GRADALE

 

WHERE IS THE HOLY GRAIL HIDDEN ?

THE MYSTERY REVEALED

 Last Modified Date : 13.03.2009

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THE HOLY GRAIL

 

According to Christian mythology, The Holy Grail was the dish, plate, or cup used by Jesus at the Last Supper, said to possess miraculous powers. The connection of Joseph of Arimathea with the The Holy Grail legend dates from Robert de Boron's Joseph d'Arimathie (late 12th century) in which Joseph receives The Holy Grail from an apparition of Jesus and sends it with his followers to Great Britain; building upon this theme, later writers recounted how Joseph used The Holy Grail to catch Christ's blood while interring him and that in Britain he founded a line of guardians to keep it safe. The quest for the Holy Grail makes up an important segment of the Arthurian cycle, appearing first in works by Chrétien de Troyes. The legend may combine Christian lore with a Celtic myth of a cauldron endowed with special powers.

The development of The Holy Grail legend has been traced in detail by cultural historians: It is a legend which first came together in the form of written romances, deriving perhaps from some pre-Christian folklore hints, in the later 12th and early 13th centuries. The early Grail romances centered on Percival and were woven into the more general Arthurian fabric.

The word graal, as it is earliest spelled, appears to be an Old French adaptation of the Latin gradalis (gradalus or gradale), meaning a dish brought to the table in different stages of a meal. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, after the cycle of Grail romances was well established, late medieval writers came up with a false etymology for sangréal, an alternative name for "Holy Grail". In Old French, san graal or san gréal means "Holy Grail" and sang réal means "royal blood"; later writers played on this pun. Since then, "Sangreal" is sometimes employed to lend a medievalizing air in referring to the Holy Grail.

 

 

 

Ideas of The Holy Grail

The Holy Grail was considered a bowl or dish when first described by Chrétien de Troyes. Other authors had their own ideas; Robert de Boron portrayed it as the vessel of the Last Supper, and Peredur had no Grail per se, presenting the hero instead with a platter containing his kinsman's bloody, severed head. In Parzival, Wolfram von Eschenbach, citing the authority of a certain (probably fictional) Kyot the Provençal, claimed The Holy Grail was a stone that fell from Heaven, and had been the sanctuary of the Neutral Angels who took neither side during Lucifer's rebellion. The authors of the Vulgate Cycle used The Holy Grail as a symbol of divine grace. Galahad, illegitimate son of Lancelot and Elaine, the world's greatest knight and The Holy Grail Bearer at the castle of Corbenic, is destined to achieve The Holy Grail, his spiritual purity making him a greater warrior than even his illustrious father. Galahad and the interpretation of The Holy Grail involving him were picked up in the 15th century by Sir Thomas Malory in Le Morte d'Arthur, and remain popular today.
 

Galahad, Bors, and Percival achieve The Holy Grail


Various notions of the Holy Grail are currently widespread in Western society (especially British, French and American), popularized through numerous medieval and modern works (see below) and linked with the predominantly Anglo-French (but also with some German influence) cycle of stories about King Arthur and his knights. Because of this wide distribution, Americans and West Europeans sometimes assume that The Holy Grail idea is universally well known. The stories of The Holy Grail, however, are totally absent from the folklore of those countries that were and are Eastern Orthodox (whether Arabs, Slavs, Romanians, or Greeks). This is true of all Arthurian myths, which were not well known east of Germany until the present-day Hollywood retellings. Nor has The Holy Grail been as popular a subject in some predominantly Catholic areas, such as Spain and Latin America, as it has been elsewhere. The notions of The Holy Grail, its importance, and prominence, are a set of ideas that are essentially local and particular, being linked with Catholic or formerly Catholic locales, Celtic mythology and Anglo-French medieval storytelling. The contemporary wide distribution of these ideas is due to the huge influence of the pop culture of countries where The Holy Grail Myth was prominent in the Middle Ages.

The Later Legend

Belief in The Holy Grail and interest in its potential whereabouts has never ceased. Ownership has been attributed to various groups (including the Knights Templar, probably because they were at the peak of their influence around the time that Grail stories started circulating in the 12th and 13th centuries).
 


The Holy Grail - The Saint Mary of Valencia CathedralThere are cups claimed to be The Holy Grail in several churches, for instance the Saint Mary of Valencia Cathedral, (“For a great selection of places to stay with discount prices visit Valencia Hotels for more information.”) which contains an artifact, the Holy Chalice, supposedly taken by Saint Peter to Rome in the first century, and then to Huesca in Spain by Saint Lawrence in the 3rd century. Archaeologists say the artifact is a 1st century Middle Eastern stone vessel, possibly from Antioch, Syria (now Turkey); its history can be traced to the 11th century, and it presently rests atop an ornate stem and base, made in the Medieval era of alabaster, gold, and gemstones. It was the official papal chalice for many popes, and has been used by many others, most recently by Pope Benedict XVI, on July 9, 2006. The emerald chalice at Genoa, which was obtained during the Crusades at Caesarea Maritima at great cost, has been less championed as the Holy Grail since an accident on the road, while it was being returned from Paris after the fall of Napoleon, revealed that the emerald was green glass.

In Wolfram von Eschenbach's telling, The Holy Grail was kept safe at the castle of Munsalvaesche (mons salvationis), entrusted to Titurel, the first Grail King. Some, not least the monks of Montserrat, have identified the castle with the real sanctuary of Montserrat in Catalonia, Spain. Other stories claim that The Holy Grail is buried beneath Rosslyn Chapel or lies deep in the spring at Glastonbury Tor. Still other stories claim that a secret line of hereditary protectors keep The Holy Grail, or that it was hidden by the Templars in Oak Island, Nova Scotia's famous "Money Pit", while local folklore in Accokeek, Maryland says that it was brought to the town by a closeted priest aboard Captain John Smith's ship.
 

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Holy Grail". 

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