The Holy Grail is a religious icon or myth that is known in one form as another by almost every Christian. It has been the inspiration for everything from authentic historical pursuits to an Indiana Jones movie. For most people, the Holy Grail long meant a chalice that was either used during the Last Supper or caught the blood of Christ as he was crucified, or both. The Da Vinci Code and the stories upon which it was based have changed that historical perception significantly and along with the idea of the grail being a vessel for the progeny of the bloodline of Christ, many other concepts of what it actually might have been have been forwarded. That fluidity of the Holy Grail compares significantly to another hallowed object that has also been the object of historical pursuits and fiction: the Sacred Lance.
The Sacred Lance traces back to the Gospel of John that describes a Roman soldier using a lance to pierce the flesh of Jesus Christ. Like the Holy Grail and so-called pieces of the true cross, the Sacred Lance was a highly prized religious relic sought after during the Middle Ages. As with the pieces of the true cross, the Sacred Lance has appeared to exist in several places at once, but there is one story that holds much more weight upon followers of the pursuit. Legend states that Charlemagne, the very first Holy Roman Emperor, was in possession of the Sacred Lance and carried it into battle during many successful campaigns. In fact, the legend goes on to assert that Charlemagne only met his death when he accidentally dropped the lance during battle. Over the years, the mystery of the Sacred Lance deepened and expanded as it was endowed with ever greater mystical powers as it was passed from one Holy Roman Emperor to the next, eventually winding up in the hands of the Hapsburg dynasty.
Fast forward to the 20th century where a young German artist learns this story of the Sacred Lance and becomes obsessed not just with its origins, but with its symbolic authority. The young artist will grow up to become perhaps the single greatest propagandist of all time. His name was Adolf Hitler. In 1938, when he became Chancellor of Germany, Hitler issued the order that annexed Austria into membership in the Third Reich. Just three days later Hitler also gave the order that all precious belongings of the Hapsburgs be seized and brought to Nuremberg. In October of 1938 the Sacred Lance finally arrived in Nuremberg where it was stayed safe and protected for the next six years until the Allied bombing campaign began. In order to further protect it from the ravages of fire the Sacred Lance was buried in a vault that had been specially built for it and other rare Hapsburg loot. In April of 1945 as the war was slowly grinding to a halt, the vault was discovered by American soldiers. The Sacred Lance and everything else in the vault was seized in the name of the United States. The legend goes that it was later on that very same day that Adolf Hitler committed suicide. What actually became of the Sacred Lance, however, remains a mystery.