Catholic Dictionary

Term

CUSTODIA OF THE HOLY LAND

Definition

The principal mission of the Franciscan Order, founded by its first general chapter in 1217 and in 1263 divided into three custodias, namely, Syria, Cyprus, and Tarsus. All the houses were destroyed by the Moslems in 1291 and many religious killed. Re-established in the fourteenth century by Pope Clement VI, the Custodia now serves the faithful resident in the Holy Land, cares for certain holy places entrusted to the Franciscans, and assists the pilgrims who visit Palestine.