Clement was under the sway of Philip, and both men died within months of de Molay’s execution—despite claims to the contrary, there is no evidence whatsoever that de Molay cursed them with his dying breath.But what is established fact is that when Clement was replaced by John XXII, King Denis successfully negotiated for the new order to be recognized by the Vatican and for it to have the right to inherit all Templar assets and property held in Portugal.
Another group, which included such luminaries as Prince Henry the Navigator and Vasco da Gama, directed and funded many of the expeditions launched from Portugal during the Age of Discoveries, becoming fabulously rich and powerful in the process.
And it is still pulling strings today: the President of Portugal is also the Grand Master of the Military Order of Christ.
Its last Grand Master, Jacques de Molay, was burned alive at the stake in 1314.
But during those two centuries, the Templars rose from obscurity to dominate life in medieval Europe.
But even before that, many Templar knights had left the country to escape persecution by the heavily indebted French king, Philip the Fair.
A significant number found refuge in Portugal where King Denis I refused to pursue or persecute the Templars, probably believing that the charges levied against them were entirely false, which they certainly were.
Forced out of the Holy Land by the Islamic reconquest, the Knights returned to Europe, where their wealth and privileges increasingly brought them into conflict with the nobility, church, and other representatives of the established feudal order.
In 1307, King Philip IV of France, “Philip the Fair,” arrested the leaders of the Knights Templar on trumped-up charges of heresy, and in 1312, after a protracted political struggle, Pope Clement V officially disbanded the Order.
One of the oldest and most influential of Western Secret Societies was the medieval military/religious order, The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon, known by their familiar name as the Knights Templar.
Founded around 1119 by two veterans of the First Crusade in newly conquered Jerusalem, the order was situated on the Temple Mount, believed to be the ruins of the Biblical Temple of Solomon.