in English

We may need your help

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FIRE APPEAL

The alarming situation with forest fires in Portugal has become very worrying in recent days. In 2017 the OSMTHU has closely followed the tragedy that struck various parts of the country, claiming lives and incinerating vast areas of forests in the Templar regions north of the Tagus river and in the historic Pinewood of Leiria.

This year, the Commandery of Lisbon – Chagas Hill and the Commandery of Laccobriga (based in Lagos, just 25 miles from the main area being consumed at this very moment in the Algarve province) have already got involved with a few volunteers in support of those who struggle to extinguish the alarming threat on the ground. However, the weather is unpredictable and the past has taught us how the situation can change in a heart beat.

We then ask all Templar Globe readers who wish to support the efforts being made on the ground by our team, that include the donation and transport of supplies, water, food and medicines, to make a donation using the following account of the Commandery:

IBAN: PT50 0193 0000 1050 1984 5524 5

All help, regardless of size, is needed and appreciated.

Please, if you donate, send us an email with your name and contacts to osmthu@mail.com so that we can acknowledge your contribution and send you the final REPORT ON THE FIRE APPEAL by September 1st with details on donations and use of proceeds.

Please, pray for us.

For any other information, please contact:

Fr+ José Miguel da Fabiana, Coordination of Operations

miguelfabiana@gmail.com

+351.917500402

osmthu.org


IN THE MEDIA

EL MUNDO (Español)

THE INDEPENDENT (English)

LE MONDE (Français)


UPDATE August 7, 22:42

A new car with supplies was dispatched to the theater of operations. The logistic coordination centre of the Order is located in the Headquarters of the Firefighters of Portimão. Ask for João Pedro Silva.

Tomorrow, August 8, Commander Victor Varela Martins will be available along the morning and early afternoon to accept bottled water, energy bars and medicines as he travels from Madrid, Toledo, Talavera de lá Reina, Mérida and Badajoz to Évora. He’s expected to meet the Commanders of Sintra and Arraiolos in Évora at 18:00. If you wish to meet them, you can get in touch with Commander Victor by phone on: +351.93.701.78.36

UPDATE August 7, 23:35

Arriving at the theater of operations is a desolating experience:

“Fiery sparks fall from the sky. The road side catches fire instantly. There are hundreds of small burning spots everywhere. Fire locations are 100 times more in number than the available means. It’s an uneven fight. All that remains is to defend and resist. God help us.”

(…) “We have just given a cell phone to a poor unprotected person who lives near the fire line who had no way of contacting his family. There are many ways to be of help.” (Fr+ João Pedro Silva, KTJ)

UPDATE August 8, 06:47

New report from the theater of operations:

“We safely finished our mission. We spent the night distributing food and water. The situation seems calmer, a good change from the chaos at 11pm. There was a great calm at dawn, the wind was very strong but the temperatures have dropped drastically. We hope the won’t be any new fires throughout the day. ” (Fr + João Pedro Silva, KTJ)

Fr+ João Pedro Silva, KTJ and Brother Fernando Miranda

UPDATE August 8, 12:03

New report from the theater of operations:

“We left the front at 7am convinced that the problem was finally over. Unfortunately, there is  news of intense resurfacing and a new front of fire. It’s the wind. The situation is infernal. The temperature at dawn has been around 12 degrees, so that is not the main cause. It’s an endless nightmare. Tonight I saw myself multiple spontaneous ignitions, out of nowhere, at the same time and close to me. It looks like mushrooms of fire popping up from the ground. It was not arson. They were not projections from ongoing flames. I don’t know what it is, but it seems to be alive. Any explanation we may have on this subject is pure speculation. (Fr + João Pedro Silva, KTJ)

UPDATE August 8, 12:05

After departing on his journey from Madrid, the Commander of Lagos, Victor Varela Martins, arrives in Toledo where he collects product donations coordinated with our friends of the Sigillum Templi Group (special thanks to Victor Alfonso Padilla Nieto).

