My Disquisition on the Grail and Translations

The post, of which this is a continuation is here.

(Here beginneth the disquisition!ūüėÜ)

However, for me, the most fascinating part is where he discusses what he seems to believe is the true Holy Grail. I have always believed the legend that St Joseph of Arimathea was a tin merchant, who after the Crucifixion had gone to Britain, with which he was familiar from trading with the Cornish tin mines, and had taken the Grail with him. I believed that after St Joseph died, it was passed down to a succession of 'Grail Keepers' until one of them became unworthy of the trust placed in him, and the Lord had taken it. Whether it had been assumed into Heaven, or simply hidden was an unknown.

The author, however, seems to believe that the Grail is actually in the Metropolitan Cathedral–Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady of Valencia, Spain.

The Grail? 

The chain of custody he posits is that after the Crucifixion, it came to St John the Evangelist, whom Christ had appointed Guardian of His Mother. St John used it to celebrate daily Mass for the Blessed Virgin, but after Her Dormition and Assumption, he gave it to St Peter. St Peter, the first Pope, took it with him to Rome and used it to celebrate his Papal Masses. 

After St Peter's death and burial on the Vatican Hill, now the site of the Basilica dedicated to him, it was passed to each Pope in succession until the reign of Pope St Sixtus II. The Persecution of the Emperor Valerian began during his reign, and after the martyrdom of St Sixtus, the Prefect of Rome ordered the Archdeacon St Lawrence to turn over the wealth of the Roman Church.

In the famous story, the Prefect of Rome, a greedy pagan, thought the Church had a great fortune hidden away. So he ordered Lawrence to bring the Church's treasure to him. The Saint said he would, in three days. He worked swiftly to distribute as much Church property to the indigent as possible, so as to prevent its being seized by the prefect. Then he went through the city and gathered together all the poor and sick people supported by the Church. When he showed them to the Prefect, he said: "This is the Church's treasure!" As a result, of course, he was martyred just four days after St Sixtus.

However, at least one item of the Church's treasure was not just 'distributed'. It was sent, by what means is unclear, to the Saint's hometown of Huesca, Spain. There it was venerated until the jihad invaded Spain in AD 711. 
The following year (AD 712) the bishop of Huesca decided that it was time to move north with many of his flock, a number of holy relics, and, of course, the Grail. They reached the cave of Yebra near what is now the village of Santa Orosia. There the Moors caught up with them, martyring the bishop, his nephew Cornelius, and his niece Orosia. But the rest of the band made their escape deeper into the Aragonese mountains. They found refuge at the Monastery of San Zacarias de Siresa, which in time was renamed “San Pedro” after the longtime guardian of the Chalice.
Coulombe, Charles. A Catholic Quest for the Holy Grail (Kindle Locations 1098-1102). TAN Books. Kindle Edition. 
From there, through many stops, it eventually wended its way to the Cathedral of Valencia, where it has remained ever since,  except for brief periods of hiding caused by the French Revolutionary invasion of Spain, the danger from the Reds during la Cruzada, and a couple of short 'visits' for veneration elsewhere.

But the key to his argument, and what has convinced me, is, as he says,

It is the only vessel that approaches official recognition by the Church as the Holy Grail; indeed, both Popes St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI who used it for Mass referred to it as the chalice used by Christ, though of course those were hardly infallible declarations.
Coulombe, Charles. A Catholic Quest for the Holy Grail (Kindle Locations 1079-1081). TAN Books. Kindle Edition. 

In its reliquary.

But, even if the entire chain of custody of its provenance is correct, why should it be the Holy Grail? Could it not just be an agate cup that St Lawrence wanted to keep out of the hands of the prefect, and thought his hometown would be a safe place? Remember, tho', that he distributed the treasures of the Church to the indigent. Why would he have sent this particular cup halfway across the Empire? Surely it would have fetched a few denarii in the market, money which the poor of Rome could have used.

Well, the key seems to lie in the Roman Canon, which was codified by Pope St Gregory the Great, just 250 years after St Lawrence met a martyr's death. As the author says, after St John gave the Cup to St Peter,
The first pope and the twenty-four who would follow him used it for their Masses, which is why— of all the liturgies of Christendom— the Roman Rite alone has the phrase introducing the words of institution over the Precious Blood: “In like manner, after He had supped, taking also into His holy and venerable hands this goodly chalice. …” The belief is that the term “this” was quite literal.

Coulombe, Charles. A Catholic Quest for the Holy Grail (Kindle Locations 1092-1095). TAN Books. Kindle Edition. 
However, he is not quite correct since the Roman Rite now includes the 'Ordinary Form' a/k/a the Novus Ordo Missae or the Mass of Paul VI. It is true, that in the Latin at least, the first three of the four Eucharistic Prayers printed in most Missals (I understand that there are ten, count 'em, ten Eucharistic Prayers authorised, as part of the permanent revolution started in a vain attempt to obscure and destroy the True Faith!), that these words occur, but the Fourth, an artificial construction from Eastern sources, does not contain them.

The Grail Chapel.

They are from the Missal of St Pius V,
Símili modo postquam coenátum est, accípiens et hunc præclárum Cálicem in sanctas ac venerábiles manus suas:
Which is translated in the current English translation of the First Eucharistic Prayer (the Roman Canon) as,
In like manner, after He had supped, taking also this excellent chalice into His holy and venerable hands...
What I find interesting, tho', is the way they were translated in the original approved English translation, and still are in Eucharistic Prayers II and III.

In the first  English translation of the Missal of Paul VI,  EPs I, II, and III all translated this passage as,
When supper was ended, he took the cup...
Even tho' the Editio Typica has the exact same words as the Missal of St Pius V,
Símili modo, postquam cenátum est, accípiens et hunc præclárum cálicem in sanctas ac venerábiles manus suas,..
So, as you will note, in the 1970 English vernacular the adjectives 'hunc' and 'præclárum' were omitted in all three.

However, in the current translation, which came into use on the First Sunday of Advent, 2011, the First Eucharistic Payer, returns to a literal translation.
In a similar way, when supper was ended, he took this precious chalice in his holy and venerable hands,
The other two, however, whilst changing 'cup' to 'chalice' still say,
 When supper was ended, he took the cup...
The Divine Liturgy of St John Chrysostom, used in the Orthodox Churches, and the Eastern Catholic Churches of the Byzantine Rite, says, 
'Likewise, after partaking of the supper, He took the cup, saying,...'
The Divine Liturgy of St Basil, also used in the East, says, 
'Likewise, He took the cup of the fruit of vine...'
The Anaphora  of St Gregory, preserved in the East and used in the artificial construction of Eucharistic Prayer IV, says, 
'Likewise also, after they ate, You took a cup and mixed it of the fruit of the grapevine and water....'
Since the Latin Church has never had a Canon directed to the Son rather than the Father, in the Fourth Prayer this became,
(T)aking the chalice filled with the fruit of the vine, he gave thanks...
What I'm really interested in is , 'Why'? Why did the translators abandon what the Canon had said for at least 1,500 years, and replace the literal meaning of the Latin with a much less potent formula? Why are the Second and Third Prayers still mutilated with this incomplete translation?

Was it yet another attempt at introducing a permanent revolution to the Church, so there would be 'reason' for ongoing changes in the translation? Was it part of the 'demystification' and protestantisation of the Liturgy in an attempt to destroy the Roman Rite? I suppose, if I make it to heaven, I can ask God, since I doubt that those who implemented all this chaos will be there to ask!

The book is available here.

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