But the relic, what does it look like?
The Holy Chalice is placed in a glass urn, so you will not be able to contemplate its small details. But you won't miss anything, because we tell you about them here.
The cup that is kept in the Chapel of the Holy Chalice in Valencia Cathedral has three different parts. The relic itself is the polished agate goblet at the top. Thanks to the archaeological studies carried out by the researcher Antonio Beltrán, we know that the cup dates back to the period between the 4th century BC and the 1st century AD, and that it was carved in an eastern workshop in Egypt, Syria or Palestine itself. Research shows that the foot is an Egyptian or Caliphal vase from the 10th or 11th century, added to the cup around the 12th century, as an estimation of its exceptional importance. And that the pearls and precious stones that ornament it are later and could have been superimposed when the Holy Chalice was venerated in San Juan de la Peña.
6 interesting aspects you should know about the Holy Chalice
1. The chalice has survived an accidental fall on Good Friday 1744. It emerged unscathed from the War of Independence, moving from Valencia to Alicante, Ibiza and Palma de Mallorca. It was also saved from the desecration of the Cathedral during the Civil War, thanks to a family who kept it hidden first in their home in Calle Avellanas de València and then in Carlet until the war was over.
2. The Holy Chalice only leaves its chapel twice a year to be taken in procession to the High Altar of the Cathedral. The first one is on Holy Thursday, for the "In coena Domini" Mass; the second one is on the last Thursday of October, for the celebration of the Annual Holy Chalice Festival Mass.
3. But if you don't have the opportunity to see it live in those two moments, visit the Craft Center of the Valencian Community to see closely the replica of the Holy Grail made by the expert goldsmiths Piro.
4. Only seven places in the world celebrate a Jubilee Year in perpetuity: Valencia, Santiago de Compostela, Camaleño (Cantabria), Urda (Toledo), Caravaca de la Cruz (Murcia), Rome and Jerusalem.
5. What does the Holy Grail sound like? You can find out on the album El Grial by the group specialising in ancient music Capella de Ministrers. It is a compilation of songs from crusades, the songs of pilgrimage centres, the reflection of medieval literature in the music and the emblematic symbolism that it acquired with Alfonso the Magnanimous. Capella de Ministrers compiles in this record music and poetry from the Middle Ages around Chrétien de Troyes, Robert de Boron, Wolfram von Eschenbach and Hélinand de Froidmont.
6. Our chalice also gives its name to a hat. It is the Grail model available at the premises of Sombreros Albero at 21 Xàtiva street or in their online shop. It is inspired by the Fedora hat worn by Indiana Jones in his last crusade.