Monday, 10 July 2006

A Tale of Two Cups

The Pope’s 26-hour trip to Spain seems to have been a great success. According to Independent Catholic News, ‘during Mass, the Pontiff used a chalice which is venerated in Valencia's Cathedral as the same cup Jesus used in the Last Supper.’ I know he venerated the Holy Grail during his pilgrimage to Valencia – but did he actually use it at Mass? I can’t find confirmation of this report but if it’s true, then this is great material for my next Maundy Thursday sermon.

Talking of cups, the Holy Father made sure he was back in Rome to see the Azzuris win the World Cup, with the help of an unfortunate head-butt from the winner of the Golden Ball award. I missed all the action since I was entertaining a Singaporean friend from University, although I must admit the Pizza Express overlooking the Thames near the Globe Theatre was blissfully quiet. I’m glad a great Catholic nation is top of the footballing world (as is normally the case), even though one ecstatic Italian fan said: ‘This is bigger than the Pope - this is bigger than life.’

I was living in Rome when Lazio won the Italian League – and Rome erupted into all-night partying. With the flags and chanting I thought for a moment that a revolution had started. I’m sure the Holy Father wasn’t able to get much sleep last night!



Anonymous Nancy said...

I've seen at least one photo from the Mass in which the Holy Father is clearly seen to be using the chalice. John Paul II used it in a Mass in Valencia in 1982.

It must have been a very moving experience.

1:43 pm  
Anonymous PF said...

You can see the chalice at

2:35 pm  
Anonymous PF said...

Father Nicholas, did I send the right address for the photo? It should be

Paul Francis c.p.

2:44 pm  
Anonymous northerncleric said...

Yes, though it looked different from the one he venerated in the Cathedral - the one used at Mass looked like a stone cup (!) richly mounted in gold and gems with handles attached either side.
There was a presentation at the Cathedral (it is sometimes difficult to undersatnd what the english language commentators from Vatican Radio are trying to describe) I got the impression that the very splendidly arrayed chapter of canons presented the Holy Father with a gold replica of the relic.
I must say that EWTN offer a splendid service in transmitting Vatican TV/Radio coverage of most Papal events via Sky.

3:31 pm  
Blogger Fr Nicholas said...

Thanks for the pictorial link - the computer I'm currently using has problems uploading pictures, but I'll try and post one of them later...

3:39 pm  

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