Archive for the ‘Holy Grail’ Category

Why the Grail is Holy

Sunday, January 30th, 2011
Grail Maiden - Arthur Rackham 1917

Grail Maiden – Arthur Rackham 1917

One of the major criticisms offered by modern scholars examining early grail literature is that the grail was not originally titled as the Holy Grail and so therefore is properly understood simply as a cup, and just as a cup can be filled with anything so too the meaning of the Holy Grail can be anything. To the contrary, just because Chrétien de Troyes chose to call his romance The Story of the Grail without expressing from the onset that the grail is holy does not mean that he did not portray it as the supremely holy vessel but rather it may mean that he choose to initiate the grail as mysterious and enigmatic so that the reader may journey along with the protagonist through the valley of ignorance, to the providential encounter of the grail castle, and then ascend to full comprehension as a perfected knight. Indeed, and as we shall see, at the climax of the story Chrétien explicitly states through his characters and story not only that the grail is holy but also why it is holy.

In her lecture series, Eternal Chalice – The Grail in Literature and Legend, Professor Monica Brzezinski Potkay has expressed that the grail was not considered holy from the earliest of writings. In support of her opinion Potkay sites Chrétien de Troyes’ work Le Conte du Graal (The Story of the Grail), unarguably the earliest known Arthurian romance where the Grail first appears. The main character Percival, who lends his name as an alternate title for the story, journeys to the hidden castle of the Fisher King, a king who is wounded from battle. The king invites Percival to dinner, after which the grail makes its mysterious appearance by procession.

As they were speaking of one thing and another, a squire came forth from a chamber carrying a white lance by the middle of its shaft…Everyone in the hall saw the white lance with its white point from whose tip there issued a drop of blood, and this red drop flowed down to the squires hand… Then two other squires entered holding in their hands candelabra of pure gold, crafted with enamel inlays. The young men carrying the candelabra were extremely handsome… a maiden accompanying the two young men was carrying a grail with her two hands; she was beautiful, noble and richly attired. After she had entered the hall carrying the grail the room was so brightly illuminated that the candles lost their brilliance like stars and the moon when the sun rises. After her came another maiden, carrying a silver carving platter. The grail, which was introduced first, was of pure fine gold. Set in the grail were precious stones of many kinds, the best and costliest to be found in earth and in sea. The grail stones were finer than any others in the world without doubt. The grail passed by like the lance. It passed in front of the bed and into another chamber.”

Percival then makes a costly mistake, much like a sin of omission, by not asking about what the grail is and who it serves he dooms the Fisher King to prolonged suffering, for as the chapter progresses we learn that had Percival shown the Fisher King this simple gesture of charity the king would have been healed. About the above quote where the grail first enters the story Professor Potkay explains, “One thing we need to note here is that this is not the Holy Grail. In the twenty-first century we’re used to thinking about the grail as always being holy but there is really no indication here that this is anything holy. All Percival tells us is that it’s a grail.” That Potkay is satisfied with this explanation after having spent the better part of her first lecture explaining how The Percival is all about interpreting signs and discovering that not all ordinary looking things are as ordinary as they seem, is frankly stupefying. She misses the very point that she teaches is tantamount in understanding The Percival. Potkay brilliantly explains the importance of signs from the first chapter of The Story of The Grail where Percival meets a knight for the first time and comically asks too many questions about the knight’s armor and weapons but for whatever reason, Potkay turns out to be like Percival in not asking the right questions at the moment when it matters the most. She doesn’t carry that process of learning from signs and questions over into the instance of the grail’s introduction. She doesn’t ask, “What could Chrétien be trying to teach us?” or “What is it that Percival is supposed to notice about this procession of objects passing before him?”

A breakdown of the four objects described and their bearers reveals categorically and by contrast and comparison, that the grail alone is the ideal combination of both beauty in appearance and beauty in substance.

