Graal, the Holy

Graal, The Holy a name in mediaeval tradition for the precious dish (paropsis) or cup used at the Last Supper, said, also to be the vessel in which our Lord turned water into wine, and in which Nicodemus or Joseph of Arimathaea received the Savior's blood at the crucifixion. Other legends describe it as a cup originally given to Solomon by the queen of Sheba. It often appears in the Arthurian laws, and probably, arose from a Druidic origin. The Genoese claim to have it in the cathedral treasury, where it is known as Sacro Catino. It is of glass, of hexagonal form, with two handles, and is three feet nine inches in circumference. It was cracked in its removal from Paris, whither it had been taken under Napoleon. Sometimes the graal supports a bleeding spear, as on a crucifix at Sancreed Church, Cornwall. The Church is often represented holding a pennon and a graal opposite the synagogue with drooping head, and a banner of three points, the staff broken.

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