The history surrounding the Holy Grail has captured the imaginations of the writers and film makers. The character is typically in search of the Holy Grail which is said to have been lost.
Even mainstream media report the Holy Grail has never been found – “if it even exists”.
Yet here we have the Catholic Church telling us that the Chalice sitting behind a Perspex display in Valencia is the missing Holy Grail. According to the audio commentary, the Chalice has been in Valencia since the 3rd Century.
Unsurprisingly, the claim to the Holy Grail is met with some scepticism, not in the least because the Chalice appears to be medieval.
Whilst it is true that the majority of the vessel on display was made in the Middle-Ages, Professor Antonio Beltran discovered the dark brown agate cup on the upper part of the vessel was much older.
Furthermore he produced evidence to support the Chalice could be the cup Christ used before his Passion. But is this really the Holy Grail that we are lead to believe is missing!
What is the Holy Grail?
Nobody really knows what the Holy Grail actually is. It has been pitched as a cup, plate, stone or dish. A document from the 11th Century refers to it as a cup made of stone.
The biblical legends say the Holy Chalice is the vessel Jesus drank from at the Last Supper. St. Joseph of Arimathea then used the same cup to collect the blood of Christ as it dripped from his body whilst nailed to the cross.
Joseph was imprisoned and left to starve, but sustained himself for several years by feeding on the blood he had collected in the Cup. We are to presume the blood stayed fresh and a miracle occurred.
Curiously, in Arthurian Legend, although the Holy Grail is depicted as a physical Cup – that is missing – the symbolic expression is that the search for the Holy Grail can only be found by the purest knight.
The vessel was depicted as the Cauldron of Ceridwen, the Goddess of inspiration who used the cauldron to create a potion for her son. The concoction would give him all the knowledge and wisdom in the world.
In older Celtic mythology, the Holy Grail appears as the drinking of the god, Bran. Anybody who drank from the vessel was said to be provided with all the nourishment they needed.
The Holy Grail of wisdom
The mythology of ancient Britain in which the legend of the Holy Chalice features predominantly suggest the grail is a mystical union with the divine – or in other words, the discovery of the true self.
All the Holy Grail stories have some connection with adventure and survival, just the story of man’s search to find the true self. To find the true self is to be blessed with all the wisdom and knowledge you need.
We also find the same analogy used in the 1 Kings 3 of the Bible in which King Solomon has a dream in which he is in the presence of the Lord. He is granted one wish and asks for a “wise and discerning heart” so that he can understand his subjects.
The Lord is so pleased with King Solomon’s answer that he is granted wealth and honour so that no other king or man could rival him.
Could the Holy Grail therefore really be referencing the search for knowledge and wisdom that will guide initiates towards enlightenment? If that is the case, then Valencia Cathedral is home to the Holy Grail – along with every other church, temple, house and human being on the planet.