UPDATE August 8, 12:30

Fr+ Jorge Amador, KTJ shares photos of the fight against the flames last night and this morning.

UPDATE August 8, 13:19

Commander Paulo Valente of Sintra confirms that he has collected product donations in Elvas.

UPDATE August 8, 14:30

Commanders Paulo Valente of Sintra and Rui Herdadinha of Arraiolos begin operations to collect product donations at the logistics point selected in Évora.

UPDATE August 8, 18:00

Commander Victor Varela Martins joins the team already in Évora to prepare the cargo and startthe journey to Silves/Portimão.

UPDATE August 8, 18:43

Fire in Enxerim, at the gates of Silves. The fire progressed through several hills from the Odelouca Dam (+ 30km away).

UPDATE August 8, 20:03

Request of the Commander of Lagos:

“Brother Rui Herdadinha and I are on our way to the Silves Firefighters Station with a van full of goods to deliver. Anyone available to help with the load ??? We will arrive around 9pm.” (Fr + Victor Varela Martins, KCTJ)

UPDATE August 8, 21:50

Arrival at Silves Firefighters Station and unloading the goods.

UPDATE August 8, 23:02

The Commander of Arraiolos Rui Herdadinha gives a live interview to Antena 1 national radio.

UPDATE August 9, 00:00

The Order wishes to thank all the Brothers and Sisters who have shown their strength, imagining, organizing and rolling out this short operation, putting on the ground in record time. It should be noted that everyone returned home safely and without incidents. The way our social networks were activated, namely Facebook groups of the Order and of our Brothers and friends from all over the world, allowed us all to have the opportunity to participate and contribute to the success, from the rear to the theater of operations itself. I believe this is a first, both in extension and interaction in the contemporary the Templar world, which shows how relevan the Order still is today if we’re ready and willing.

To all, our deep “thank you”.

Luis de Matos
Prior General of Portugal
Chancellor of the OSMTHU


CREDITS*

Coordination of Operations (in different moments):

Fr+ Paulo Valente, KCTJ
Fr+ Victor Varela Martins, KCTJ
Fr+ Rui Herdadinha, KCTJ
Fr+ João Pedro Silva, KTJ
Fr+ Miguel da Fabiana, KTJ

Volunteering:
D+ Catarina Silva, DTJ
Fr+ Jorge Amador, KTJ
Fr+ Filipe Silva, KTJ
D+ Paula Valente, DTJ
Fr+ Pedro Bernardo, KTJ
Sister Ana Martins
Brother Fernando Miranda
Brother Filipe Beja Simões
Brother Hugo Guerreiro
Brother Luís Neto
Brother Paulo Menegucci
Brother Tiago Sério
Postulant Carlos Walcher
Postulant Luis Almeida
Arsénio Miguel Condaça Lérias
David Manuel Freitas Chambel
Diogo José Macau Soares
Élsio José Campaniço Leocádio
Emanuel José Semedo Piteira
Fábio Manuel Tavares Mendes
Francisco Manuel Carmo Gemito
José Manuel Da Silva Rosado
Murillo Henrique Vieira da Silva
Miguel Ângelo Barbosa Catambas
Ruben Filipe Letras Vermelho

Contributions:
Fr+ Luis Fonseca, KCTJ
Fr+ Luis de Matos, KGCTJ
Irmão José Carlos Mateus

Acknowledgements:
A. J. Salvadinha II, Lda.
Agroreparadora lda
Alma de Muralha
Armazem 8
BUSF
Diana Peças Lda
Farmácia Évora
Fr+ Francisco Miguel Fernandez, OSMTH – Toledo
Fresenius Farmaceutica
Hidro Portugal Lda
JB Santana
Land Rover Évora
NautiEvora
Rurambiente
Sagres
Tintas Barbot
UniLubes Lda
Victor Alfonso Padilla Nieto
Fr+ Victor Mayenco
VitalAire Lda

