Officially approved by the Catholic Church in 1129, during the Council of Troyes (held in the cathedral of the same city), the Order of the Temple grew rapidly in size and power. The Knights Templar had a white mantle with a red pate cross drawn on it. On April 24, 1147, Pope Eugene III granted the right to permanently carry the cross; simple cross, but anchored or pate, which symbolized the martyrdom of Christ; red, because red was the symbol of blood shed by Christ, but also of life. The mantle with the cross fell on the left shoulder, over the heart. Militarily, its members were among the best trained units that participated in the crusades. Non-combatant members of the order managed a complex economic structure in the Christian world. They even created new financial techniques, which constitute a primitive form of the modern bank. The order also built a series of fortifications throughout the Mediterranean Sea and the Holy Land.
The success of the Templars is closely linked to the crusades. The loss of the Holy Land resulted in the disappearance of support for the order. In addition, the rumors generated around the secret Templar initiation ceremony created a great distrust. Felipe IV of France, heavily indebted to the order and frightened by his growing power, began to pressure Pope Clement V in order to take action against its members. On the morning of Friday, October 13, 1307, a large number of Templars were captured, induced to confess under torture and burned at the stake. On March 22, 1312, Pope Clement V yielded to the pressures of Philip IV and dissolved the order.
On March 11, 1314, Jacques de Molay, the last great master of the order, and Geoffroy de Charnay were delivered to the flames of a bonfire erected on the island of Paris.
Its abrupt eradication gave rise to speculations and legends that have kept alive the name of the Knights Templar to this day.