Nic Cage is known as a collector of strange relics, as we've documented before. For a few years, soon after a famous ill-advised attempt to own a dinosaur skull, he dedicated himself to finding one specific, elusive item: The Holy Grail. Which is kind of amazing, since the Holy Grail isn't really a thing.

We don't mean that religion is false. We mean that if you believe in Christianity, you shouldn't believe in the Holy Grail, because canon has no place for it—and if you don't believe in Christianity, well, we don't even understand how you could believe in the grail without first believing in Christianity. 

The way the story goes, the Holy Grail is the chalice that Jesus drank out of during the Last Supper, and drinking from it grants eternal youth. When we say "the story," we mean Arthurian legend, because that's where the popular idea of the grail comes from. Knights in legends would go on quests for the grail because a quest is a very convenient framing for an adventure story. Real knights at the time did not seek the grail, and you, listening to the stories, were not supposed to come away from them believing in the Grail, no more than you were supposed to believe in a real-life Excalibur or Merlin. 

The Bible makes no mention of a chalice at the Last Supper, and nor does religious artwork. If Jesus did drink from a chalice that night, that wouldn't make it magic like the legends say. Catholics believe that every single reenactment of the Last Supper is magic, transforming wine to blood and renewing Jesus' sacrifice, and yet they believe the original supper was not—that first supper was just Jesus announcing what would happen and telling the disciples how to remember him. 

Some versions of the legend say that biblical guy Joseph of Arimathea used this same chalice to catch Jesus' spilled blood during the crucifixion. It's unclear why he would use that exact chalice for that purpose or how he got it, but even if he did that, that would just make the grail a nice relic to own, not magic, going off Christian rules. Yes, Jesus' blood grants eternal life, but it's eternal life after death, the "blood" is Jesus' sacrifice rather than fluid preserved from his dead body, and (again) we can make all the blood we want every day in church. 

Still, Nicolas Cage spent years reading up on the grail to try to track it down. His research took him to Glastonbury in England, where a well is said to taste like blood because the Grail once lay here. Cage noted that the taste really came from iron in the water. His research also led him to Newport, Rhode Island, where an old stone tower is said to predate recorded European presence in America because it was made by the Knights Templar, guardians of the grail. 

"What I ultimately found," said Cage, upon finding no physical evidence of the Grail, "is: What is the Grail but Earth itself? The metaphor for me is the earth. The divine object is Earth." This is the sort of profound, mature statement that means absolutely nothing. 

He also bought some property in Rhode Island. It seemed like a nice place.

Get the Saturday Morning Cracked Newsletter!

Your weekly round-up of Cracked deeps dives, delivered every Saturday and perfect over a nice bowl of cereal. Subscribe now!

Tags

Forgot Password?