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Pentecost Benedictio Militis, Arraiolos 2018 – The Ceremony

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A substantial part of the ceremony of adoubement is conducted privately, only accessible to members of the Order. The act of adoubement itself, however, is public. It becomes a commitment not only to the Order but also to the world. Having this in mind, it’s not easy to describe the complete ceremony as it is conducted in the priory of Portugal, since it strictly follows Tradition, starting just moments before sunset, leading to a night long vigil where the future Knights and Dames are led to contemplate their life and prepare to partake of a new quality, that is both physical and spiritual, that could change their lives.

It is preferable, therefore, that we let images and quotes fill the gaps of what is customary to make public and what is deemed as more suitable to keep reserved and personal.

Alba Avis

“Once they have installed themselves in this holy house with their horses and their weapons, clean it”, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

Ex Occidente Lux

“Colors are light’s suffering and joy”, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Lux in Flamma

“Danger or victory depends on the disposition of heart”, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

In Tenebrae

“This is, I say, a new kind of knighthood and one unknown to the ages gone by. It ceaselessly wages a twofold war both against flesh and blood and against a spiritual army of evil in the heavens.”, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

Sola Fide

Spero in Fide

Post Tenebras Lux

“Go forth confidently”, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

Gaudium

Benedictio Militis

“If some perhaps find my work unsatisfactory or short of the mark, I shall be nonetheless content, since I have not failed to give you my best.”, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

All photos were taken by members of the Order, including Novices, Squires, Knights and Dames. For a full credit list, please visit our Facebook Group.

The Order has the following new Knights and Dames: Catarina Silva, DTJ; Cristina Vargas, DTJ; Filipe Silva, KTJ; Inês Ferreira, DTJ; João Gonçalves, KTJ; Jorge Amador, KTJ; Jorge Cravosa, KTJ; Pedro Bernardo, KTJ; Vera Reis, DTJ. The Order also received new Novices and Squires.

After the Benedictio Militis and the Pentecost Mass, the Order joined the Idegeo [Association] of Professor Manuel J. Gandra‘s celebration of Pentecost in Arraiolos. The Portuguese traditional Império do Divino Espírito Santo, in preparation for the Third Age announced by Joachim of Fiore or the Fifth Empire (of the Holy Spirit) referred to by poet Fernando Pessoa and many others, is comprised of an Auto, with the Parade and Coronation of the Child King, followed by the Bodo do Império, a popular feast and meal shared between all the participants as the anticipation of an era of the universal fraternity of mankind. This is the second year that the Priory of Portugal supports and attends these celebrations as part of the annual calendar.

For inquiries, feel free to email osmthu@mail.com

Pentecost Benedictio Militis, Arraiolos 2018 – The Lunch and the Conference

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Master Antonio Paris with Fr+ Luis de Matos, Chancellor and GP Portugal

The solitary Knight is often depicted in old chivalry tales as the perfect image of wisdom and valour. Indeed, each Knight and Dame of the Templar Order today should aim to live up to that expectation. But the Order becomes stronger when two or three meet in person and work towards our goals That is why the OSMTHU has long established the habit of adding to the already satisfying lunch or dinner event – a moment of friendship and joyful conviviality – a new moment of learning and sharing of ideas and experiences. And that moment is the Conference or Round Table.

The Council Meeting

Friday was a peaceful day in Arraiolos. The beautiful village in the Portuguese region of Alentejo was the perfect setting to the Magisterial Council meeting Master Emeritus Antonio Paris promoted. But no rush. No worries. Life is taken lightly here in Alentejo. After everyone arrived at the Pousada of Nossa Senhora da Conceição, an old convent restored to it’s glory and opened to the public as an excellent hotel, it was time to find a place to have a light meal. Commander Rui herdadinha was already waiting, with a full afternoon of leisure in mind: typical local food, a walk to the Arraiolos castle, a stroll down the narrow streets of the village, famous for its rugs and tapestries.