There are four possible categories or combinations of ordinary vs. extraordinary objects and plain appearances vs. beautiful appearances. By ‘beautiful’ I am referring to external aesthetic beauty exemplified by ornamentation or decoration with jewels.
1. An ordinary object that appears plain (the silver platter)
2. An ordinary object that appears beautiful (the candelabra)
3. An extraordinary object that appears plain (the white lance)
4. An extraordinary object that appears beautiful (the grail)

Category one – the ordinary object that appears plain – is an object that appears to be what it is; it looks like what it’s supposed to look like, such as the silver platter. One might refer to this category as the book properly judged by its cover.

Category two – the ordinary object that appears beautiful – is an object that is plain but has been dressed up so to speak, like the candelabra that are merely expensive looking candle holders and nothing more. One might refer to this category as the book improperly judged by its cover; perhaps not living up to its hype or even lacking in substance.

Category three – the extraordinary object that appears plain – is an object that is unique because of a quality not usually belonging to it although by all other appearances is not dressed up and is rather plain, like the inexplicably bleeding but simple white lance. As in the previous category one might refer to this category as the book improperly judged by its cover; sadly prejudged and easily overlooked.

Category four – the extraordinary object that appears beautiful – It appears to be what it is: it looks like what it’s supposed to look like, however wild and wonderful that is – such as the grail that illuminates so brightly it is compared to the sun bleaching out the stars and moon by its brilliance, that is rightly ornamented with the finest of jewels, since to decorate it so is to make it look like what it is; beautiful. One might refer to this category as the book properly judged by it cover; those who find it are rewarded by its fullness.

By this set of definitions, both the lance and the grail are by their very nature extraordinary. These are the signs that Percival and the reader are evidently intended to read.

Now let’s examine the pairing of the objects. The first two items – the bleeding lance and the candelabra – are brought through by squires, servants or young men in training for knighthood, while the last two items – the grail and the silver platter – are brought through by maidens. Pairing them in this way asks us to make a comparison not only between each item in each set but between each pair. Chrétien shows the ordinary candelabra and the ordinary silver platter to juxtapose these ordinary items against the extraordinary ones in their own sets. The lance is mysteriously, inexplicably, even supernaturally bleeding but not adorned at all, while the candelabra have no unique supernatural qualities even though they are made of gold and inlayed with jewels. Chrétien is showing us that things appearing to be ordinary are sometimes much more than they appear to be while even things made of precious materials can be worthless by comparison. True treasures, it would seem according to Chrétien are not valued by material riches but by heavenly ones.

Since the second set supersedes the first it gains greater meaning or importance; it reinforces the matter of reading signs and advances their meaning all the more. For example, the first object in the first set is the extraordinarily bleeding but rather ordinary lance, while the first object in the second set is the extraordinarily brilliant and very beautifully decorated grail. Hence the grail is greater than the lance because it is both extraordinary and beautiful. Likewise, the second object in the first set is the highly decorated but ordinary candelabra, while the second object in the second set is the undecorated plain silver platter. Hence the platter is more ordinary than the candelabra, being neither extraordinary nor beautiful. Lastly, by pairing the ordinary and plain silver platter with the extraordinary and beautiful grail the greatest contrast is made and the platter seems most plain while the grail seems most grand. Chrétien is teaching us that sometimes that those true heavenly riches, once discovered on earth, are often adorned with the finest jewels and that this is as it should be. Chrétien also pairs the grail and the lance by writing, “The grail passed by like the lance.” In this sense the two mysterious objects are brought together and their elusiveness is made poignant.

Having maidens carry the grail is significant in hindsight once Chrétien reveals to us that the grail is the vessel that delivers a miraculous Eucharistic host which sustains the life of the Fisher King. Knowing that the grail is the ciborium at the liturgy of the Eucharist where Christ becomes substantially present, it calls to mind a tradition that Mary, Jesus’ mother, is much like the Eucharistic vessel since she is the human vessel through which Christ came into the world. The maiden who carries the grail then personifies Mary as does the grail itself.

