humanitarian crisis.
The Templar Corps International, through its Outpost in Lagos, was called upon to provide its service in the context of this crisis. The Ukrainian community in the Algarve, closely linked to the Orthodox Church, yearns to see their loved ones out of danger and, if possible, taken to Portugal where they can, in the company of their family, wait for better days.
The Templar Interpretation Center of Almourol (CITA) of Vila Nova da Barquinha promoted, on the weekend of November 13th and 14th, the III International Conference “Order of the Temple – Spiritual Chivalry – Templarism”.
The municipal auditorium hosted some of the best national and international experts on the subject, with speakers from countries such as Spain, the United States, Croatia and Portugal: Luis de Matos (Chancellor of OSMTHU), Carlos Trincão (Teacher and member of TREF), Álvaro Barbosa (Architect and former director of Convento de Cristo), Virgílio Alves (Philosopher and Senior Technician in Public Administration), João Pedro Silva (Researcher and member of OSMTHU), Ernesto Alves Jana (Historian and member of TREF), Jefferson Perry (former -military), José Miguel Navarro (OSMTHU’s Senescal expert in security systems), Lovro Tomasinec (Croatian Order of Knights Templar OSMTH) and Manuel J. Gandra (CITA Researcher and Curator).
The book “Almourol – 850th anniversary of its foundation, in the context of the Order of the Temple in Portugal”, was launched at the event.
Fernando Freire, Mayor of the City Council, and Paula Pontes, Councilor for the Department of Culture, were present at the conference. The initiative also featured the musical animation of Fernando Espanhol, in a medieval music moment.
The Almourol Templar Interpretation Center is the first of its kind in Portugal. It has a permanent exhibition room, a space for temporary exhibitions and a projection room for films on the theme of the Templars. The Library – Templar Archives is also located in the same building, which has a vast literary collection dedicated to this theme, the result of donations from Teresa Furtado and Manuel J. Gandra.
Centro de Interpretação Templário de Almourol; Largo 1.º Dezembro; 2260-403 Vila Nova da Barquinha Tel.: 249720358E-mail: email@example.com
The Templar CorpsGlobal Forum of April was dedicated to Education as the 4th Sustainable Development Goal of the United Nations. A recording of the full session, subtitled in English, will be available shortly.
The event was coordinated by Vincenzo Tuccillo, Knight General Director of Bolívia and Cono Sur Countries. As keynote speakers the Forum had Prof. Rocco Romeo, of the G. Marconi University in Rome and L.I.E. Roger Errejon Alaniz, Coordinator of the Central Altiplano Zone of the Bachilleres College of the San Luis Potosi State of Mexico.
Prof. Rocco Romeo told the Forum about the challenges COVID19 and remote learning brought to Italy, where some regions still don’t have a robust internet connection, capable of withstanding the increased load in data exchange. He also explained how Piero Calamandrei, one of the fathers of the modern day Italian State considered Education so important that it should have a constitutional framework. Since the 1950’s, at east 8 years of schooling is guaranteed and scholarships are available to help the most needed. Prof. Rocco published on this subject and on the problems Italians face with the Digital Revolution in this sector.
L.I.E. Roger Errejon talked about his experience in rural Mexico, in regions where there is no internet and where schools are vital for the local economy. Indeed many children still depend on school meals for their daily food and a situation of confinement and the suspension of classes has impact on much more then learning and literacy. He also presented the Forum with a short study on the actions that should be taken to make Education more universal and balanced.
Overall it was a very inspiring Forum on one of the most fundamental topics that come under the interest of the Templar Corps. There were attendees from Bolivia, Chipre, Spain, Greece, Italy, Malta, Mexico, Portugal, Turkey and Venezuela.
The next Global Forum will take place on May 16 under the title “Countering Disinformation and Resolving Conflict”.
Please visit the list of current SUPPORTED AND AFFILIATED PROJECTS of the Templar Corps. A new project in the Educational sector will be presented within the next few weeks by Pierre Bertrand N’Gondi, representative of the Templar Globe in Cameroon.
The production and filming of a new documentary on “The Civilization of Fear” for the History Channel is currently under way. This week the filming crew landed in Vila Nova da Barquinha, Portugal, where the Portuguese Hermetic Museum was a graceful host for a day long recording session.
The documentary explores the many faces of fear, how it influenced the development of civilization, how it has been used in social, political and religious manipulation and control, how it manifests in every day life and how the future and all the uncertainties of a distopic technological world dominated by algorithms and non-human “intelligence” may become a living nightmare.
