Practice mercy (forgiveness).
Be devoted to the teaching and diffusion of the
true principles of Masonry.
"What is truth?" (Pontius Pilate, John 18:38).
The numbers 3 and 9, triple interlaced triangle
(9 pointed star), arrow, tessera or mark, the colors
red, green and white.
The Twenty-sixth Degree
"Prince of Mercy"
~ Summary ~
Practice forgiveness! Be tolerant! Masons are to respect
all beliefs that do not dirty sacredness. Masonry is not a
religion, nor do its members belong to one religious
order, or any one religion. It embraces the truth in every
belief and respects all of them. The truths of Masonry
are contained within the religions of the world. Our task
is to love all mankind; to be faithful to the agreement
between the GAOTU and ourselves - we should trust that we can attain His boundless affection and compassion,
the mercy in the degree's title -- that is, we can attain
The apron is scarlet, with a wide border of white. In
the center is an equilateral triangle formed of green
bars. In the center of this is the jewel, embroidered
in gold. The flap is sky-blue. The colors green, red
and white symbolize the Masonic Trinity. Green is
an emblem of the infinite wisdom; red of the
supreme energy, force or power; and white,
produced by the mingling of all colors, of the
The jewel is an equilateral triangle, of gold bars, with a
flaming heart of gold in the center. On the heart are the
letters 'I', 'H', 'S'; and on the respective sides of the
triangle 'W' on the right, 'F' on the left, and 'H' at the
bottom. This jewel is suspended from a small collar of
watered purple ribbon and hangs on the breast. The last
three letters stand for wisdom, force and harmony;
the first three are traditional Christian initials for Iesus
Hominum Salvator (the letters 'J' and 'I' are
interchangeable in Latin) but which may also be read
as Sapienta, Imperium, Harmonia. Thus, their Masonic
meaning is the same meaning as the three upon the
The cordon is a broad tri-colored ribbon, green, white and red, worn from right to left.
"In the old rituals this degree was also called Scottish Trinitarian. This older version was heavily modified by Pike who reduced the emphasis on the Old Testament and Hermetic philosophy, expecting its recipients to study the Legenda. Although criticized by some for the modifications he made in the old rituals, Pike's changes were welcomed by Albert Mackey as an improvement and resulted in an enticing degree.
The Mysteries studied thus far have not addressed Christianity. History informs us that the early Christians also disseminated their great truths through initiation in stages or degrees. They were forced to hold meetings and initiations in private places surrounded by great secrecy. We know that the labyrinth of catacombs under Rome provided a place for conveying these Christian Mysteries to the worthy. The catacombs are underground passages and galleries, probably resulting from the excavation of rock for building. They were also used for burial tombs.
Three classes of initiates existed: the first, the Auditors were novices who were instructed in the dogma of Christianity; the second, the Catechumens, received baptism; and the third, the Faithful, were taught the profound Mysteries, such as the nativity, passion and resurrection of Christ, in a celebration called the Mass of the Faithful.
The candidate represents a Catechumen who seeks to become one of the Faithful;. he assumes the name Constans; which means 'constant, steady, faithful, resolute.' History also provides us with additional information to better understand this degree. Constans was the name of the Roman emperor from 337 to 350 A.D. and an ardent Christian. Unlike his father Constantine the Great, Constans was a vigorous opponent of Arianism, a sect of Christianity which questioned the divinity of Christ. Constans supported the Nicene Creed developed in 325 A.D. which recognized as official doctrine the belief that Christ was the Son of God and fully divine. It also propounded the concept of the Trinity in Christianity. This historical parallel is not intended to suggest those not of the Christian faith should exclude themselves from the degree, for its purpose is to teach the universality of many of the doctrines and beliefs of Christianity. The Christian can only have his faith strengthened by knowledge of the ancient wisdom contained in Christianity. The non-Christian should desire knowledge of other faiths and what they teach; from such knowledge comes toleration and understanding." (Hutchens, pp. 228-229)
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Ill. Jack M. Newport, 33°, Webmaster@aasrvalleyofjax.org
Ill. David A. Yarborough, 33°, General Secretary
Jacksonville Scottish Rite Masonic Center
965 Hubbard Street
Jacksonville, Florida 32206
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This Website was last updated on November 24, 2012