The legend of the Sacred Grail has been told and retold in various cultures and languages for hundreds of years. First mentioned in the late 12th century by French author Chrétien de Troyes in Perceval: ou le Conte du Graal, the story of the legendary vessel and the quest to find it became increasingly popular during the 19th century. Even today, the appeal of the quest is universal because the Grail has never been found or even unambiguously identified. The ownership of the Grail has been attributed to various groups, mainly to the Knights Templar, because it allegedly represents the cup of the Last Supper that collected Christ's blood upon his removal from the Cross.
Theories abound as to where the cup comes from, where it traveled, and where it ended up. One says the Knights Templar took it from Jerusalem during the Crusades. Thereupon, we find cups in several churches all across Europe. Another theory says that the history of the Grail can be traced to the 11th century somewhere in the Middle-East, while evidence presented by some scholars suggests that the origin of the grail legend lies in Celtic myth. Today, there are at least five known places that claim ownership of the Grail. Some researchers went even further by claiming that Jesus may not have even died on the Cross, but lived to wed Mary Magdalene and father children whose Merovingian bloodline has persisted until this very day.
The search for the Sacred Grail has occurred in different epochs and in many lands. Even today it is believed that, if one drank from the Sacred Grail, one would become immortal. However, old legends differed, they agreed in this: that the Sacred Grail was to be sought far away and with great trial. The search for the Sacred Grail, Grail Castle, and Grail Keeper, required various heroes to pass one or more tests or challenges, a form of initiation to the mysteries, in order to succeed in the quest. Percival, after his first visit to the Grail Castle, had to search for five years before healing the Fisher King, and restoring the fertility to the land. For most heroes of legend, the search for the Sacred Grail remained an impossible quest, the cup an unattainable mirage.
For modern scholars, too, the Grail has been an invincible conundrum, a riddle without end. Whenever the Grail seem within reach by modern scholarship, it slipped away, and slipped away again.