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Baldwin II De Jerusalem King
King of Jerusalem during the times of the Crusades.
Baldwin’s palace was an old mosque known today as Al-Aqsa. When it was taken over during the first crusade it had been converted over to a palace and stables rather than destroying the false house of worship. After the Templars were given the blessing of King Baldwin II he funded them, and gave them part of the mosque to dwell in. The Templars believed that the mosque was in fact the Temple of Solomon, and they gave themselves the name Knights Templar (Knights of the Temple) based on this false belief.
King Baldwin II wrote a letter to Bernard the Abbot of Clairvaux asking for help to influence then Pope Honarius to grant the Knights Templar official status in the eyes of the Holy See. Bernard held favorable views of the Templars, and was even the nephew of one of the Templars that came to meet with the Pope. Hugh de Payens led five other Templars to Rome, and were welcomed by the Pope. In January of 1128 the Pope met with the them at the Council of Troyes in Champagne, along with other Abbots, Bishops, Archbishops and Cardinals. Bernard was unable to attend the meeting, but wrote a letter of recommendation on the Templar’s behalf which aided the Pope in his decision (the Pope being a former underling of Bernard). The Order received the Pope’s blessing and given the plain white mantle as their official clothing.