Grail

(The Holy). In French, San Graal. This must not be confounded with the san-greal or sang-real, for the two are totally distinct. The “Grail” is either the paten or dish which held the paschal lamb eaten by Christ and His apostles at the last supper, or the cup which He said contained the blood of the New Testament. Joseph of Arimathæa, according to legend, preserved this cup, and received into it some of the blood of Jesus at the crucifixion. He brought it to England, but it disappeared. The quest of the Holy Grail is the fertile source of the adventures of the Knights of the Round Table. In some of the tales it is evidently the cup, in others it is the paten or dish (French, grasal, the sacramental cup). Sir Galahad discovered it and died; but each of the 150 knights of King Arthur caught sight of it; but, unless pure of heart and holy in conduct, the grail, though seen, suddenly disappeared. (See Greal and Galahad.)

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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