A gift for the Custody: A Copy of the Holy Chalice from the Cathedral of Valencia for the Sanctuary of Saint Francis of the Cenacle | Custodia Terrae Sanctae

A gift for the Custody: A Copy of the Holy Chalice from the Cathedral of Valencia for the Sanctuary of Saint Francis of the Cenacle

Saint Saviour's Church, Jerusalem, 13 April, 2012

During a Solemn Mass celebrated on the 11th of April in Saint Saviour's Church, the archbishop of Valencia, His Excellency Mgr. Carlos Osoro, bestowed on the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land a copy of the Holy Chalice of the Last Supper of Our Lord that the faithful venerate in the Cathedral of Valencia.

During the celebration, Mgr. Osoro used the copy of the Holy Grail for the consecration. It will now be on permanent display in the Cenacle in an ostensorium, a precious reliquary in gold and glass, so that it can be admired by all the pilgrims who visit the Holy Place where Christ celebrated the Last Supper before his Passion, Death and Resurrection.

Concelebrating the Solemn Mass were the Auxiliary Bishop of Valencia, His Excellency Mgr. Enrique Benavent, the Custos of the Holy Land, Brother Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Custodial Vicar, Brother Artemio Vitores, a number of Valencian priests who took part in the pilgrimage, and many Franciscan friars of the Custody.

At the end of his homily, during which he emphasized the close ties of the Holy Grail to the Eucharist and priestly orders, sacraments that were both instituted by Jesus during the Last Supper, Mgr. Osoro bestowed the Chalice on the Custody in the presence of the other 200 participants in the pilgrimage that had begun the previous Monday, all of whom were able to kiss the copy of the holy object at the end of the celebration.

With lively cordiality, Brother Artemio Vitores expressed thanks for the precious gift, emphasizing the value and importance of the Holy Grail that is venerated in Valencia, and confirming that the copy given to the Custody will find a home in "one of the two lungs of Jerusalem, which are the Holy Sepulchre and the Cenacle"

Similarly, the canonical guardian of the Holy Chalice in the Cathedral of Valencia, Jaime Sancho, described the significance and responsibilities of the Confraternity of the Holy Grail, in view of which the directors of the distinguished institution decorated Brother Pizzaballa and Brother Vitores with crosses of Knights of Honor, also giving the Custody certificates and books, as well as promotional material about the Holy Grail.

The newly donated chalice was taken to Saint Saviour's Monastery, where it will be kept until renovations are completed that will allow its transfer to the little church of Saint Francis of the Cenacle, known as the Cenacolino (little Cenacle), on Mount Zion, very close to the place where the Last Supper was held, a sanctuary that is presently in Israeli hands.

The pilgrimage, which was organized by the Commissariat of the Holy Land in Valencia together with the Royal Fraternity and the Confraternity of the Holy Grail in cooperation with the Engrupo Voyages travel agency, was guided in the Holy Land by Mgr. Benavent because the Archbishop of Valencia had to return on Thursday April 12th, in order to celebrate a prayer vigil the next day with the young people of Puerto de Sagunto.

The copy of the Holy Grail that was just brought to Jerusalem was confided to the Provincial Minister of the Franciscans in Valencia, Brother José Antonio Jorda, last October during the annual Holy Grail holiday that is celebrated in the cathedral of the Spanish city on the last Thursday of October, when the Archbishop gives copies of the relic to parishes and institutions that have restored or promoted Eucharistic worship and vocation promotion.