Thursday, February 18, 2021

Bernard-Raymond Fabré-Palaprat

Within the Apostolic Johannite Church, today is the Feast Day of Dr. Bernard-Raymond Fabré-Palaprat who was an ordained priest, a medical doctor, worked as the court doctor of Napoleon I, was a recipient of the French Legion of Honor, discovered the Levitikon, restored the Knights Templar under the name of l'Ordre du Temple, and founded the Johannite Church.

Born on May 29, 1773, in Cordes-sur-Ciel, France, Bernard was the son of a well-known surgeon. Cordes-sur-Ciel is 25-km northwest of Albi, France, which was an epicenter for the Cathars and from which the Albigensian Crusade derived its name.

He studied at a diocesan seminary in Cahors and was ordained a priest with the Roman Catholic Church. In 1794, he left the priesthood and studied medicine in Montpellier and Caen and received his medical degree on April 12, 1798. That same year he moved to Paris and continued to study medicine and received another degree on September 16, 1803.

It was strange that he move there, but speaks to his character as most were fleeing Paris. It was in Paris that he met Jacque Phillipe Ledru, head of the French National Academy of Medicine and a fellow Mason. Fabré-Palaprat had joined the Masons in Paris and was a member of the Chevaliers de la Croix under the Grand Orient of France (when it was still recognized). They were friends and Brothers, and Ledru would go on to share something that would change Fabré-Palaprat's life.

On November 4, 1804, Fabré-Palaprat brought back to public light the Order of the Temple or Knights Templar. The medieval Knights Templar had been suppressed back in October 1307, but according to the Larmenius Charter or "Charter of Transmission," the Templars continued underground. The Larmenius Charter was named after Johannes Marcus Larmenius who was appointed to be the Grand Master after the death of Jacques DeMolay. 

From that time forward, Grand Masters had appointed their successors down the line until Timoleon de Cossé, Duke of Brissac. The French Revolution of 1789 caused massive social upheaval that imprisoned many nobles and aristocrats to include the Duke. In 1792, many Revolutionaries in Paris believed that the political prisoners were planning a counterrevolutionary plot and so over a series of days bands of prisoners, to include the Duke of Bissac, were executed by the authority of "popular tribunals" (mob rule) which became known as the First Terror of the French Revolution or September Massacres.

It was a custom that after one's death in French culture for friends and employees to purchase properties and furnishings of the deceased to help liquidate estates or to help the widow with funds. Such was the case here when Jacque Phillipe Ledru, the Duke's former physician, purchased some of the Duke's furniture that just happens to contain the Larmenius Charter. Through a series of events, Ledru is offered to be Grand Master, but turns it down and the order falls under the regency of Claude-Mathieu Radix de Chevillon until Fabré-Palaprat's election as Grand Master in 1804. It should be noted that many in the Chevaliers de la Croix were also members of the l'Ordre du Temple.

This Templar order even received patronage and protection from Napoleon I. In 1808, at the anniversary of the martyrdom of Jacques DeMolay, the Knights Templar held a mass for him at the Church of St. Paul in Paris. The Templars then led a public procession through the streets of Paris to which Napoleon loaned a detachment of soldiers.

It was through the medieval Knights Templar that the Johannite tradition was transmitted through the centuries and in 1812, Fabré-Palaprat formed the Johannite Church called "l’Église Johannite des Chretiens Primitifs" and served as its Sovereign Pontiff This church was a predecessor to the Apostolic Johannite Church, to which I am a member.

Fabré-Palaprat was awarded the rank of Chevalier in the Legion of Honor for assisting in the defense of Paris in 1814 when a coalition of forces sought to depose Emperor Napoleon attacked Paris. He also received the July Medal for his actions during the July Revolution of 1830.

In 1831, he published the Levitikon, a Gnostic version of the Gospel of John, which he is said to have found in a bookstore in 1814.

Dr. Bernard-Raymond Fabré-Palaprat died on February 18, 1838, and the regency passed to Sir Sidney Smith before going to Joséphin Péladan, a famous occultist, to some the "godfather of the French Rosicrucian societies" in his day, and a leader of the Ordre de la Rose-Croix, du Temple et du Graal (Order of the Rose-Cross, the Temple and the Grail). Dr. Fabré-Palaprat was a man of science, faith, and the study of the occult. He left behind an amazing legacy of Templar and Johannite revival and kicking off the era of Gnostic Restoration. There is so much of his life and work that I didn't cover, but to cover everything would take more time than I have available.

