Excerpts — The Holy Grail: More than a Legend

Excerpt from The Holy Grail: More than a Legend

Arthur rode up and dismounted before the house, and entered, drawing his horse in after him. He had trouble opening the door, and laid his spear down on the ground and leaned his shield against the wall, and took off his sword and unlaced his ventail, the removable metal mail under his helmet.

Before him he saw barley, and led his horse to it and took off the bridle. Afterwards, he shut the door of the house and locked it. It was then he heard sounds of strife in the chapel. Some voices were weeping so tenderly and sweetly he thought they were angels, and the others spoke so harshly as if they were evil beings.

The King heard the voices in the chapel and wondered what they might be. He found a door in the house that opened to a walkway going to the chapel. The King went into the main chapel, and looked everywhere but saw nothing, except the images and the crucifixes. And he supposed the conflict of these voices did not come from them, for the voices ceased as soon as he entered.

He wondered why this house and hermitage were empty, and what had become of the hermit who dwelt there. He approached the altar and in front was a coffin, and he saw the hermit lying there clad in his vestments, and saw he had a long beard down to his belt, and his hands lay upon his breast. There was a cross above him, and the image came as far as his mouth, and he had life in him yet, but he was at the point of death.

The King was before the coffin a long time, and looked on the hermit, for it seemed he had been of a decent life. The night was fully come, but within was a brightness of light as if a score of candles were lighted. He had decided to stand there until the good man should pass away. He was about to sit down before the coffin, when a voice warned him to be gone, for it desired to make a judgment that would not be made if he were present.

The King departed, who would gladly have remained, and returned to the house, and sat down on a seat. And he heard the strife and the noise begin again in the chapel, and the ones he heard speaking high and the others low, and he knows by the voices, some are angels and the others devils.

He heard the Devil himself talking about the hermit’s soul, and that judgment will presently be given in his favor, and the demon made great joy. Arthur’s heart is saddened when he heard the angels’ voices stilled. The King’s heart is so heavy, no desire had he neither to eat nor to drink.

While he sat, his head toward the ground, full of anger and discontent, he heard in the chapel the voice of a Lady speak so pleasing and clear, no man in this earthly world, no matter his grief and heaviness, would again have joy.

She said to the Devil: “Be gone from here, for no right have you over the soul of this good man for what he may have done, for in my Son’s service is he taken, and penance has he done in this hermitage of his sins.” 
“True,” said the Devil, “but longer has he served me than he has served your Son. For forty years or more had he been a murderer and robber in this forest, and now you wish to thieve him from Me.”

“I do not. No wish have I to take him from you by theft, for had he been in your service as he has been taken in my Son’s, yours would he have been.”

The Devil and his followers left the chapel angry and aggrieved; and the Blessed Mother of our Lord God took the soul of the hermit, departed of his body, and commended it to the angels and archangels to make present to Her Son in Paradise.
 And the angels took it and begin to sing for joy “Te Deum Laudamus.”

And the Holy Lady led them and went her way with them. Josephus makes remembrance of this history and tells us the man was named Calixtus.

When King Arthur heard the voice of the Mother of God and the angels great joy he had, and glad the good man’s soul was taken to Paradise.

The King slept little that night and remained armed. He saw the day break clear and fair, and went to the chapel to ask God mercy, thinking to find the coffin where the hermit lay; but things had changed. Rather, was the richest tombstone any might see, and on the top was a red cross of stone covers it, and the chapel smelled of incense.

Excerpt from The Holy Grail: More than a Legend

Dindrane beheld their sepulchers in the graveyard. She saw them surrounded by black knights with spears, and they came one against another, and made such uproar, it seemed all the forest resounded. Most held swords red as fire, and ran upon each other, and slashed one another.

Great was the clashing they made, but they could not come near the graveyard. Dindrane saw them, and was so afraid she made the sign of the cross and commended her soul to the Savior.

She looked before her to the far end of the graveyard, and saw a chapel, small and ancient. She struck her mule with her whip, entered and found a great brightness of light.

The glow was an image of Our Lady, to whom she prayed She would preserve her senses and her life, and enable her to depart in safety from this perilous place. She saw above the altar the most holy cloth for which she came. The cloth was ageless, and a smell came from it so sweet and glorious that no freshness of the world could equal it.

Dindrane came toward the altar thinking to take the cloth, but it went up into the air as if the wind had lifted it, so high she might not reach it above the old crucifix there.

“Good God,” she said, “It is for my sin and my disloyalty this most holy cloth drew itself away from me.”

“Fair Father God, never did I evil to anyone, and never did I do shame or sin, or never anything against your will, but rather do I serve you and love you. All the tribulation I receive I accept in patience for your love, for I know that such is not your pleasure.

“When it shall please you, please release me and my mother of grief and tribulation. For you know they have deprived her of her castles by wrong. She is a Widow Lady without help. Lord, you who have the entire world at your mercy, grant me to hear of my brother and if he is alive, we have need of him.

“Lend force to the knight I met in the forest, for your love and pity is to help and aid my mother. Lord, remember your compassion for she has been wronged, and no help has she, except of you alone. In you are her trust and help, and therefore remember the good knight Joseph of Arimethea, who took down your Body when it hung upon the cross, was her own uncle.

“Better loved he to take down your Body than all the gold that Pilate might give him. Lord, good did he do, for he took you in his arms beside the cross, and laid your Body in the holy sepulcher, where were you covered of the sovereign shroud for which I come. Lord, grant it be your pleasure that I may have it, for love of the knight by whom it was set in this chapel.”

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