The Holy Grail: What’s the Big Deal?
The Holy Grail has been the subject of stories and legends for almost 1000 years. It is said to be the cup (or dish) that Jesus used at the dinner on the eve of his death. The cup was used to start the tradition of communion that has gone down through Christian history and is still used today. In many tales separate from the beliefs of Christianity, it is said to possess magical powers which can be transferred to those who drink from it. In the legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, the Holy Grail is sometimes the subject of their adventures.
Shortly after the events for which the grail is so famous, few people placed any importance in it. It wasn’t until many years later that people began to be enthralled by the grail. Sometime around the year 1180, author Chrétien de Troyes referred to the grail in a poem. Many view this as the beginning of the Holy Grail’s huge legacy in literature. Since then, it has been referred to hundreds of times, including many modern retellings. If you are a movie fan, you will remember entire plotlines based around it, such as
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade or Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
There is little factual evidence of the existence of the Holy Grail, or anything of that nature. The chances of an actual cup or dish surviving for so long seems very unlikely, unless it was purposely preserved. And since it didn’t become such a phenomenon for another 1000 years, it is unlikely that this is the case. However, there are many people who believe that someone might have preserved the grail in a secret place (hence all of the treasure hunting missions set upon by people intent on finding it).
No matter what the true state of the Holy Grail is today, you can still enjoy the legends and stories surrounding it. It is one of the most notoriously sought items in the history of the world, and has been written about and theorized about by some of the most influential writers. So if you feel like reading some interesting literature and learning about where the legacy of the Holy Grail came from, head to your local library today and find out what they have to offer in the way of Holy Grail stories.
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