The Lectorium Rosicrucianum, the largest of the European-based Rosicrucian groups, was founded in the Netherlands in 1924 by former members of the Rosicrucian Fellowship, under the leadership of Jan Van Rijckenborgh and Catharose de Petri (both pen names). The organization grew very slowly and was forced to disband during the German occupation of Holland. It revived after the war, however, and has since spread throughout Europe and into North America, Africa, South America, New Zealand, and Australia.
The order views itself as gnostic (from the Greek word gnosis, or knowledge) and is organized as a gnostic school. Following ancient gnostic learning, the order teaches that wisdom comes from the Word, the divine source of all that exists. Members follow a path of transfiguration, or return to the gnosis, for humankind is presently in a fallen state, from which it needs reawakening. Within each person is a rose of the heart, a spirit-speak atom, which can ascend to the divine. This process is aided by those who have already found knowledge, the Universal Brotherhood. The school transmits the light of the Universal Brotherhood to the members, thus allowing them to break the chain of reincarnation (death and rebirth) and begin the process of return to the divine.
The Lectorium Rosicrucianum is unique in its espousal of the concept of two nature orders. Humans are born into this nature order, the seventh cosmic region, that is, the world of nature. Humans also carry a remnant of their origin in the sixth cosmic region, where they exist as an immortal seed. Their purpose on Earth is to cooperate with the blossoming of the rose of the heart, the Christ principle within, in the process of transfiguration and return.
From their headquarters in Holland, the order has initiated an extensive translation and publishing program in English, German, French, Portuguese, Swedish, and other European languages. A periodical, Pentagram, is published in five languages. The Lectorium Rosicrucianum can be contacted at Bakenessergract 11-15, 2011JS, The Netherlands, or in the United States at the Western North American headquarters, Box 9246, Bakersfield, CA 93389. There are some 11,000 members internationally. Website: http://www.lectoriumrosicrucianum.org
Van Rijckenborgh, Jan. The Coming New Man. Haarlem, The Netherlands: Rozekruis-Pers, 1957.
——. Elementary Philosophy of the Modern Rosecross. Haarlem, The Netherlands: Rozekruis-Pers, 1961.
The Way of the Rosecross in Our Times. Haarlem, The Netherlands: Rozekruis-Pers, 1978.