Province of Arago-Valentina Ex
The origin of the Order in Spain remains shrouded in mist, though the researches of such scholars as Frs. Otger Steggink, Pablo Garrido and Balbino Velasco Bayon, have done much to clarify the problem.
According to a 16th century English Carmelite, the General Chapter of London in 1254 decreed the founding of houses of the Order in Spain. In fact a number of houses are known to have been in existence not long after that date. The impetus for this movement came from the Southern French Provinces of Province and Aquitaine, part of which lay under the crown of Aragon.
A Province of Spain is listed in the General Chapter of 1281. In 1354 Catalonia was separated from the Province of Spain, and in 1416 the latter was divided into Aragon and Castile. The Carmelite Order in Spain received its definitive form in 1498 when Andalusia was separated from Castile. Aragon took precedence over the others as the most ancient. In the 18th century it reached its maximum development with 24 convents and 745 members.
After the suppression of 1835 the Aragonese convents of Onda and Caudete with Jerez de la Frontera in Andalusia revived the Province of Spain in 1890. By 1906 Aragon, under the title Arago-Valentine, was again a Province with 50 members. The Province suffered a set-back in the Civil War (1936-1939), when 28 of its members were killed, but it has since grown and expanded across the seas to Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.