Key to the Sacred Pattern

27 January 2008

Here a Grail, There a Grail: Grail Cups Part 2

Continuing on with the series, Here a Grail There a Grail, we look at five more vessels that are thought by some to be the Holy Grail. Next time, we’ll examine the following vessels: Agrati's Grail, Bruges Grail, Lucca Grail, and the Sacro Catino.

The Chalice bears the name for the Benedictine leader of Saint Denis; Abbot Suger (1122 -1151). The Saint Denis area of Paris has been associated with the burial of French royalty since the time of Dagobert I. A majority of French royalty, including Dagobert I, are buried in the present basilica.

The basilica was the mastermind of Suger himself. He felt in building the basilica that the “use of rare materials gives glory to God”. This was in opposition of Bernard of Clairveau who felt hat churches should has beautiful art work, but the use of gold and precious stones was unnecessary.

The Chalice in the above link is actually one of four Chalices that have survived to present day that Abbot Suger brought to Saint Denis. The other three are now in the Lourve. While Abbot Suger’s Chalice follows the same pattern of an ancient agate bowl in a medieval setting, it is doubtful it is the Grail. There really is no historical pedigree to back up any claims to the contrary.

This Chalice’s home is the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC.

  • Marian Chalice (or the Hawkstone Park Cup)

The tradition of this Cup follows that Mary Magdalene used this Cup to catch a small amount of Jesus’ blood while he hung on the cross. The story goes on to say that Empress Helena found this Cup while excavating Jesus’ tomb in the 4th Century. The Cup was then taken to Rome, but later removed to Britain later in the 4th Century to avoid being pillaged by the Visigoths. This legend was written about by the 5th Century Greek historian Olympiodorus.

In the late 1990’s comes Graham Phillips into the story. He began to track down other Marian Chalice related sources in the UK and came up with a Shropshire family who were descended from the kings of Powys. Phillips evidence was based on a 12th Century manuscript, a 16th Century poem, and a secret code from the 1850’s. Phillips literally tracked down a descendant of the line he was looking for, Victoria Palmer. Ms. Palmer had the Cup tucked away in a corner of her flat, never knowing of its potential significance.

Phillips tells the tale of his Grail quest in his book, The Chalice of Magdalene

This small olive wood bowl has as long a history as any of the other afore mentioned Grail contenders. Legend says this bowl was brought to Glastonbury by Joseph of Arimathea sometime after the death of Jesus. There the Cup was protected by the members of the Church Joseph set up and passed along to congregation there until 1520’s.

Taken from Glastonbury Abby of fear of being looted by Anglicans, the cup ended up in the care of Lord Powell of Nanteos. The Powell family believed that this was the actual Holy Grail and took their stewardship very seriously. After being in their care, the Cup is said to have healed the sick from those who drank water from it. Richard Wagner is reported to have made a trip to Nanteos in 1855 to see the cup while writing Parsifal.

When the last of the Powell family passed away in 1952, the Nanteos House was sold to a Major Mirylees. The Mirylees were somewhat private about the cup. They no longer publicizing the fact they were the owners of the “Holy Grail”. The family did allow a few interviews regarding the cup. One was a 1997 BBC Television documentary and another was an interview granted to the Martinist Review in 1959.

Today, the Mirylees family has placed the Cup in an undisclosed location and has not publicly shown the Cup for a number of years. For more about he Nanteos Cup, I did an article in June of 2006 on the Cup’s history.

  • Patene de Serpentine (or Oxbrow’s Grail)

Earlier this month, the Evening Times announced that historian Mark Oxbrow had, “cracked the mystery of the Holy Grail” Oxbrow theorizes that the Grail is housed in the Louvre Museum in Paris and has been on display there for some time. He believes that the Grail is the Patene de Serpentine, a First Century dish that was used in the coronation of French royalty in the 12th Century. Oxbrow’s book on the subject will hit the shelves in the USA sometime this year.

On 17 August 1995, a press conference was held at the Italian home of Count Rocco Zingaro di San Ferdinando. Zingaro, the Great Precettore of the Order of the Knights Templar in Italy, made the announcement that he was in possession of the Holy Grail. This was in direct response to Graham Phillips announcing that he had found the Marian Chalice earlier that week. According to Zingaro, the Grail was given to him as a wedding present 20 years previous by Antonio Ambrosini. The Grail came into Ambrosini’s possession from a Coptic Monetary in Egypt.

Recent news is that Zingaro intends to return his Grail to “the House of Nazareth” sometime in the near future. In March of 2007, Zingaro is said to have had a vision from the Virgin Mary.

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