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Holy Grail

Illustrations, Woodcuts, and Photographs


The primary role of the Holy Grail in Christian mythology is the cup used by Jesus to inaugurate the communion celebration during the Last Supper. Other stories say that the Holy Grail was a cup used by Joseph of Arimathea to catch Jesus' blood when he was pierced by a spear during the crucifixion. Often, it's the same cup in both situations. For centuries, Christians have written stories about what might have happened to this cup, believed to have miraculous powers.

In order for the Holy Grail to have a history, it couldn't have simply been tossed aside like the rest of the dishes form the Last Supper — it needed at protector who recognized its value and was pledged to keep it safe. This task falls to Joseph of Arimathea in Christian legends. Some stories have him travelling to southern France and settling down there; other stories take him all the way to Britain. As a consequence, many different sites claim to be the burial place of the Holy Grail.

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Holy GrailEtymology of the Holy GrailHoly Grail image, 1939The Holy Grail and Joseph of ArimatheaPercival holds the Holy Grail while a dove descendsHoly Grail and PercivalPercival with the Holy Grail, 1939Holy Grail and Percival
King Arthur's Grail Vision, 1903Holy Grail and King ArthurLancelot with the Holy GrailLancelot and the Holy GrailBoys sit at the Chalice Well in Galstonbury, England. Chalice Well is decorated with Vesica Pisces.Holy Grail in Glastonbury, England
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