Valencia, Spain: Valencia Cathedral and the Holy Grail
Southeast of Madrid, on the Mediterranean, lies the city of Valencia, the third-largest city in Spain and a Cathedral said to house one of Christendom’s most controversial and sought-after relics: the Holy Grail. It is kept in a corner of Saint Mary’s Cathedral and on public display.
The story of how it got there and whether it is the real thing is something shrouded in mystery. It was kept in Aragon in a Monastery until about 1400 when it was brought to Valencia.
The Chalice is kept on display in a side chapel of the Cathedral. The top portion (the cup) is made from brown agate and dates from about the First Century B.C. It is about 6″ tall and 3″ wide. The lower portion, the base, dates from the Middle Ages.
Although the authenticity of the Chalice has not been confirmed by the Vatican, it was venerated by Pope John Paul II during his visit in 1982 and the Holy Father actually used the Chalice when he ordained some 150 priests at Alameda Avenue.
On July 9, 2006 Pope Benedict XVI used the Chalice to consecrate the wine at the outdoor Mass for the fifth World Meeting of Families. In addition to the magnificent artwork in the Sanctuary of the Cathedral there is also a museum with many artifacts and additional artworks from the 14th through the 18th Centuries.
In 2014, a book entitled “Kings of the Grail”, by Margarita Torres and Jose Ortiza del Rio, that puts forth the arguments that the Holy Grail is actually in the Spanish city of Leon. Again, the authenticity cannot be determined with any degree of precision.
There are many beautiful chapels and famous works of art in the Cathedral. One of the Chapels is dedicated to the Patron Saint of the city, Saint Vincent Martyr. Saint Vincent Martyr was a Deacon under Saint Valerious, Bishop of Saragossa during the reign of the Emperor Diocletian. Both were arrested and imprisoned by the Emperor, Valerious was exiled and Saint Vincent Martyr was cruelly tortured and died as a result on January 2, 304. The left arm of the saint is preserved in a reliquary in the Chapel.
You may wish to climb the 207 steps up to the top of the Bell Tower (“El Migeuelete”) for an overview of the old town. The tower dates from the 14th Century and is open most days but is definitely for the physically-fit.
The book “Saint Lawrence and the Holy Grail” gives an excellent and well-researched account of the Holy Grail. It separates fact from fiction and is highly recommended.
The Cathedral is known by several names: “Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady of Valencia”, “Saint Mary’s Cathedral” or simply “Valencia Cathedral”.
Traveling to Valencia:
The Cathedral is located in the center of the city. There is train service from all parts of Spain (about 1 1/2 hours on the high-speed from Madrid) and it is served by many airlines as well.
Address: Plaça de l’Almoina, s/n, 46003 València, Valencia, Spain
GPS coordinates: 39° 28′ 32.1456” N, 0° 22′ 30.7632” W
Tel: +39 963 91 81 27
e-mail: [email protected] (for guided visits)
Click here for the official website of the Valencia Cathedral
Photos courtesy of prof. E. Lisot