Additionally, the grail is like Christ, as is the lance but for different reasons. The lance is plain in appearance like every other lance and yet it is extraordinary in that it sheds blood as no other lance does: Christ is plain in appearance like every other human person and yet He is the perfect sacrifice. Jesus was humble though He was God (cf Philippians 2:5-8). The keepers of the grail beatified its appearance to Percival, the Fisher King and his son, and all the maidens and squires in the procession augmenting and affirming that it is extraordinarily radiant as no other grail is: God the Father transfigured Jesus radiantly before James, John, Peter, Moses and Elijah, revealing Him to be the Son of God. Just as the grail is surpassingly radiant so too is Christ transfigured (Matthew 17:1-8).

If these analogies are not enough to consider the grail sacred or holy then there are the words that Chrétien penned himself to prove this out. After wandering aimlessly for years Percival meets a hermit who turns out to be his uncle. The hermit explains to Percival and to the reader just who the Fisher King is and what the grail is used for.

The man served from it [the grail] is my brother. Your mother was his sister and mine; and the rich Fisher King, I believe, is the son of the king who is served from the grail. And do not imagine he is served pike or lamprey or salmon. A single host that is brought to him in that grail sustains and brings comfort to that holy man – such is the holiness of the grail! And he is so holy that his life is sustained by nothing more than the host that comes in the grail. He has lived years like this, without ever leaving the room into which you saw the grail enter.” [emphasis mine].

The original French for the section I underlined is “tant sainte chose est li graax;”  A more literal translation might be “so holy [a] thing is the grail.”  If you are wondering how we got from ‘graax’ to grail, then you probably were expecting to read ‘graal’ here instead of ‘graax’.  In old French there seems to be a nominative singular form of ‘el graal’, written here as ‘il graax’ – which can still be translated to English as ‘the grail’.  The context reads like this grail is different than all the others and the fact remains that ‘il graax’ is nominative, which means it’s the grail that is being holy.

This is a good place to interject a brief side note. The grail is often considered to be a large vessel more similar to a dish or bowl than to a cup, for the single reason that Percival’s uncle scolds him about how improper it would be to serve pike or lamprey in the grail. Because of this comment many literary scholars and critiques conclude that the grail must be a vessel large enough to fit an entire fish. I find this thinking rather obtuse, why should one have to speculate an entire fish? Wouldn’t a meal of fish fit for a king most likely be prepared in a much more delicate manner and served in small portions, especially to a sick person? So the reference to fish says nothing definitive about the grail’s size but it does equate it with Christianity since the disciples were fishermen and the Greek acronym for Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior (Iesous Christos Theou Yios Soter) reads IChThYS, which means fish. Whether or not Chrétien intended to make this connection is yet to be proved but it is a far more relevant and important inference than determining the size of the grail. Taking away all speculation of these matters and sticking to the context of the story, what remains concerning Chrétien’s decision to include this comment about inappropriateness of the grail being used to serve a meal of fish is that Chrétien clearly wanted to contrast an ordinary meal against the Eucharistic meal; that which is regular against that which is sacred; that which is worldly against that which is holy.

