The Holy Grail

Did you know that the Holy Grail, used by Christ at the Last Supper and then later to gather His blood from the Cross, is in a secret bank vault in Wales? Trust me,  Indiana Jones got it spectacularly wrong.

The story is quite straightforward.The Grail was brought to Glastonbury by Joseph of Arimathea and closely guarded by the monks of the Abbey. They ran off with it to Strata Florida in mid-Wales when they were harassed by Henry VIII and then they took it up into the wild hills near Aberystwyth to the manor house of Nanteos, where it was protected and venerated.

It became well known in the area and people would come to borrow it from the family. Drinking water from it would cure anything. Mind you, there were some pretty desperate people around because they would bite chunks off it. Today they say that there is only about two thirds of it left. The rest was eaten.

They could chew it because it was made from wood . Mythology might suggest that the Grail was a precious vessel of transcendant beauty made from gold and studded with precious stones. This one though was made from wood which certainly lends it an air of authenticity.

Sadly those who know say that it can’t be the Holy Grail. It was on display for a while in the National Museum of Wales where it was assessed and dated. It is old certainly, but only about 600 years. Not the 2000 years that are necessary for complete authenticity. They say that it is a mazer bowl and that it is made out of 14th century wych elm. Just a very old drinking vessel mounted in metal, with a band round the rim. A popular item in those earliest homeware catalogues apparently.

But if you believe that it is authentic then it doesn’t matter what people say. It is what you want to believe that matters. Contradictory information is obviously part of an elaborate smoke screen to hide the truth. Once you start to believe in conspiracies then everything is possible. You will want to believe that it is protected by a Guardian, who moves it around from place to place to keep it out of the hands of the government. Not that it would do them any good of course. In the hands of a sinner it is just a cup. In the hands of a believer it turns into something far more spiritual and powerful.

So what do you want to believe? That it was guarded by the Knights Templar? That it was buried at Glastonbury?

Or that it is in the safe at the bank?

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