Master Antonio Paris, Sister Patricia Oyarzun, Fr+ Leslie Payine, Seneschal and Prior of England and Wales

In the late afternoon the Council met, welcoming two of the visiting Order leaders so that the discussion could be broader and more informed. Master Paris lead the meeting, in which he announced his intention of resuming his Office (see the news and details here), working for unity in the Templar world. Fr+ Luis de Matos, Chancellor and Interim Master and Fr+ Leslie Payne, Seneschal were also present, with invited guests Sister Patricia Oyarzun and Fr+ Vinko Lisec, Prior of Croatia.

The discussions were extensive and working plans for the next two years were laid out and analysed. That day the Declaration of Arraiolos was drafted, to be signed in the following days.

Master Antonio Paris, analyzing a draft of the Declaration

Gala Lunch

Masterly organized by Commander Rui Herdadinha, with the precious help of Fr+ Filipe Beja, Director at the Pousada, the Gala Lunch was a great opportunity for Templars from all over Portugal and members of foreign delegations to meet each other, exchange views and experiences, talk about their templar projects and ambitions (we’re involved in projects such as the Portuguese Templar Santiago Way, the Feytorias Project, a research project, of which more will be known shortly) and generally having a great time.

Present at the Lunch was the full leadership of the Portuguese Order, including Fr+ Luis de Matos, Prior General, Fr+ Luis Fonseca, Commander of Lisbon and In Ecclesia Bishop Christophorus de Lusignan, Fr+ Paulo Valente, Commander of Sintra, Fr+ Victor Varela Martins, Commander of Laccobriga, Fr+ Rui Herdadinha, Commander of Arraiolos and Sister Paula Valente, Preceptor of Porto, as well as Novices, Squires, Knights and Dames of the Priory.

Visiting delegations were composed by Master Antonio Paris, Fr+ Leslie Payne, Seneschal and Grand Prior of England and Wales, Fr+ Vinko Lisec, Grand Prior of Croatia with Fr+ Lovro Tomasinec and Sister Paricia Oyarzun, currently Cabinet Secretary to the Council. Finally, the Lunch was further honoured by the presence of Fr+ Antonio Andrade, Prior General of Portugal of the OSMTH and his Chancellor Fr+ Fernando Castelo Branco.

The Conference

The opening session of the Conference took place in the Arraiolos Library on Friday night, with the presence of a representative of the local Municipality authority, the speakers and Commander Rui Herdadinha.

On Saturday the main session opened at 3pm, under the general theme “Conflict and War- The Concept of Just War in the 21st Century”. Messages were sent by Priorires and Templar authorities that were not able to be present, from all over the world. These messages were read and will be added to the Proceedings in order to be published later in the year as a compilation book on the subject.

The Commander opened the session thanking all those who contributed with papers and messages to the Conference, introducing Master Paris who reminded everyone of the history of the Just War concept, including the contribution of Saint Agustin and Saint Ignatius.

Fr+ João Pedro Silva talked about Spiritual Chivalry, bringing up some of the main tenants of the Order, followed by Fr+ Luis Fonseca, Commander of Lisbon who read a passage from the “City of God” by Saint Agustin, commenting on it.

arraiolos18_41

Finally Fr+ Vinko Lisec, with the aid of Fr+ Lovro Tomasinec on the translation, told about his personal experience of war, reminding everyone that Croatia was torn between conflicting armies just a few years ago, when Yugoslavia broke apart. His account of the current refugee situation in his country, as well as of the disappearance of a national citizen in Egypt, kidnapped and used as ransom bargain by extremist groups, threatened to be beheaded in a video and since in an unknown location, had everyone gripped.

The session was brought to a close at the end of the afternoon. After a short visit that the Library of Arraiolos merited, as one of the oldest public buildings in town, having served as the Mala Posta (old Royal Postal Service of Portugal), it was time for group photos.