Even so Potkay points out that the grail is only holy by association to the Eucharistic host. She says, “I want to remind you then that when Chrétien introduced the grail in his story of the grail there was nothing especially holy about it. When Chrétien describes the grail he emphasizes its opulence, its luxury, its beauty, it’s made of precious gold that’s studded with beautiful gems. This is the important thing about the grail. It’s beautiful. The only hint there’s anything holy about the grail comes when Percival’s uncle the hermit tells us what it’s used for and it’s the use of the grail that’s holy. The grail takes on holiness because it contains a Eucharistic host and it serves that host to a holy man and that’s why the grail is holy because of how it’s used. The grail itself is besides the point. The whole lesson of Chrétien’s story of the grail is that the grail is relatively unimportant; it’s what’s in it that counts… That’s what we find out about the grail, that’s the big revelation in Chrétien about what the grail means. I am apt to think at times that this is somewhat disappointing. So what! The grail always promises that it’s going to give us revolutionary secrets.” To be fair, Potkay’s point contains some truth, for it is not the chalice of the mass that makes the Eucharist holy but rather the substantial presence of Christ in the Eucharist which is holy and which by extension makes the altar, and the vessels holy. We can see this in Christ’s own words from Mathew chapter twenty-three (Matthew 23:20-22), “You blind ones, which is greater, the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? One who swears by the altar swears by it and all that is upon it; one who swears by the temple swears by it and by him who dwells in it; one who swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by him who is seated on it.” So the grail being holy by reason of its use is theologically sound although perhaps semantic in this instance since the question at hand is whether or not the grail is holy. In the end the grail is in fact holy and Chrétien does refer to it as such, even if not by a proper name then at least by quality. Far more objectionable and tell tale than Potkay’s insistence that the grail is not holy, or that if it is it is only by association, is her flippant comment, “so what?!” This is the climax of the story, it’s where we discover the entire reason Chrétien wrote five-hundred lines. How the reader receives this message has everything to do with the quality and popularity of this book, which to remind you, even Potkay admits is aptly described as the greatest story ever told at court.

This revolutionary secret that Potkay says the grail promises, works the same way that parables do; only the hearer who wants to hear (those who have ears) will value it and understand (cf Mark 4:9-12 , Matthew 13:9-18). In the preface of Le Conte du Graal Chrétien even compares his poem to the very parable of the sower where Jesus says, “Whoever has ears ought to hear.” The Story of the Grail opens with these words, “Chrétien sows the seed of a tale and sows it in such good soil that its greatness is ensured; for he does it for the best man in all the Roman Empire.” And what seed of truth has Chrétien sown? The host that the grail conveys to the Fisher King is a Eucharistic host transubstantiated into the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ. This is Chrétien’s message; that the Eucharist sustains life. The readers and hearers of Chrétien’s parable were most certainly Catholic and Chrétien writes that the story of the grail is “the best story ever told in royal court.” The royal court prized this story because they were Catholic and they understood and greatly valued the meaning of Chrétien’s parable.[1][2] Chrétien’s audience knew that when he wrote in 1181 of the miraculous Host that it was the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ. At the time the topic of Transubstantiation was a raging issue, so much so that authors who came after him (such as Robert de Boron) continued the story of the grail in other poems and explicitly preached Transubstantiation. These authors would also explicitly describe the grail as the Cup of Christ; the one He used to institute the Holy Eucharist. Chrétien’s story is unfinished. It cuts off mid sentence, so that there is no way of knowing for sure if he would have Percival discover that the grail is in fact the very Cup of Christ, but it makes perfect sense to the culture at the time. In a sense Chrétien wrote for an audience who had the ears to hear. And so if there is any secret about the grail it is that the grail is holy because of the Eucharist and that when the faithful throughout the centuries read this in Chrétien’s story they naturally rejoice with the expectation that this is the Cup of Christ.

Since Potkay has devalued Chrétien’s portrayal of the grail as beautiful there remains a defense of beauty in relationship to holiness. Beauty is much like Cupid’s arrow which is shot into the heart and once lodged there changes the wounded forever. That’s what happens when Cupid shoots someone; they fall in love. So too the one whose heart has been wounded by the arrow of God’s love is now made capable of truly loving. True beauty is like an arrow or in this case a lance, rendering the beholder capable of adoring. Truth is the perfection of knowledge such that in learning truth the student is advanced toward perfection. This is what Christianity considers beautiful; for the revelation of Christ, who freely gave His life for us, is the pinnacle of truth and thus the ugliness of our fallen state is met by the beauty of Christ’s perfect offering of himself like an arrow or lance piercing our hearts and transforming us so that we no longer see just the ugliness in the image of Christ’s body crucified but rather we see the beauty of our salvation and this truth advances us in love and perfection. This is what the lance and the grail mean to Christians of any age. True beauty of the fourth kind (mentioned above) is the same as holiness because true beauty represents spiritual perfection. Thus the grail, a truly beautiful thing, is holy.

