A J.R. Church classic from May 2002, PITN Magazine
Ever wonder what happened to the spear used to pierce the side of Christ? It is kept in a museum in Vienna, Austria, along with the royal robes and crowns of the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire. It lies in a glass case upon faded red velvet and looks quite harmless… now. But the story behind it weaves a bloody trail, a legend of international intrigue and conspiracy.
According to the legend, it possesses magical powers from the underworld. Whoever owns it can conquer and rule the world. Tales of its occult powers are immortalized in the 13th-century poem, Parsival. Written by Wolfram von Eschenbach in 1210, the poem tells the story of a quest for the Holy Grail.
The hero, Parsival, locates the Grail castle, enters a banquet hall and witnesses a mystical ceremony. Across the room, he notices a group of Knights Templar. Near the center of the hall, he sees the ailing king, Anfortas. From a side entrance, a squire enters the room holding the spear. Blood drips from its blade and point. He proceeds to walk around the room, touching all four walls. While the spear is present, everyone weeps. When the ceremony is concluded, and the squire leaves the room, everyone appears to be happy again. It is an unusual story – but then, it is an unusual spear.
The legendary spear is made of iron. A wide base with metal flanges depicting the wings of a dove supports its long tapering point. Within a central aperture of the blade, a hammer-headed nail is secured by a golden cuff; threaded with metallic wire.
It is said that Joseph of Arimathea took the cup, from which Christ drank at the Last Supper, and brought it to the cross. When the Roman centurion pierced the side of Christ, Joseph caught His blood in the cup – at which time, it became the “Holy Grail.”
At this point, we have the spear and the cup together, representing the contrast between good and evil. In the years that followed, Joseph of Arimathea took the cup to England, where he and his progeny became the guardians of the Holy Grail.
The spear, on the other hand, was passed down from one soldier to another – until it was given to Mauritius, the head of the Theban Legion, a third-century garrison of Roman soldiers. Mauritius and his men were stationed in Egypt about the year A.D. 285 when word came from Rome for his garrison to attend a pagan festival, where sacrifices would be made to the pantheon of Roman gods.
Mauritius and his men had become Christians, whereupon he refused to bring a sacrifice for the pagan deities. His commanding officer demanded that Mauritius and his men obey his orders to sacrifice to the Roman gods. When Mauritius declined to do so, Maximian threatened to kill the entire garrison. As a final gesture of passive resistance, Mauritius, with the spear in his hand, knelt down in front of the ranks of his own soldiers and bared his neck. His head was promptly severed from his shoulders.
His men were so inspired by his example of faith in Christ that they elected to die with their leader rather than worship the Roman deities in whom they no longer believed. Eventually, 6,666 Legionnaires, the most disciplined force in Roman military history, laid, aside their weapons and knelt to bare their necks for slaughter.
Such barbarism was not seen again until the massacre of 6 million Jews in the death camps of Adolf Hitler. The spear and sword passed into the hands of Constantine, who wielded its “serpent powers” to rise to the throne of the Roman Empire. He held it to his chest before the assembled church fathers when he declared himself to be the “13th Apostle.”
A Symbol of Power
In A.D. 496, the Roman hierarchy made a pact with Clovis, king of the Franks (France), and grandson of Merovee (progenitor of the Merovingian bloodline), to become the “new Constantine” emperor of the Western European division of the Christianized Roman Empire. The Merovingian dynasty used an ancient spear as its symbol of power, the spear that once belonged to Constantine.
Charlemagne (A.D. 800) inherited the spear and kept it with him night and day, believing it to have magical powers. Charlemagne attributed his position to his possession of the spear and its legend of world-historic destiny, a legend that attracted the greatest scholars in Europe to serve the Roman Empire. He fought 47 campaigns with the belief of victory through the occult power of the spear and claimed the spear afforded him clairvoyant faculties.
