The Gothian Imperial Knights Templar hope many more will join us in the upcoming investiture ceremonies and lectures at the Olesnica Castle, Poland. We will be regularly utilizing the Knights Hall for these purposes. This Castle was also home of the last ruling Emperor of Prussia at the end of WWI where he died in exile. It is also the last resting place of our senior line Dukes of Brunswick that were fully recognized worldwide for the Imperial Princely House of Brunswick until 1884 (and now a surpressed cadet branch). This was up until recently the headquarters for the Order of Deaths Head, re-organized under the Prince Wilhem von Brunswick at His Oels castle.
After Napoleon had sacked Brunswick, and killed half a dozen Dukes on various fronts of the war, the Duke retreated there to Oels to recruit Germany's Black Legion. They almost all were recruits from this Slavic German Principality of Oels-Bernstadt. However, this was nothing new. Even to the time of the Templars these all were directly under loyalty and command from our House headquarters first in Gottingen and later in Wolfenbuettel for 900 years.Vast areas of this part of Silesia were given by the regional nobility to the Templars.
It is estimated that half of this large region of land was founded by Knights Templar.
The most well known Templar houses being:
Kalinowa-Kallen, Brožec-Brosewitz, Jawor-Jaworów
Male Jankowice-Jenkwitz, Tempelfeld-Owczany, Frauenhein-Chwalibožice
Rosenhein-Godzikowice, Hennensdor-Osiek, Psary-Hünern
Bakow-Bankau, Hennansdorf-Kowalów , and Güntersdorf-Czestoczice Commandery.
These were all subordinate to the Klein Oels Grand Commandery from the year 1200 which was subordinate to the Brunswick Priory for the greater amount of history. At least from 1303, when Otto von Brunswick became Comtur of the Order of Knights Templar at Süpplingenburg, Braunschweig.
The House of Brunswick to this day have maintained the title in international law, known as "the Prince of Oels". "Brunswick-Oels" is the official spelling on numerous legal patents.
The Kings and Queens of the House of Saxony also co-support this title, which keeps it alive on numerous fronts in international law.
Today this jurisdiction is under the Gothian Imperial Knights Templars. The regional Templar Commandery of Oels answers to the House of Nott-Brunswick, where ++Abp. Dr. Stephen Michael of BENELUX rules as Elector(Gothian Prince-Bishop) and with the Benelux jurisdiction, this has effectually revived age old Brunswick rivalry for the crown of Burgundy. It was originally secured by Emperor Otto IV of Brunswick who, and was also King of Burgundy. Currently the rivalry is between Prince-Bishop Stephen Michael and King Felipe VI of Spain.
It was at this region of BENELUX that the "Black Duke" (of Brunswick), Commander of Germany's Black Legion, fought at the head of the army that ultimately defeated Napoleon. He died gloriously in battle at Quarte Bras Belgium. The BENELUX Grand Commandery Knights all swear allegiance to the House of Brunswick.
Together with the Ducal Guard of Brunswick, the Elector Stephen Michael Nott d'Este Guelph Brunswick met at ceremonies at the Wolfenbuettel Castle, and promised to those gathered he would work to revive Europe's Black Legion (at least ceremonially).
++ Stephen was invited to participate with the Ducal Guard of Brunswick on the 200 year anniversary of the Black Legion. This 200 year anniversary was celebrated by thousands at the event at Brunswick-Wolfenbuettel castle grounds. Medals were awarded to the Guard and participants onsite and to various members enlisted later on in the year. More than 100 men were in full Brunswick Ducal uniform, and half of them with the elite Husar regiment of the Duke's Order of Death's Head.
Thousands who attended were only celebrating for historical reasons, however, many were mourning and petitioning for restoration of the Dukedom. Several Princes, Princesses, Dukes and Barons who attended the event recognized the Guard as the true Ducal guard. These were invited also to be ceremonial guard at weddings and other royal events.
The portion of the Brunswick and Imperial Kingdom that was known as Burgandy is now named in part of the BENELUX Jurisdiction of ++Stephen where he operates as a spiritual overseer for the Orthodox Church of the Culdees, as well as Elector for the Gothian Empire. This was confirmed in the Orthodox Church by three Archbishops at a special chapel nextdoor to the ministry of foreign affairs at Berlin, where the consecration ceremony took place. The map of these territories is expanding as membership and local representatives grow.
As Stephen Michael is heir to the crown of Charlemagne, as was claimed by his great Grandfather Charles II at Geneva, he wishes to share in this Nobillity for others. This he believes is the will of Christ.
On the day of His anointing by the Orthodox Church at Berlin a miraculous event occured. ++Stephen was being anointed and recognized as Prince within the American Orthodox Church. It was the same day the regional highest Roman Catholic Archbishop of the Netherlands was sacked from office by 300 churches who signed a letter to the Pope, demanding He be dethroned and make way for an Orthodox priest. It was the biggest news on TV and radio. The Archbishop of Utrecht was ceremonially and officially dethroned, and Elector Abp. Stephen was installed at the same moment. They announced the older head of the regional church was no longer their leader. However, he is still in possession of some church grounds.
This was a sign from heaven that God wills it (DEUS VULT). For these and many more confirmed reasons we think the BENELUX Grand Commandery is best served by such an active leader from the House of Brunswick (cadet branch). Elector Abp. Stephen is the Grand Commander and co-equal Elector of the many state Electors within the Gothian Empire.
Who are the Gothian Imperial Knights Templars? The (GIKT) Constitution reflects these most vital matters of our order. We are a neo Templar organization, having Apostolic and orthodox traditions paramount. We have a also successors of the original Avegin line Grandmasters in our commanderies. Like the most earliest Templars we believe that Guarding Christian ceremonies, lands, holy sites, and processions (or Christendom in general) is the most vital part of the order. We pre-date the papal endorsements by a few generations. We protect Christianity at home, and later to once again to protect it at Jerusalem. We are Orthodox, meaning we follow the Daily Divine Services that are established in Christendom.