Philippians 2:5-8
View in: NAB Vulg Greek
5For let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7But emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men, and in habit found as a man.
8He humbled himself, becoming obedient unto death, even to the death of the cross.
Matthew 17:1-8
View in: NAB Vulg Greek
1And after six days Jesus taketh unto him Peter and James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into a high mountain apart:
2And he was transfigured before them. And his face did shine as the sun: and his garments became white as snow.
3And behold there appeared to them Moses and Elias talking with him.
4And Peter answering, said to Jesus: Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles, one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.
5And as he was yet speaking, behold a bright cloud overshadowed them. And lo, a voice out of the cloud, saying: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased: hear ye him.
6And the disciples hearing, fell upon their face, and were very much afraid.
7And Jesus came and touched them: and said to them, Arise, and fear not.
8And they lifting up their eyes saw no one but only Jesus.
Matthew 23:20-22
View in: NAB Vulg Greek
20He therefore that sweareth by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things that are upon it:
21And whosoever shall swear by temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth in it:
22And he that sweareth by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon.
Mark 4:9-12
View in: NAB Vulg Greek
9And he said: He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
10And when he was alone, the twelve that were with him asked him the parable.
11And he said to them: To you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but to them that are without, all things are done in parables:
12That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand: lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.
Matthew 13:9-18
View in: NAB Vulg Greek
9He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
10And his disciples came and said to him: Why speakest thou to them in parables?
11Who answered and said to them: Because to you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven: but to them it is not given.
12For he that hath, to him shall be given, and he shall abound: but he that hath not, from him shall be taken away that also which he hath.
13Therefore do I speak to them in parables: because seeing they see not, and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
14And the prophecy of Isaias is fulfilled in them, who saith: By hearing you shall hear, and shall not understand: and seeing you shall see, and shall not perceive.
15For the heart of this people is grown gross, and with their ears they have been dull of hearing, and their eyes they have shut: lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.
16But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear.
17For, amen, I say to you, many prophets and just men have desired to see the things that you see, and have not seen them, and to hear the things that you hear and have not heard them.
18Hear you therefore the parable of the sower.
  1. In the mid 1100’s there was an abbot named Peter the Venerable who, among many other deeds, collected and published stories of Eucharistic miracles De Miraculis and traveled through the French and Spanish Pyrenees mountains where the Story of the Grail is famed to take place. []
  2. Another French author in 1079, by the name Hildebert of Tours, referred to the process of the host becoming Christ as Transubstantiation [a doctrine which would in 1215 be ratified by the Fourth Lateran Council]). []

Liturgical References in Helinandus Gradale Text

Saturday, January 30th, 2010

My Translation of Helinandus’ “Gradale” Text:
gradualDuring this time (117 – 719)[1] a hermit in Britain was shown a miraculous vision by an angel, a vision of the noble [Saint[2]] Joseph (of Arimathea) member of the Sanhedrin[3], who took down the body of the Lord from the Cross[4] and of that bowl/plate in which the Lord had dinner with the disciples his friends, after this occurrence (the vision) the hermit described an existing[5] account by the name of “gradale.” “Gradalis” also indeed “gradale” in French[6] means wide and somewhat deep dish in which precious sacrificial feasts (or banquets) the wealthy are accustom to serve step-by-step, one set of morsels after another in diverse succession (or arranged in rows). It is said (used) also among the common people who call it “greal” because those who consume it are thankful[7] and welcome it, and (rightly) so on account of its content, that same (vessel) perhaps is ornamented with silver or even another precious material, and so on account of its contents the very same class use it on many occasions of sacrificial feasts (banquets) of great value. So far I have not been able to find this account in Latin however only a certain few of nobility have it in French[8] writing, and neither was it entirely easy to find.

