In true secret society form, there isn’t a whole lot out there on the Knights of the Apocalypse – but what we do know is thoroughly compelling. The arcane group was established in Italy in 1693 by Augustine Gabrino, the son of a merchant. The purpose of the society was supposedly to protect the Catholic Church against the Antichrist, and it would seem that Gabrino took his duty rather seriously.
In the same year the secret society was founded, Gabrino was at the heart of two strange outbursts in the church. In the first, he rushed into the church of St. Peter’s in Rome, charging up to the altar and into the cloisters, brandishing a sword. He was said to have done the same thing in a church in San Salvatore, but after the second bizarre outburst, he was committed to an insane asylum.
Prior to his removal from mainstream society, Gabrino had labeled himself the Monarch of the Holy Trinity, and, strangely, had hoped to introduce the idea of polygamy to the church. He laid some optimistic ground rules for his members, citing that they were only allowed to marry virgins.
It’s said that the Knights of the Apocalypse continued without its founder, and its members – who were mostly tradesmen – could be identified by their badge. They wore a star with seven rays and a tail (representing St. John) and were instructed to always be armed with a sword.
The esoteric collective finally fell when one of its members, a woodcutter, turned another over to the Inquisition. Eighty knights were arrested and charged with trying to lead a rebellion against the papacy. Despite its aim of protecting the Catholic Church, it would seem that the Knights of the Apocalypse, and indeed its detained members, didn’t survive much longer.