The Knights Templar and the Hospitalers (another Order of knights) were the only groups remaining to confront the Saracens. The Templars decided to reorganize and regain their strength: "De Molay tried sincerely to re-establish the Christians on the Palestinian mainland. In 1294 and 1295 he visited Italy, France and England in a desperate attempt to gather new supplies and men for the east" (Barber, 1978, p. 13). After failing to establish a permanent base in the Holy Land from which to launch attacks against the Saracens, the Templars traveled to the island of Cyprus, waiting for the general public to rise up in support of another Crusade.
Concomitantly, King Philip IV of France (Philip the Fair) was laying the foundations of his plan to suppress the Templars. Philip was motivated by several factors. As the most powerful monarch of his time, Philip believed that it was his privilege, not the Knights Templar, to determine the direction of the next Crusade. But Philip lacked the necessary men, and especially the necessary funding for such a venture. The prevailing thinking of the day was to either consolidate the Orders of Knights Templar and the Hospitalers or to create a third Order to supplant them. Philip wanted to be the leader of that third Order, particularly since he had once applied to the Templars as a postulate and been rejected (Baijent, Leigh, and Lincoln, 1982, p. 49).