Some of the attendees then rushed to nearby coffee shops and terraces to get some water or a cold beer that would help to bring solace to a hot sunny afternoon in Alentejo. Others formed smaller groups debating the theme of the day and preparing for the evening’s ceremonies. After all, in less that one hour, the National Chapter was due to open in the Convent.

For inquiries, feel free to email osmthu@mail.com

NEXT: Pentecost – The Ceremony

Master Antonio Paris resumes his term of Office in the OSMTHU

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During Pentecost celebrations in Arraiolos, Portugal, in May 2018, Master Antonio Paris, in the presence of his Chancellor and Seneschal, sign the Declaration of Arraiolos, effectively resuming the term for which he had been elected in 2004, in order to prepare the free, universal and transparent elections of a new Master and the unity of the Order.

Declaration of Arraiolos

In the same Declaration, Master Antonio Paris made three new appointments to his Magisterial Council:

  • Sister Patricia Oyarzun, Cabinet Secretary to the Master
  • Fr+ Vinko Lisec, Prior of Croatia, Advisor and President of the Committee on Electoral Procedure
  • Fr+ Luis Fonseca, Episcopo Christophorus de Lusignan, Chaplain

After 2007, when Master Antonio Paris suspended his term in office due to personal health problems and professional commitments with his local government, where he has taken a few official leadership positions, the Chancellor Fr+ Luis de Matos organized new elections, according to the Rules of the Order. Please see the article in the Templar Globe about that subject.

OSMTHU Electoral Procedure Opened until March 2009

At the end of the term, no candidates presented candidatures. It was decidade by the Magisterial Council that the Chancellor would also assume the role of Interin Master and prepare the needded background work to call new elections. In the folowing years several Priories left the Order, leaving only two possible candidates for the position and very few voting members. The OSMTHU prides itself of always holding free universal elections audited by independent partners. The Magisterial Council prepared new elections throughout 2016 and 2017, however the strict rules for candidacy (among them the requirement that candidates to the Mastership must have served as elected national Priors) determined that no suitable candidates presented themselves.

Currently, the Order maintains as Master Fr+ Antonio Paris that will finish his term of election after the Declaration of Arraiolos and  Fr+ Luis de Matos, who was Interim Master between 2007 and 2018, returns to his position as Chancellor of the Magisterial Council.

Master Emeritus Fernando de Toro-Garland (left in the photo) passed away in June 2017.

compostela3-060a

What exactly is the Holy Grail – and why has its meaning eluded us for centuries?

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Type “Holy Grail” into Google and … well, you probably don’t need me to finish that sentence. The sheer multiplicity of what any search engine throws up demonstrates that there is no clear consensus as to what the Grail is or was. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of people out there claiming to know its history, true meaning and even where to find it.

Modern authors, perhaps most (in)famously Dan Brown, offer new interpretations and, even when these are clearly and explicitly rooted in little more than imaginative fiction, they get picked up and bandied about as if a new scientific and irrefutable truth has been discovered. The Grail, though, will perhaps always eschew definition. But why?

The first known mention of a Grail (“un graal”) is made in a narrative spun by a 12th century writer of French romance, Chrétien de Troyes, who might reasonably be referred to as the Dan Brown of his day – though some scholars would argue that the quality of Chrétien’s writing far exceeds anything Brown has so far produced.

Chrétien’s Grail is mystical indeed – it is a dish, big and wide enough to take a salmon, that seems capable to delivering food and sustenance. To obtain the Grail requires asking a particular question at the Grail Castle. Unfortunately, the exact question (“Whom does the Grail serve?”) is only revealed after the Grail quester, the hapless Perceval, has missed the opportunity to ask it. It seems he is not quite ready, not quite mature enough, for the Grail.

