« Calasanze, José. Calatrava, Order of Caldecott, Alfred »

Calatrava, Order of

CALATRAVA, ORDER OF: A knightly order, founded about the middle of the twelfth century, to defend the frontiers of Christian Spain against the Moors. The fortress of Calatrava (on the Guadiana, 65 m. s.e. of Toledo), on the borders of Andalusia, commanded the passes into Castile and was hotly contested. After being bravely held for several years by a company of monks and knights under the lead of a Cistercian monk and former soldier, Velasquez, and the abbot Raymond of Fitero, it was presented to the band by Sancho III., king of Castile, in 1158. The general chapter of the Cistercians gave the order a rule under the oversight of the monastery of Morimund, and prescribed as dress a white scapulary (or white cloak) with a garland of red lilies. The rule was confirmed by Pope Alexander III. in 1164. The knights of the order captured Cordova in 1177 and performed other noteworthy deeds of arms. After 1195 a long period of decline began. Calatrava was lost and the seat of the order was transferred to Salvatierra (Mons Salutis) in the Sierra Morena. In 1212 Calatrava was again occupied, but was abandoned for New Calatrava, eight miles farther south, in 1218, the Order of Alcantara undertaking the defense of Calatrava. Toward the end of the Middle Ages the grand master possessed such wealth and power that he became an object of suspicion to the crown. At the instigation of Ferdinand and Isabella, Pope Innocent VIII, in 1486 deprived the order of the right of choosing its master, and after 1523 the office was united with the crown. Since 1808 the order has been merely one of merit. Nuns of Calatrava were instituted by the grand master Gonzalez Yanes in 1219 at the time of the removal to New Calatrava. They had their convent at Barrios near Amaya, later at Burgos, but never attained to importance.

(O. Zöckler†.)

Bibliography: Helyot, Ordres monastiques, vi: 34–53, 66 sqq.; W. H. Prescott, History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella, i. 308–309, Philadelphia, 1873; P. B. Gams, Kirchengeschichte Spaniens, iii. 54, Regensburg, 1879; Heimbucher, Orden und Kongregationen, i. 226–227; Currier, Religious Orders, p. 216.

« Calasanze, José. Calatrava, Order of Caldecott, Alfred »
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