The Knights Templar was founded by Bernard de Clairvaux and Hugues de Payens in 1119 as a Catholic Military Order deigned to protect Christian pilgrims on their travels throughout the Holy Lands
They were not initially classed as an official organization, but that came later in the year 1139 when they were granted official status by the Roman Catholic Church in the form of a Papal Bull an official declaration by the Pope of the time.
Bernard de Clairvaux and founder Hugues de Payens were keen to establish a set of rules for the organization they had created and this became known as the ‘Latin Rule’.
The Latin Rule was quite simply a set of rules or code of conduct on how Templar knights should conduct themselves in every aspect of their lives, it initially had 72 rules but this was expanded to several hundred as time progressed.
The Templars were a very committed and disciplined bunch and following these rules should have been fairly easy for them given that they were so committed to the cause, and that they considered it an honor to die in battle!
A strange Templar custom but not a rigid rule had it that Templar Knights should grow a long bushy beard!