History of the Holy Grail
According to certain traditions St Peter took the Cup
of the Last Supper from the Cenacle of Jerusalem, carried it with him in
his missionary travels to Antioch, and later to Rome.
Ancient historians, such as Siuri, bishop of Sales, are championning this
<<Accipiens et hunc praeclarum Calicem in
sanctas ac venerabiles manus suas...>>
St Peter as eyewitness and the rest of Popes knew that it was the Holy Cup where the Lord had consecrated the wine at the Last Supper. Today when a priest, bishop or pope celebrates Mass with another chalice says the words "taking the cup...", such as it is written in Gospels (Mt 26:27), only with the Santo Caliz they can certainly say "taking this cup...".
The Holy Grail
St Lawrence distributing the papal goods (Chapel Nicolina)
| St Peter's successor was Linus, then
Anacletus, Clementis, Evariste, Alexander, Sistus I, etc.|
In year 258, being pope Sistus II, the Roman emperor Valerianus signed an edict to appropiate the whole Christian possessions. Sistus II gave the papal goods to his deacon, the Spanish St Lawrence, with the goal that were distributed amongst beggars. So he did it, except the Santo Caliz. Before that both Sistus II and St Lawrence were killed, the deacon gave the Grail to a Spanish soldier who transferred it to Huesca (Spain). There was a painting fresco in the St Lawrence's Basilica (Rome) where was recorded the fact of this saint giving the Chalice (a two-handled chalice) to a Spanish soldier, but this painting and others with Grail images were destroyed in the bombardment of Rome by the Allies, July 1943. Mr Waol, chancellor of this Basilica during 30 years, describes this picture with the characteristic two-handled Grail in his book Rampilgerl.
St Juan de la Peņa
| In 553, Vicentius, bishop of Huesca, placed the
Holy Chalice at the new temple in this town, where it was for 158 years.
In 711, Muslims invaded Spain, from the south they began to extend toward
north. The Huesca bishop, Acisclo, his nephews, Orosia and Cornelio, and a
group of christian supporters taking the Grail ran away to Southern
Pyrenees. They hid the Chalice inside the wall of Chapel of S. Pedro de
Siresa, and built a star on the ground with one of the arms pointing its
exact position. |
Later, bishop Acisclo and his nephews were killed by Moor Muza' troops, however the Holy Grail remained safe in 'S. Pedro de Siresa' for a century. Then the Chalice was moved to Cathedral of Jaca, and finally, in 1063, it was transferred to St. Juan de la Peņa Monastery, a incredible building placed inside of a cave in an inaccessible mountainside. Templar knights were guarding this Grail.
|Four centuries later, in 1399, the Santo
Caliz stood still in St Juan de la Peņa (see
map of Holy Grail), then the King of Aragon, Martin 'the Humane', determined to move it
to the chapel of the Royal Palace in
Zaragoza. To silence the claims of Monasterio Bajo monks he made a gold
replica of this Grail for the Monastery, which centuries later was
destroyed by the monastery fire.|
Upon the king's death, in 1410, the Santo Caliz was found in the inventory of his properties in Barcelona. The successor to throne was Fernando de Antequera who died four years later. Then the new successor was Alfonso V 'the Magnanimous', King of Valencia, Aragon, Majorca, Napoles and Sicily. In 1424, Alfonso V brought the Holy Chalice at the Palacio Real in Valencia.
In 1437, Alfonso's brother, Don Juan, King of Navarre placed the Grail at the Valencia Cathedral where today is present. From this Cathedral it was taken out only twice: during the Independence war (1809-1813) it moved to Alicante, Ibiza and Palma of Majorca; and at the National Uprising (1936-1939) it was hidde at private homes in Carlet and Valencia.
| In 1982, H.H. Pope
John Paul II came to Valencia, when he celebrated Mass with the Santo
Caliz, 1724 years later, a Pope was able to celebrate the Mass with the
Pope John Paul II celebrating Mass with the Holy Grail