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Lodge of Saint John

The Masonic tradition is that the primitive or Mother Lodge was held at Jerusalem, and dedicated to Saint John, first the Baptist, then the Evangelist, and finally to both. Hence this Lodge was called "The Lodge of the Holy Saint John of Jerusalem." From this Lodge all other Lodges re supposed figuratively to descend, and they therefore receive the same general name, accompanied by another local and distinctive one. In all Masonic documents the words ran formerly as follows:

"From the Lodge of the holy Saint John of Jerusalem, under the distinctive appellation of Solomon's Lodge, No. 1," or whatever might be the local name. In this style foreign documents still run; and it is but a few years since it has been at all disused in the United States of America Hence we say that every Freemason hails from such a Lodge, that is to say, from a just and legally constituted Lodge. In the earliest catechisms of the eighteenth century we find this formula: "Q. What Lodge are you of? A. The Lodge of Saint John. " And another question is, "How many angles in Saint John's Lodge?" In one of the advanced Degrees it is stated that Lodges receive this title "because, in the time of the Crusades, the Perfect Masons communicated a knowledge of their Mysteries to the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem," and as both were thus under the same law, the Lodges were called Saint John's Lodges. But this was only one of the attempts to connect Freemasonry with the Templar system.

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