In the years that followed, it was passed from one emperor of the Roman Empire to another. Frederick II (1212-1250) prized the spear above all things. He made it the focal point of his whole life, especially calling on its powers during his Crusades (in which Francis of Assisi once carried the spear on an errand of mercy). Frederick II believed in astrology and practiced alchemy.
In the year 1273, Rudolf of the Hapsburg dynasty (a Merovingian descendant) became emperor and invoked the title “Holy” Roman Empire. Altogether, 45 emperors claimed the spear – from the coronation of Charlemagne to the fall of the empire in 1806.
Napoleon abolished the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, but he married the Hapsburg princess, Marie Louise, of Austria, perhaps in hopes of carrying on the Merovingian bloodline. Napoleon felt that his rise to world power was dependent upon his possession of the spear, but before he could get to it, the spear disappeared. It was whisked away to Vienna.
After 106, the Hapsburgs continued as rulers of Austria; and after 1867, they provided the kings of Hungary. Today, the crown of the Holy Roman Empire, along with the legendary spear, remains in the Hapsburg Treasure House in Vienna, Austria.
The Spear and Adolf Hitler
According to a classified FBI report during World War II, Adolf Hitler’s mother once worked as a maid in the palace of the Hapsburg ruler of Austria. Though Adolf was an illegitimate son, the FBI claimed he was a Hapsburg.
In 1909, 21-year-old Hitler was living in Vienna as a university student. He was intrigued by stories of the spear and believed that the destiny of the world lay in its occult powers. He frequently went to the Treasure House, where he would stand for hours gazing at the spear. The young Hitler became obsessed with the idea that if he possessed the spear, he could rule the world. And why not if his father was a Hapsburg?
According to the book The Spear of Destiny by Trevor Ravenscroft. Hitler became involved with an occult group called the “Thule Gesellschaft.” They claimed to be an organization descended from the Knights Templar, guardians of the Holy Grail. They practiced the occult powers of Lucifer. They used a swastika as their insignia and became known as the Nazi Party.
Hitler rose to power in 1933. He had one obsession: to possess the spear. Finally, in April 1938, Hitler’s army entered Austria under the guise of annexing the nation and incorporating it into the Third Reich. His true purpose for entering Vienna was to possess the spear.
On Oct. 13, the spear, along with the crown and jewels of the Holy Roman Empire, wood from the cross and the sword of Mauritius, were taken to Nuremberg, the center for the Nazi movement.
Hitler finally gained possession of the spear in 1938. One year later, he invaded Poland and ignited World War II. Throughout the war, Hitler remained convinced that the occult powers of the spear would bring victory to the Third Reich.
When the British Royal Air Force began to bomb Nuremberg, the Nazis decided to find a safe hiding place for the spear. A tunnel was opened up beneath the historic Nuremberg Fortress.
It was quite by accident that American bombs blew away the cover, leaving a gaping hole in the ground. On March 30, 1945, the Nazi high command ordered the treasure to be moved again before the expected Americans invaded the city. The treasure was moved, but the spear was left behind.
Around 2 p.m., on the afternoon of April 30, 1945, an American battalion became the new owner of the spear. At that same hour, Hitler ended his own life in another bunker 50 feet below Berlin. Coincidence?
In the months that followed, the U.S., possessor of the spear, unleashed the most hideous monster of destructive power ever imagined, the atomic bomb! While possessing the spear, America was the undisputed master of the world!
However, none of the American senators, who went to Nuremberg to see the Nazi loot, showed the least interest in the age-old legend of the spear. General Patton was the only one who appeared to be fascinated at the sight of the spear. General Dwight Eisenhower, commander of the Allied Armies in Europe, made the final decision. He said bluntly: “Return the Hapsburg Regalia to Austria.”
On January 4, 1946, the imperial treasures were loaded aboard a convoy of jeeps. Two days later, they arrived in Vienna. And, you know, the United States hasn’t won a decisive victory since just a coincidence, of course.
Who will the next possessor of the spear will be?