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Catholic Dictionary




In its full sense the ensemble of ideals, customs, discipline, and sentiments that guided men in the Middle Ages in time of war and peace. This goes further than the traditions of medieval knighthood, although it includes the latter, and extends to all the Christian virtues that characterized a truly Christian gentleman in the ages of faith. He was to be a soldier, using his sword if necessary to uphold the cause of Christ against the Lord's enemies; he was loyal to the Church's teaching, chaste, and courageous; he was courteous and respectful to women, generous and merciful. (Etym. French cheval, horse; from Latin caballus, horse.)