Uh-oh, call Indiana Jones. A wooden chalice purported to be the “Holy Grail” has been stolen from the house of an elderly woman in the rural village of Weston-under-Penyard, Herefordshire, reported British tabloid The Daily Mail.
The woman was not the owner of the Holy Grail, but she had it on loan from the family who does. It is believed to have been stolen from her home while she visited a hospital. While the woman is seriously ill, it was not reported whether or not the stolen Holy Grail was lent to her because of its supposed healing properties. News of the theft first broke Tuesday when the Birmingham Mail reported that the police were putting out a call for information on the theft.
West Merica police are currently investigating the stolen property, although they are refraining from calling it the Holy Grail, instead referring to it by its accepted name; the Nanteos Cup. Police gave a few details of the investigation in the following statement:
“The home was broken into between 9.30am on Monday 7 July and 9.30am on Monday 14 July. A wooden cup/challis, known as the Nanteos Cup, has been reported as stolen from the home. It is dark wood cup and was kept in a blue velvet bag.”
Popular lore suggests that the Holy Grail arrived in Great Britain by the hands of Joseph of Arimathea following Christ’s crucifixion. Supposedly, Joseph gave the Holy Grail to monks at a Glastonbury monastery that he founded.
For years, this particular artifact claiming to be the Holy Grail has been held at the Nantoes mansion in Wales. When the final family to live in the house vacated around 60 years ago, the Steadman family safeguarded it in a Welsh bank vault. Mrs. Fiona Miryless was the last known owner of the stolen Holy Grail as of 2010. She gained attention for relaying water that had been blessed by the cup to people near death.
Like any religious artifact, historians and theologians argue back and forth on the authenticity and existence of the Holy Grail. Several major religions have claimed to find the Holy Grail. Some even say the Holy Grail may actually be the chalice that Christ drank from at the Last Supper.
A documentary for British television entitled The Search for the Holy Grail: The True Story featured an examination of this particular stolen Holy Grail by the Commissioner for Monuments of Wales. His conclusion was that because of the Wych Elm wood it was made of it, it was more likely to be 500 years old as opposed to the near 2,000 years that would be needed to link it to the crucifixion.