The Knights Templar was the foremost Military Order of the Crusades. In about 1118 these warrior-monks were appointed custodians of Temple Mount, and defenders of Christian pilgrims in the Holy Land. Endorsed by the Catholic Church in 1129, the Order became a favoured cause across Europe. Templar knights, distinguished by their white mantles with red crosses, constituted some of the most disciplined and efficient fighting units in successive crusades. The expanding Order acquired extensive estates in the West, and served as financers and advisors to the great and good. In the East the Templars garrisoned cities and castles, helping to sustain the Frankish presence in the Orient for almost two centuries. Support for the Order faded after the final loss of the Holy Land. King Philip IV of France, seizing on the Templar's habitual secrecy, plotted their destruction and confiscation of their assets. Bending the Papacy to his will, he secured the arrest and trial of Templars throughout Christendom.