Liturgical meaning is explicit:
First let me clearly state that I have no formal training in the transcription or translation of Latin into English. I have done my best with a few Latin dictionaries to make this translation admittedly with a Catholic world view (that was also prevalent in Helinandus’ day and which he undoubtedly held as a Roman Catholic monk). I believe that the essence of what Helenandus was trying to convey is decently reflected here but at the same time I welcome any professional advice given in charity from better qualified individuals.

I noticed that where certain words had several choices of meanings that some might make explicit references to the liturgy of the Mass. Also some phrases are clearer when understood from a Catholic perspective of the Holy Eucharist. For instance the Latin word “dapes” may be translated as “sacrificial feast/meal” or more plainly as “banquet”. Some dictionaries offer even “meal of meat”. In other words we are talking about real flesh or meat.

Then there is also the coupling of the term “preciosae” with “dapes” which is clearly defined as “precious”. Is it a coincidence that Catholics refer to one species of the Eucharist as the Precious Blood?

The meal is served “gradatim” from which we can see that the word “gradale” or “gradalis” is derived (Gradale as etymologists inform us is where we get the term grail as in Holy Grail). “Gradatim” literally means step-by-step or gradual. The Holy Mass is said and prayed in step-by-step fashion and the oldest of the four important chants of the Mass is called the Gradual. The name Gradual came from the medieval practice of singing a psalm while standing on the set of steps leading to the Ambo. Not all the way up the steps but on the way up… gradually ascending them.

Consider also that when the common people partake of this meal they are thankful. The Latin word “grata” means thanks as does the Greek word “Eucharist” which we name our Blessed Sacrament. This is the proper way to approach the Most Holy Eucharist, with a humble and contrite heart, with thanksgiving.

But most compelling is not a single word or a pairing of words but a repeated phrase, “and so by means of its content.” From this phrase we see that it is not the grail itself that gives the rich and the poor alike the reason to be thankful. It is not for the glorification of the grail itself that it should be decorated lavishly. Rather it is that precious sacrifice which the grail contains which merits veneration (cf Matthew 23:20-22). Of course the mere fact that Christ used it makes it a relic par excellence!

From these translations and considering that Helinandus was a Cistercian monk who would certainly have understood the liturgical references in his choice of words, I believe it is a reasonable conclusion that the term “gradale” from its very beginning was blessed with a deep liturgical meaning.

Original Latin:
Hoc tempore (717-719) in Britannia cuidam heremitae demonstrata fuit [monstrata est] mirabilis quaedam visio per angelum de [santo] Ioseph decurione nobili, qui corpus Domini deposuit de cruce et de catino illo vel [sive] paropside, in quo Domius caenavit cum discipulis suis, de quo ab eodem heremita descripta est historia quae dicitur gradale [de gradali]. Gradalis autem vel [sive] gradale gallice dicitur scutella lata et aliquantulum profunda, in qua preciosae dapes [add: cum suo jure] divitibus solent apponi gradatim, unus morsellus post alium in diversis ordinibus. Dicitur et vulgari nomine greal [graalz], quia grata et acceptabilis est in ea comedenti, tum propter continens, quia forte argentea est vel de alia precioso materia, tum propter contentum .i. [id est] ordinem multiplicem dapium preciosarum. Hanc historiam latine scriptam invenire non potui sed tantum gallice scripta habetur a quibusdem proceribus, nec facil, ut aiunt, tota inveniri potest.

