a military order of Spain, named from' the town of Calatrava, in New Castile. It had its origin in the following circumstances: When Alphonso, the father of Sanchez III, had taken the town of Calatrava, in 1147, from the Moors, he gave it to the Templars to defend; but when it was spread abroad in 1158 that the Arabs were about to attempt the recapture of the place, the Templars resigned it again to Sanchez, who thereupon presented it to Raymond, abbot of the Cistercian monastery of St. Mary. the Arabs, after all, did not attempt the place; but many of the warriors who had been drawn together for its defense (as well as many of the lay brethren of the convent) entered the Cistercian order, but under a habit more fit for military exercises than for those of monks, and designated as the order of Calatrava. It was approved by Pope Alexander III in 1164, and confirmed by Gregory VIII 1187. The knights at first I wore a white scapulary and hood, but in 1397 the Anti-pope Benedict XIII permitted them a secular dress, distinguished by a red cross flenr-delis'e. In 1486, Ferdinand and Isabella obtained a bull from Pope Innocentius VIII, which reserved the nomination of the grand master to the pope. Adrian VI, however, annexed the grand mastership of this order to the crown of Spain. The knights made a vow of obedience. poverty, and conjugal chastity (for they were permitted to marry once), and were bound to maintain the immacilate conception of the Blessed, Virgin. As a monastic order the institution has ceased to exist, but I there are now said to be nearly eighty commanderies and priories in Spain, generally given as rewards of merit to political favorites. Since 1219 the order had also nuns, who had to prove, before being admitted, their descent from noble houses. They wore the dress of the Cistercian nuns, and their principal monastery was at Almagro. They are now likewise secularized. Helyot, Ordres Relig. vol. i; Landon, Eccl. Diet. s.v.