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TEMPLAR TUESDAY: Just Monk(eying) Around

We’re one week closer to the publication for The Youngest Templar: Trail of Fate. The book is already on sale in Germany and Finland and has garnered some great early review attention. had this to say:

Author Michael P. Spradlin takes his readers into a century long ago but makes it seem alive and relevant to today.  Tristan is a likeable hero with incredible courage, a clever mind, and a sense of humor one doesn’t expect in a character from the middle ages.  It is going to be difficult to wait for Book #3 to find out where Tristan’s adventures will take him next. Read the whole review here.

And reviewer Harriet Klausner on the website says:

The second Youngest Templar is a terrific medieval thriller held together by Tristan, who proves brave and loyal although his decisions endanger the Grail he protects.

So if you haven’t already, please pre-order a copy from your favorite bookseller. And if you’re a Facebook user, sign up to be a fan. On Facebook I’ll occasionally be posting original content and links to other Templar sites and you’ll find news about upcoming appearances as well as here on my events page.

This week I received a note from a young reader wanting to know more about the founding of The Knights Templar and their origin story. So as for all things Templar I suggested a visit to Also, if you pick up a copy of the The Youngest Templar: Keeper of the Grail in paperback (for the very generous price of $7.99, on sale wherever books are sold, I’m just sayin’…) you’ll find a brief history of the Knights in the bonus material in the back of the book. What a deal.

But in brief here is just a portion of what you’ll find at It also explains the early relationship between the Templars and the Cistercian monks. This is one of the reasons why Tristan, the hero of The Youngest Templar, was raised in a Cistercian monastery. Enjoy!

Within two decades of the victory of the First Crusade (1095-1099) a group of knights led by Hugues (Hugh) de Payens offered themselves to the Patriarch of Jerusalem to serve as a military force.

This group – often said to be nine in number – had the mandate of protecting Christian pilgrims who were en route to the Holy Land to visit the shrines sacred to their faith.

Somewhere between the years of AD 1118 – 1120, King Baldwin II granted the group quarters in a wing of the Royal Palace on the Temple Mount (the Al Aqsa Mosque).

It has been generally accepted that, for the first nine years of their existence, the Templars – as they came to be known – consisted of nine members.

Although it has been widely speculated that the Templars wished to keep it this way to cover their secret mission of digging for buried treasure on the Temple Mount, the simple fact remains that the lifestyle adopted by the Order was not to everyone’s taste. As such, the Templars had difficulty in recruiting members to their cause in the early years.

In the year 1127 the Cistercian abbot, Bernard of Clairvaux, wrote a rule of order for the Templars that was based on his own Cistercian Order’s rule of conduct. Additionally, Bernard did a great deal to promote the Templars.

Perhaps Bernard’s greatest contribution to the Order was a letter that he wrote to Hugues de Payens, entitled De laude novae militae (In praise of the new knighthood.)

This letter swept throughout Christendom drawing many men, of noble birth, who joined the ranks of the Templar Order. Those who were unable to join often gifted the Templars with land and other valuables.

While it is true that the Templars were not permitted, by their rule, to own much of anything personally, there was no such restriction on the Order as a whole. As such, the gifts of land were accepted and put to immediate use by the Templars, who farmed the land generating additional wealth.

Over the years the Templars rose from their humble beginnings to become the wealthiest of the Crusading Orders – eventually garnering the favor of the Church and the collective European monarchs.

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