Resources:
Introduction, The Grail Legend by Emma Jung, Marie Louise von Franz, pg 29
Concerning the Word Graal Greal, Modern Philology, March 1916 pg 185
Latin – English translations:
– Pocket Oxford LATIN Dictionary, Oxford University Press Inc., New York
Catholic Archives
Starz21 Online Translator
Translation Guide Online Translator
New Advent
Ancient Texts

Philippians 2:5-8
View in: NAB Vulg Greek
5For let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7But emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men, and in habit found as a man.
8He humbled himself, becoming obedient unto death, even to the death of the cross.
Matthew 17:1-8
View in: NAB Vulg Greek
1And after six days Jesus taketh unto him Peter and James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into a high mountain apart:
2And he was transfigured before them. And his face did shine as the sun: and his garments became white as snow.
3And behold there appeared to them Moses and Elias talking with him.
4And Peter answering, said to Jesus: Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles, one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.
5And as he was yet speaking, behold a bright cloud overshadowed them. And lo, a voice out of the cloud, saying: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased: hear ye him.
6And the disciples hearing, fell upon their face, and were very much afraid.
7And Jesus came and touched them: and said to them, Arise, and fear not.
8And they lifting up their eyes saw no one but only Jesus.
Matthew 23:20-22
View in: NAB Vulg Greek
20He therefore that sweareth by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things that are upon it:
21And whosoever shall swear by temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth in it:
22And he that sweareth by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon.
Mark 4:9-12
View in: NAB Vulg Greek
9And he said: He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
10And when he was alone, the twelve that were with him asked him the parable.
11And he said to them: To you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but to them that are without, all things are done in parables:
12That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand: lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.
Matthew 13:9-18
View in: NAB Vulg Greek
9He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
10And his disciples came and said to him: Why speakest thou to them in parables?
11Who answered and said to them: Because to you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven: but to them it is not given.
12For he that hath, to him shall be given, and he shall abound: but he that hath not, from him shall be taken away that also which he hath.
13Therefore do I speak to them in parables: because seeing they see not, and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
14And the prophecy of Isaias is fulfilled in them, who saith: By hearing you shall hear, and shall not understand: and seeing you shall see, and shall not perceive.
15For the heart of this people is grown gross, and with their ears they have been dull of hearing, and their eyes they have shut: lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.
16But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear.
17For, amen, I say to you, many prophets and just men have desired to see the things that you see, and have not seen them, and to hear the things that you hear and have not heard them.
18Hear you therefore the parable of the sower.
Luke 23:50-53
View in: NAB Vulg Greek
50And behold there was a man named Joseph, who was a counsellor, a good and just man,
51(The same had not consented to their counsel and doings;) of Arimathea, a city of Judea; who also himself looked for the kingdom of God.
52This man went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus.
53And taking him down, he wrapped him in fine linen, and laid him in a sepulchre that was hewed in stone, wherein never yet any man had been laid.
Matthew 27:57-60
View in: NAB Vulg Greek
57And when it was evening, there came a certain rich man of Arimathea, named Joseph, who also himself was a disciple of Jesus.
58He went to Pilate, and asked the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded that the body should be delivered.
59And Joseph taking the body, wrapped it up in a clean linen cloth.
60And laid it in his own new monument, which he had hewed out in a rock. And he rolled a great stone to the door of the monument, and went his way.
John 19:38
View in: NAB Vulg Greek
38And after these things, Joseph of Arimathea (because he was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews) besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus. And Pilate gave leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus.
Matthew 23:20-22
View in: NAB Vulg Greek
20He therefore that sweareth by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things that are upon it:
21And whosoever shall swear by temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth in it:
22And he that sweareth by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon.
  1. implied by context of the preceding entry I presume []
  2. some texts have the word Sancto which means saint []
  3. decurione – means senator. []
  4. From scripture we know that Joseph of Arimathea was a member of the Sanhedrin and it is this status which gained him access to request the body of Jesus and gave him the means for His burial. Luke 23:50-53 Matthew 27:57-60 John 19:38 []
  5. it may or may not have been extant at the time Helinandus wrote this []
  6. Gall – from Gallic meaning of or pertaining to France []
  7. some translate grata as agreeable because of the phonetic similarity but this doesn’t exist in the Latin pronunciation []
  8. Gallice – from Gallic meaning of or pertaining to France []