The Holy Chalice It is the most revered relic in the world. Its history is mixed with its legend, uniting reality and fiction around this very special object that generates interest, admiration and a lot of curiosity. The program ‘The pillars of time’ from RTVE trace the trace left by the supposed cup from which Jesus Christ drank at the last supper, on his journey from Rome to Valencia, passing through Jaca, Huesca and Zaragoza. An exciting route that allows you to enjoy architecture, sculpture, painting, natural landscapes and the beauty of unique corners, some anchored in a past that goes back through the centuries.
The Sacred Chalice or Holy Chalice
Books, movies, television series… The search for the Holy Grail has been a recurring theme for fiction, but before, long before, it was a source of inspiration for artisans, as can be seen in the ancient works of art that are preserved. For centuries the subject of the Sacred Chalice has been discussed, and it is considered that the first time was at the beginning of the 12th century, and it is cited Chrétien de Troyes and his Percival, also called Le Conte du Graal (The Tale of the Grail). Later, the story was loaded with symbolism and spirituality, linking this piece with the cup of the Last Supper and that, according to the story, Joseph of Arimathea used later to collect the blood from the wounds of Christ after being crucified. There are many places that claim to keep the authentic Grail and in ‘The Pillars of Time’ they come close to the cup that is kept in the cathedral of Valencia. The program points out that in 258 AD he traveled from Rome to Spain with San Lorenzo, and visited such emblematic places as the monastery of San Pedro el Viejo, in Huesca, the hermitages of San Cornelio and De la Cueva and the Cathedral of Jaca, In whose capitals the history of this cup is ‘narrated’: when Sixto II gives it to San Lorenzo and how San Lorenzo deposits it in Huesca. It is said that this monumental and powerful church was built to house and venerate the Sacred Chalice.
Arthurian legends describe the place where the Holy Grail was found as a monastery located under a rock, surrounded by a forest and next to a spring, and this description corresponds to San Juan de la Peña, the place where the cup supposedly arrived. the Bishop of Huesca when he retired. There is no doubt that it is one of the most traveled relics, because its route does not stop there, and historians say that it later went to Zaragoza before ending up in Valencia. It is said that it arrived there in the 15th century, when Alfonso V paid a debt with the cathedral of Valencia, which has financed their war campaigns, for this purpose. But is it the same one that was in the hands of Christ?
2000 years of stories
Leonor Martin and Lidia San Jose, hosts of the program, arrive at the cathedral of Valencia willing to know the truth. There, hand in hand with the experts and custodians of the relic, they investigate to reach a conclusion. And most importantly, see the Sacred Chalice up close.
The piece that is kept in a glass case, made in 1916, is a cup of polished agate that offers veins of warm colors when it refracts the light. It is a precious ‘Alexandrian cup’ that archaeologists date from the years 100 to 50 BC. C.. The appearance it has now is not the original, since the handles and the foot, encrusted with jewels, were added later. “It is about a Hebrew stone, a Hebrew half and a Hebrew volume,” says Ana Mafé, an art historian. Is it the Holy Chalice? It is not possible to prove it, but it is especially exciting that this piece that guards the cathedral of Valencia is more than 2,000 years old and comes from Judea. Lydia and Eleanor they leave without an answer, but they take with them a unique experience: being alone next to this cup, an object that was only taken out of the urn when the popes went John Paul II and Benedict XVI. Now it comes out, wrapped in magic and mystery, for the viewers of ‘The Pillars of Time’.