Founder of the Rosicrucians
(1378 - 1484+)
The legends says that the Master who came to be known as Christian Rosenkreutz was born in 1378. His name is given as the originator of the Brethren of the Rosy Cross (later shortened to "Rosicrucian.) It is not known what his birth name was, but he took up the title Christian Rosenkreutz (CRC).
He was to a once noble but poor German family who placed him in the charge of a monastery as a child where he learned Greek and Latin and other teachings basic to an understanding of philosphy and metaphysics.
Accompanied by a colleague, he undertook a risky pilgrimage to the Holy Land; the colleague either died or parted company with him at Cyprus, at which point he continued on alone, stopping in Damascus, at that time noted for its libraries. He possibly visited the old Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
Someplace in the Holy Land, perhaps under the Temple Mount itself, he discovered or was led to a Temple of a secret esoteric order called "Damkar," meaning the "Blood of the Lamb."
Here the story says that he was Initiated and took his title, Christian Rosenkreutz though it is equally possible that CRC was in fact the founder of this order, a precursor of this CRC. He learned Hebrew and Arabic and translated at least one secret book -- perhaps Gnostic or Essene in origin -- into Latin which he took back to Europe with him later. After three years of retreat, fasting, and meditation in the wildernesses of Palestine and Sinai, he journeyed to Egypt, where there was also a group of the brotherhood meeting in secret, studying the spiritual significances of the Pyramids and Sphinx.
He returned to his home country and spent five years there, and after working with inadequate devotees was able to transmit his knowledge to three disciples. The four formed a secret school/order and, aided by him, studied the materials he had brought. In time they acquired a permanent building to serve as a temple for instruction, initiation and worship. It was known as the Collegium ad Spiritum Sanctum (the College of the Holy Spirit).
They worked as itinerant healers and exorcists (i.e. spiritual counsellors), and continued to bring other worthy and prepared individuals into their brotherhood as they found them -- but never in any significant numbers; indeed barely a handful were officially initiated into the order, which was not known as "Rosicrucians" until after CRC's death decades later.
With a foundation of CRC and twelve specially chosen disciples, a basic constitution or mission statement was established, viz.:
"1.That none of them should profess any other thing, than but to cure the sick, including the spiritually sick, and that freely." (Here, "freely" not only means without charging a fee but also without setting limits as to who would be helped, where or when.)
"2.That they should not be constrained to wear any distinctive dress, but there in follow the custom of the country in which they happened to be abiding." (While this was intended to avoid being labelled heretics or sectarians, in later years it opened them to the charge of subterfuge. Of course, they still wore robes during their own private rituals.)
"3.That every year on the day of Corpus Christi, they should meet at the Collegium ad Spiritum Sanctum, or write the cause of absence." (At some point, this meeting would have been accomplished on the Astral Plane. Also, it is clear today that the more advanced of the brethren were not limited by lack of a physical body, and still congregate to this day. These are the Ascended Masters. One must be devoted and linked to the Lineage of the R.C. or G.D. in order, generally, to benefit from association with these Masters. It is of some significance that the annual day of their meeting was the church feast of the Body of Christ -- or of CRC? -- and there is no indication that this meeting would cease upon any of the disciples' deaths.)
"4.Every one should look for some worthy person of either sex, who after his decease might succeed him." (This set up the practice of student/mentor relationships, similar to the disciple/guru tradition of India. While Brethren of course taught many students throughout their lives, this point refers to developing at least one student advanced enough to take over for the Brother.)
"5.The word R.C. to be their mark, seal, and character." (Inner meaning of the Rose and Cross reserved for those worthy and capable of receiving it.)
The disciples went their ways as itinerant healers and wisdom-teachers to the various countries of Europe. At some point the knowledge of CRC's life, "death," and current whereabouts become lost to later members as the years went on and the original founders died. It is possible that he re-appeared in the future as St. Germain, and later guided Madame Blavatsky and others.
CRC's tomb was discovered years later while a successor of the original brethren was excavating a part of the first College of the Holy Spirit. But that, as they say, is another story.