Freemasonry is one of the largest and oldest non-religious, non-political, fraternal and philanthropic organizations in the world.
WHAT IS FREEMASONRY?
Freemasonry is one of the largest and oldest non-religious, non-political, fraternal and philanthropic organizations in the world. It is based on the biblical allegory of the building of Solomon’s temple as an image of humanity itself to which a Freemason and builder contributes as a living stone to human society. It is, moreover, a universal society whose members cultivate the principles of liberty, democracy, equality, fraternity, and intellectual, moral, and spiritual improvement.
WHAT IS A FREEMASON ?
He is a man born free and of good manners, equally friendly to rich and poor, as long as they are good people. The individual’s worth must be judged on the basis of moral qualities. Esteem should be measured according to the constancy and energy a man employs in the practice of good.
WHAT ARE THE BASIC CHARACTERISTICS OF FREEMASONRY?
There are six basic and fundamental characteristics: Masonry is an initiatory order (because only those who undergo an initiation ceremony can enter), ritualistic (because it is based on rites and symbolism), universal and fraternal (the ultimate goal is to establish a universal brotherhood), philosophical (because it seeks to answer the deep questions of the human being), and progressive (because it aims at the progress of mankind). All these principles are based on free thought and tolerance, allowing the improvement of mankind, the building of a fair and egalitarian society, and the progress of humanity through moral and spiritual elevation.
IS FREEMASONRY A SECRET SOCIETY?
Definitely not. The meeting places are public and generally visitable. Still, they admit that this is an intimate order. The rites and meetings are not open to the public and only members are privy to certain practices and knowledge.
DO FREEMASONS BELIEVE IN GOD?
They believe in a great architect of the world – whose representation can be whatever the Mason sees fit. Para os maçons católicos, será Deus. For a Muslim Mason, it could be Allah. Other Masons do not believe in a revealed entity. The designation used to encompass all the different forms of belief is the Great Architect Of The Universe.
WHAT ARE THE DUTIES OF A FREEMASON?
Avoid vice and practice virtue. He must put justice and truth above all else.
We love freedom because it is the cornerstone of our existence and the antithesis of all tyranny. We understand that a man is only really free when he follows the voice of his conscience and his heart, practicing the good and courageously defeating selfishness, ignorance, and prejudice.
We defend equality as a fundamental value so that all men recognize each other as brothers. We believe that only full harmony between rights and duties, with full respect for the human person, allows the construction of a more just and equitable society.
We cultivate true brotherhood, built on foundations of peace, wisdom, and friendship. By honoring work, virtue, and practicing effective solidarity, we walk among brothers in the construction of our inner temple and in the incessant search for moral and spiritual improvement.
The 12 Regular Masonic Landmarks
All Freemasons are obliged to respect and to faithfully observe the following twelve Masonic rules of Universal Regularity:
- Freemasonry is an initiatory fraternity whose traditional foundation is faith in God, the Great Architect of the Universe.
- Freemasonry refers to the Ancient Duties and the Landmarks of the Fraternity, in the view of absolute respect for the specific traditions of the Masonic Order, essential to the regularity of the jurisdiction.
- Freemasonry is an Order, to which only free men of good manners can belong, who commit themselves to put into practice an ideal of peace.
- Freemasonry also aims at the moral elevation of the entire Humanity, through the moral improvement of its members.
- Freemasonry imposes, to its members, the exact and scrupulous practice of rites and symbolism, means of access to knowledge through spiritual and initiatic ways.
- Freemasonry imposes on all its members respect for the opinions and beliefs of each one. It forbids them in its bosom all discussion or controversy, political or religious. It is a permanent center of fraternal union, where tolerant and fruitful harmony reigns among men, who without it would be strangers to each other.
- The Freemasons take their oaths on the Volume of the Sacred Law, in order to give them a solemn and sacred character, indispensable to their perenniality.
- The Freemasons meet, outside the profane world, in Lodges where the three great lights of the Order are always exposed: the Volume of the Sacred Law, a Square and a Compass, to work there according to the ritual of the rite, with zeal and assiduity and according to the principles and rules prescribed by the Constitution and the general regulations of the Obedience.
- Masons should only admit into their Lodges men of honor, of legal age, of good reputation, loyal and discreet, worthy of being good brothers, and apt to recognize the limits of man’s dominion, and the infinite power of the Eternal.
- The Freemasons cultivate in their Lodges the love of the Homeland, the submission to the laws and the respect for the constituted Authority. They consider work as the primordial duty of the human being and honor it under all forms.
- The Freemasons contribute, by the active example of their manly, dignified and sane behavior, to the irradiation of the Order, in the respect of the Masonic secret.
- Freemasons owe each other, fraternal help and protection, even at the end of their life. They practice the art of preserving in all circumstances the calm and equilibrium indispensable to perfect self-control.