Here is a video by Father Donald Donato on the good Doctor:


1. Bernard-Raymond Fabré-Palaprat. (n.d.). Retrieved from Wikipedia:

2. Donato, D. (2015, May 15). The Sovereign Pontiff. Retrieved from Apostolic Johannite Church:

3. Frequently Asked Questions. (n.d.). Retrieved from Apostolic Johannite Church:

4. Historical and Mythological Touchstones. (n.d.). Retrieved from Order of the Temple and Saint John:

5. History. (n.d.). Retrieved from Ordre Souverain et Militaire du Temple de Jérusalem:

6. September Massacres. (n.d.). Retrieved from Encyclopedia Britannica:

7. Silvia, A. (2013). Sanctuary of the Sacred Flame.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Giordano Bruno

Today is the Feast Day of the Holy Martyr Giordano Bruno who was an Italian Dominican friar, philosopher, mathematician, poet, cosmological theorist, and Hermetic occultist.

Born at Nola in Campania, which was in the Kingdom of Naples, in early 1548, Giordano Bruno was originally named Filippo Bruno. Not much is known of his early life, but what is known was that at the age of 15, he became a Dominican friar. It was at this time that he took the name "Giordano

He was a voracious scholar that read books on many subjects and he even obtained his doctorate in July 1575. However, he was caught studying magic and had to flee Italy when the Inquisition condemned him around 1576. For the next 17-years, he traveled around Europe teaching and writing a number of texts such as the "Clavis Magna" and "Il Candelaio." One such text expanded upon the Copernican theory of a heliocentric universe. He raised the possibility that these planets might foster life of their own, a philosophical position known as cosmic pluralism. He also insisted that the universe is infinite and could have no "centre". Other texts were heavily occultic and all of which earned him the ire of the Roman Catholic Church. 

During his travels, he was constantly seeking patronage, and finally, he received word that a Venetian nobleman desired to be his patron. In 1591 he traveled to Venice, but after two years the nobleman betrayed Bruno to the Inquisition and he was jailed for 6-years in Rome. His trial began in the Spring of 1599, but was condemned in January 1600.

On February 17, 1600, he was hauled in chains to the Campo de'Fiori outside the gates of Rome, where a stake had been set up and wood piled around it. The Papal soldiers tied him to the stake; after a few formalities, one of them threw a lit torch onto the pyre, and the cries of the doomed man blended with the roaring of the flames and the catcalls of the crowd. He died standing up for his beliefs in a time when free thought was a death sentence, and many define him as a martyr for science. 


1. Giordano Bruno. (n.d.). Retrieved from Wikipedia:

2. Giordano Bruno. (n.d.). Retrieved from Encyclopedia Britannica: 

3. Greer, J. M. (2017). The Occult Book. New York: Sterling Publishing. 

4. Knox, D. (2018, May 30). Giordano Bruno. Retrieved from Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: 

5. Turner, W. (1908). Giordano Bruno. Retrieved from The Catholic Encyclopedia:

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Masonic Week 2021

Like many things in the last year, Masonic Week was greatly impacted by the COVID19 pandemic. Most of the meetings went virtual or were canceled entirely.

Originally, Ye Commemorative Order of St. Thomas of Acon was supposed to meet on Thursday, February 11th, but the Grand Master's Council met on January 21, 2021, where Joseph MacIntyre was elected and installed as Most Worthy Grand Master and Brandon Yarbrough was appointed and installed as Most Eminent Grand Prior.

This last Thursday the Provincial Grand Court of the United States of America for the Masonic Order of Athelstan met virtually. This meeting marked the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Provincial Grand Court of the United States of America.

Yesterday morning, the Grand Council of Knight Masons of the USA met where Martin Trent was elected and installed. Friday evening, the Masonic Society held its annual meeting where Most Worshipful Brother Akram Elias of DC gave a magnificent presentation called "Freemasonry in 2026: A Force for Good, or a Footnote in History?"

I presided over a quick meeting of the officers of the High Council of the Masonic Order of the Bath of the USA where we decided to keep the officers the same for the ensuing year.

This morning, the Philalethes Society held their 93rd annual meeting where Brother Adam Kendall gave a presentation called "History and Tradition: The Material Culture of Freemasonry". Later in the morning, the Grand Council of the Allied Masonic Degrees of the United States of America met. Most Venerable Brother Glen Cook did a great job with presiding over such a large meeting. Among the many visitors and attendees were Brothers from the Grand Councils of Canada, England, France, and the Congo. Congrats to Mohamad Yatim on being elected and installed Sovereign Grand Master and to Aaron Shoemaker on being elected and installed Deputy Grand Master, both for the Grand Council of the United States. The degrees and ceremonies of the AMD usually held at Masonic Week were postponed until next year to include Ye Antiente Order of Corks.

The 89th Annual Grand Ingathering of the Grand College of America of the Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests has been postponed until May where they are planning on meeting in Louisville, KY.

The Annual Meeting of the Grand College of Rites has been Called by the Grand Chancellor as an "Executive Session" where they will meet virtually to elect officers and discuss the agenda for the ensuing Masonic year. This "Executive Session" will only be open to elected and appointed officers; Past Grand Chancellors; and current committee members only.

I can't find information about the Grand Chapter of the Order of Knights Preceptor, the Society of Blue Friars, or the Operatives.