But if this dish is the “first” Grail, then why do we now have so many possible Grails? Indeed, it is, at turns, depicted as the chalice of the Last Supper or of the Crucifixion or both, or as a stone containing the elixir of life, or even as the bloodline of Christ. And this list is hardly exhaustive. The reason most likely has to do with the fact that Chrétien appears to have died before completing his story, leaving the crucial questions as to what the Grail is and means tantalisingly unanswered. And it did not take long for others to try to answer them for him.

Robert de Boron, a poet writing within 20 or so years of Chrétien (circa 1190-1200), seems to have been the first to have associated the Grail with the cup of the Last Supper. In Robert’s prehistory of the object, Joseph of Arimathea took the Grail to the Crucifixion and used it to catch Christ’s blood. In the years that followed (1200-1230), anonymous writers of prose romances fixated upon the Last Supper’s Holy Chalice and made the Grail the subject of a quest by various knights of King Arthur’s court. In Germany, by contrast, the knight and poet Wolfram von Eschenbach reimagined the Grail as “Lapsit exillis” – an item more commonly referred to these days as the “Philosopher’s Stone”.

None of these is anything like Chrétien’s Grail, of course, so we can fairly ask: did medieval audiences have any more of a clue about the nature of the Holy Grail than we do today?

Publishing the Grail

My recent book delves into the medieval publishing history of the French romances that contain references to the Grail legend, asking questions about the narratives’ compilation into manuscript books. Sometimes, a given text will be bound alongside other types of texts, some of which seemingly have nothing to do with the Grail whatsoever. So, what sorts of texts do we find accompanying Grail narratives in medieval books? Can this tell us anything about what medieval audiences knew or understood of the Grail?

The picture is varied, but a broad chronological trend is possible to spot. Some of the few earliest manuscript books we still have see Grail narratives compiled alone, but a pattern quickly appears for including them into collected volumes. In these cases, Grail narratives can be found alongside historical, religious or other narrative (or fictional) texts. A picture emerges, therefore, of a Grail just as lacking in clear definition as that of today.

Perhaps the Grail served as a useful tool that could be deployed in all manner of contexts to help communicate the required message, whatever that message may have been. We still see this today, of course, such as when we use the phrase “The Holy Grail of…” to describe the practically unobtainable, but highly desirable prize in just about any area you can think of. There is even a guitar effect-pedal named “holy grail”.

Once the prose romances of the 13th century started to appear, though, the Grail took on a proper life of its own. Like a modern soap opera, these romances comprised vast reams of narrative threads, riddled with independent episodes and inconsistencies. They occupied entire books, often enormous and lavishly illustrated, and today these offer evidence that literature about the Grail evaded straightforward understanding and needed to be set apart – physically and figuratively. In other words, Grail literature had a distinctive quality – it was, as we might call it today, a genre in its own right.

In the absence of clear definition, it is human nature to impose meaning. This is what happens with the Grail today and, according to the evidence of medieval book compilation, it is almost certainly what happened in the Middle Ages, too. Just as modern guitarists use their “holy grail” to experiment with all kinds of sounds, so medieval writers and publishers of romance used the Grail as an adaptable and creative instrument for conveying a particular message to their audience, the nature of which could be very different from one book to the next.

Whether the audience always understood that message, of course, is another matter entirely.

in theconversation.com by Leah Tether

 

A Knight’s Tale

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Paddy Houlihan from Ballybeg is maintaining and promoting an almost forgotten site of significant historic interest – the Knights Templar Graveyard, Kilbarry.

AN IMPORTANT piece of Waterford’s history and heritage is being preserved and promoted thanks to the Trojan efforts of one local man and his granddaughter.

In a fantastic display of community spirit and pride of place, Paddy Houlihan from Ballybeg Square embarked on a project to improve the condition of the Knights Templar Graveyard in Kilbarry some years ago.

Paddy had become increasingly concerned for the condition of the graveyard which is located near Lacken Road Business Park and Templars Hall.

The Knights Templar were an international military order set up to protect pilgrims travelling to the Holy Land.

