1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Apocalypse, Knights of the

APOCALYPSE, KNIGHTS OF THE, a secret society founded in Italy in 1693 to defend the church against the expected Antichrist. Agostino Gabrino, the son of a merchant of Brescia, was its founder. On Palm Sunday 1693, when the choir of St Peter’s was chanting Quis est iste Rex Gloriae? Gabrino, sword in hand, rushed to the altar crying Ego sum Rex Gloriae. Though Gabrino was treated as a madman, the society flourished, until a member denounced it to the Inquisition, who arrested the knights. Though chiefly mechanics they always carried swords even when at work, and wore on their breasts a star with seven rays. Gabrino styled himself monarch of the Holy Trinity. He was credited by his enemies with a desire to introduce polygamy.