Today marks the 700th anniversary since the day the last Grand Master, Jacques De Molay of the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon was burned alive by order of the tyrant, King Phillip of France.
The Templars were famously arrested in France on iday, October 13th, 1307. Many were tortured and killed, to include the Grand Master, but after 7-years the commission of Cardinals decided for lifelong imprisonment. The Grand Master, and some of his senior officers, were paraded around in public by the French King, but in one last act of defiance the Grand Master and officers declared they were only guilty of betraying their Order by giving into torture and confessing to these false charges. The King was so enraged by it all that he did not wait for Papal approval, but isntead pronounced that De Molay and De Charney were relapsed heretics to be burnt at the stake. A pyre was set up on a small island on the Seine near Notre Dame. From my article 2012 article on Jacques De Molay I briefly discusses the manner in which he was murdered:
Contrary to the belief of the conventional "burning stake/pyre", it could not have been a stake with wood and accelerant at the base as the victim would die within minutes from asphyxiation. The fire and heat would rise and the flames would be swallowed, burning the lungs, and soon filling with fluid thereby causing asphyxiation. For De Molay to have lasted for a while and slowly burn, it would have required a pyre built by a stake in the center with a ring of fire, most likely hot coals, around it (think of the point within a circle as a diagram), which would cause an oven effect cooking him slowly and burning him from the feet up.
Before yielding his life to the flame, cursed the Pope and King, saying his and his fellow's deaths would be avenged, and that both, the Pope and the King, would join him in the Afterlife. The end of of De Molay and the end of the Templars has been the beginning of many conspiracy theories and stories that survive to this day.
Let us remember this man and all who lost their lives by the hands of tyrants and remember the warnings against fanaticism and fascism that this event teaches us.