This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in Spanish. (December 2009) Click [show] for important translation instructions.
View a machine-translated version of the Spanish article.
Machine translation like Deepl or Google Translate is a useful starting point for translations, but translators must revise errors as necessary and confirm that the translation is accurate, rather than simply copy-pasting machine-translated text into the English Wikipedia.
Do not translate text that appears unreliable or low-quality. If possible, verify the text with references provided in the foreign-language article.
You must provide copyright attribution in the edit summary accompanying your translation by providing an interlanguage link to the source of your translation. A model attribution edit summary (using German): Content in this edit is translated from the existing German Wikipedia article at [[:de:Exact name of German article]]; see its history for attribution.
You should also add the template to the talk page.
The Order of Santiago (Spanish: Orden de Santiago), also known as "The Order of St. James of the Sword," was founded in the 12th century, and owes its name to the Patron Saint of Spain, Santiago (St. James the Greater). Its initial objective was to protect the pilgrim of St. James' Way, to defend Christendom and to remove the Muslim Moors from the Iberian Peninsula.
After the death of the Grand Master Alfonso de Cárdenas in 1493, the Catholic Monarchs incorporated the Order into the Spanish Crown. Pope Adrian VI forever united the office of grandmaster of Santiago to the crown in 1523.
The First Republic suppressed the Order in 1873 and, although it was re-established in the Restoration, it was reduced to a nobiliary institute of honorable character. It was ruled by a Superior Council dependent on the Ministry of War, which was also extinguished after the proclamation of the Second Republic in 1931.
The Order of Santiago, together with those of Calatrava, Alcántara, and Montesa, was restored as a civil association with the kingship of Juan Carlos I with the character of a nobiliary, honorable, and religious organization that remains as such.
The Order's insignia is a red cross resembling a sword, with the shape of a fleur-de-lis on the hilt and the arms. The knights wore the cross stamped on the royal standard and white cape. The cross of the royal standard had a Mediterranean scallop in the center and another one at the end of each arm.
The three fleurs-de-lis represent the "honor without stain", which is in reference to the moral features of the Apostle's character.
The sword represents the chivalrous character of the apostle St. James and his martyr ways, since he was decapitated with a sword. It can also symbolize taking the sword in the name of Christ, in a certain sense.
It is said that its shape originated in the era of the Crusades, when the knights took with them small crosses with sharpened bottoms to stick them in the ground and carry out their daily devotions.