They arrived in Ireland in the late 1100s after the Norman invasion of 1169-71 and the witnessing of an Irish charter by Matthew the Templar in 1177.

They fell out of favour with the King of France in 1307, were persecuted on the continent and closed down in England and Ireland.

Their estates were handed over to their rivals, the Knights Hospitaller, but Kilbarry was one of three preceptories in Ireland retained for the Templars for the remainder of their lives.

The remains of the church of St Barry are located within the Kilbarry Knights Templar Graveyard.
Beside the church, a row of mortared stone buildings with slate roofs were located along with a row of large wooden buildings, probably barns.

Records show that the church, which was located on a slope overlooking a tidal marsh that extended to the River Suir, was in good repair until 1615 when it was still in use and serving the parish. The earliest headstone in the graveyard dates back to 1598 and the latest is dated 1856.

The graveyard lay more or less idle since the mid-1800s and, in the modern era, was believed by many to have been a famine graveyard.

Paddy Houlihan says many local people, including himself and his family, have many fond memories of playing in the area. He recalls the graveyard being a favourite location in which to explore with his brothers and sisters when growing up. “Everybody around this side of the city played in the area,” he explained.

In recent years, Paddy became concerned because of the huge growths of ivy throughout the graveyard, the high grass growths, and the many overhanging trees.

Along with his granddaughter Katie (his trusted sidekick and ‘Project Manager’), they spent countless hours engaging in efforts to clean-up the graveyard. More than 40 headstones/tombstones are located in the graveyard and, during the duo’s work, five tombstones were uncovered which had been hidden in the undergrowth. All of the names on the stones have now been recorded, and the graveyard’s condition has improved immensely.

in munster-express.ie by Kieran Foley

Last Supper: What Wine Was Served at Jesus and the Apostles’ Final Meal?

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The Bible offers a pretty comprehensive answer to the question ‘WWJD?’: what would Jesus do? But, as Christians observe Easter and the Last Supper another question arises: what would jesus drink?

To answer this question, the location and timing of the final meal that Jesus had with his disciples before he was crucified is key. And three of four of the accounts of Jesus’ life in the Bible – known as the Gospels – suggest that it took place on the last Thursday celebration of Passover in around AD 30,  Father Daniel Kendall, Professor of Theology and Scripture at the University of San Francisco told wine app Vivino.

“Unlike John the Baptist, Jesus drank wine,” explains Father Kendall, adding: “From the descriptions it was most likely a Seder meal. Since it was and is the most important of Jewish feasts, wine would have been part of the festivities.”

While grape varieties may not have been named and identified as they are now, wine had been made in this part of the Middle East since around 4000 BC.

Archaeological evidence suggests that around the time of the last supper, rich, concentrated wines were popular, says Dr Patrick McGovern, Adjunct Professor of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania and director of Biomolecular Archaeology Project for Cuisine, Fermented Beverages and Health at the University of Pennsylvania Museum in Philadelphia.

In Judah more specifically – near Jerusalem where the Last Supper is said to have taken place – archaeologists have found a jar inscribed with: “wine made from black raisins”. This means that winemakers may have used grapes dried on the vine or in the sun on mats to create sweet, thick drinks. At sites nearby in the region, jars labelled “smoked wine” and “very dark wine” have also been found.

While it was common to water down wine at the time, there was a taste in Jerusalem for rich, concentrated wine, according to Dr McGovern.

Spices and fruits – including pomegranates, mandrakes, saffron and cinnamon – were used to flavour such wines, and tree resin were added to help preserve them. So, the wine drank at the Last Supper, then, might resemble the mulled wine some of us drink at Christmas.

Today, comparable bottles would include Amarone, which is made in Northern Italy with grapes dried on straw mats.

While it’s unclear exactly which wine Jesus drank at the last supper, Dr McGovern jokes: “If someone can find me the Holy Grail and send it to my lab, we could analyse it and tell you.”

in The Independent