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The Cistercians in Yorkshire title graphic

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Carta Caritatis (the Charter of Charity)

This was a pioneering document that established the constitutional framework of the Order; it outlined the federal arrangement of the abbeys which were joined in bonds of unity and subject to annual visitation. Every abbey was to have a copy of this document. The Carta Caritatis was frequently updated; the earliest version, compiled c. 1114, is no longer extant. It was approved by Pope Calixtus II in 1119