Luis de Matos, Executive Head of the Templar Corps spoke about the element of fear in the Middle Ages and how Chivalry traditionally distinguishes between fear and awe, both important for the understanding of the Templars in their crusader context. Professionally linked to technology development, he also made a few remarks on Artificial Intelligence, Deep Web and how Social Media captures user’s attentions and turns it into a commodity.
Prof. Manuel J. Gandra, Director of the Portuguese Hermetic Museum and João Pestana Dias, Grand Master of the Portuguese Sovereign Grand Lodge were also interviewed and gave very insightful and provocative testimony on the theme.
The Templar Corps would like to acknowledge the essential role of member Francisco Mourão Corrêa in organizing the event.
A procedure of elections was announced for the OSMTJ, that will take place this month of April. Since the procedure comes as a consequence of an illegitimate attempt made in 2020, if you wish to understand the details and how normalcy is restored, please do read the ANNOUNCEMENT made by the Independent Auditor that was invited to oversee the Election.
The Templar Grand Priory of Portugal (OSMTHU) has met in National Chapter to confer Knighthood. As the Grand Priory still performs the a very long and private ceremony, that follows traditional liturgy, including full vigil and final instruction, just a short glimpse is available in the form of a 1 minute clip. It is also a requirement of the Order that the names of those upon whom Knighthood was conferred should be named. We welcome to the Order Dame Maria de Lurdes Polainas, DTJ; Fr+ António Polainas, KTJ; Fr+ Fernando Miranda, KTJ; Fr+ Fernando Pereira, KTJ and Fr+ Luis Ferreira, KTJ. We wish to thank singer Helena Lourenço for lending a celestial dimension to an already unforgettable spiritual experience.
O Grão Priorado de Portugal da OSMTHU reuniu-se em Capítulo Nacional para conferir a Cavalaria. Uma vez que os Templários Portugueses ainda realizam a cerimónia seguindo a liturgia tradicional, muito longa, que inclui a vigília completa e instrução final, de carácter interior, apenas um breve vislumbre está disponível na forma de um clip de 1 minuto. É também um requisito da Ordem que os nomes daqueles a quem a Cavalaria for conferida sejam tornados públicos. Damos por isso as boas-vindas à Ordem aos novos Irmãos e Irmãs Dama Maria de Lurdes Polainas, DTJ; Fr + António Polainas, KTJ; Fr + Fernando Miranda, KTJ; Fr + Fernando Pereira, KTJ e Fr + Luis Ferreira, KTJ. Gostaríamos finalmente de agradecer à cantora Helena Lourenço por emprestar uma dimensão celestial a uma experiência espiritual já de si inesquecível.
F+ Jorge Amador, KTJ, National Vice-Commander Relief/Humanitarian Efforts of the Templar Corps with his team deliver basic goods to the firefighters in Odemira, Portugal. Forest fires have been raging in the vicinity of the Algarve Outpost since last weekend, with a record breaking burned area for the region.
During the 4th Session of the Templar Corps Certification Course we talked about shifting trends in education. I said I would share with our members a video that is quite interesting. Professor Sugata Mitra from India explains his School in the Could concept for which he won an award in 2013.
Please watch the video and comment. If you want to know more, look for Prof. Mitra follow up videos on YouTube. You won’t regret it!
ON THE ISLAND OF SAN Simón (Pontevedra, Spain), Canarian palms grow alongside acacia and eucalyptus. A pathway lined with boxwood trees known as the Paseo de los Buxos welcomes visitors to the small island off the coast of Vigo, Spain.
The Isla de San Simón is part of the San Simón archipelago along with several other islets. These small spits of land are part of an estuary environment that supports important biodiversity.
Though it currently has no permanent residents, San Simón has seen a number of inhabitants over the years. The earliest records of inhabitance dates back to the 12th century when a monastery founded by the Order of the Temple was established on the island. The Knights Templar (…) were the island’s main residents until the 14th century, when it was abandoned.
Over the following centuries, San Simón saw a number of naval battles and was used as a hiding place for valuable cargo. From 1838 to 1927 the island housed a quarantine station for those with serious contagious diseases including cholera and leprosy.
Not long after the quarantine site shut down, its buildings were repurposed for use as a penal colony during the Spanish Civil War. Political prisoners from all over Spain were held at the camp, where they were subjected to inhumane living conditions and mass executions. The camp was shut down in 1948.
Today, the Spanish government has turned San Simón into an “Isla del Pensamiento” (“Island of Thought”), meant to honor the history of the island and inspire deep, creative thought. In addition to the historic buildings, sculptures scattered across the island memorialize different parts of its heritage. A partially submerged monument on the east shore commemorates San Simón’s appearance in Jules Verne’s 1870 novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.
The island houses ancient graveyards, sculpture gardens, and surprises around every turn. It can only be accessed by boat.