Authors: Varla Ventura
After weeks of traveling, I found myself in a small, dark room just off the main
in Barcelona, Spain. My girlfriend and I were very weary and grateful for the simple and affordable room. While my girlfriend slipped easily into a deep slumber, I tossed and turned, unable to fall asleep. I became keenly aware of
a glowing sensation by and around the shuttered window. Irritated, I tried to ignore it, exhausted as I was. But I was unable to ignore it, and so I looked back toward the window. I clearly saw a man sitting with his back to me, at a desk in front of the window. (There was no actual desk in the room.) He appeared to be leaning forward, writing something down on paper. He took no notice of me whatsoever, and I felt no threat. I simply turned over and, at last, fell asleep.
This infamous object has been sought by scholars, scientists, and the devout for centuries. The Holy Grail is best known as the cup that Jesus used to drink from at the Last Supper, and that Jesus' uncle used to catch drops of Jesus' blood at the crucifixion. In order to escape persecution, the disciples of Jesus took the Grail to Glastonbury, England. There are countless legends surrounded the Grail and its mystical powers. Some believe it is a cauldron of magic, containing secrets of birth and death. Others argue that the Grail is not an
object at all, but rather a state of spiritual enlightenment. Many chalices resting in museums around the world claim to be the actual Grail.
Locals help tourists remember the name of these ancient Inca ruins by laughingly telling them it is pronounced “sexy woman.” On a hillside just above the town of Cuzco, Peru, the Sacsayhuaman ruins still bake in the golden light of the Inca's beloved sun. Most local history says that Cuzco was built in the shape of the sacred puma and Sacsayhuaman was the puma's head. The stone walls and monoliths of Sacsayhuaman were so expertly crafted that the Spanish conquistadores, convinced no mortal man could create stonework so perfect, thought the Sacsayhuaman must have been built by evil spirits.
November of 1919 was an especially cold and difficult winter in the northern regions of Italy. Snow fell on Venice, and Dr. Antonio Salvatici was making his way down one of the canals in a covered gondola. The
doctor was the bishop's personal physician and was leaving the church late after attending to an elderly member of the diocese.
From the banks of the canals, Dr. Salvatici heard the voice of a young girl crying for help. When the doctor looked through the falling snow to the street, he saw a little girl, clutching a shawl for warmth, calling to him. Her mother was ill, and the little girl was begging that he come tend to her.
Although he was surprised that the girl recognized him as a doctor, he nonetheless answered her plea and disembarked from the gondola, following the little girl to a court, then up a flight of stairs in one of the old houses. There he found a sick woman, who had a terrible case of pneumonia. As Salvatici attempted to ease the woman's pain, he said to her that she was lucky to have such a daughter, one who would brave the elements to come and find him to get her mother help.
At this the woman looked quite shocked, and reported to the doctor that her daughter had died one month before. Salvatici argued with her, telling the sick woman he had just seen her and followed her here. How else would he have known to go to her, just as she was at her sickest?
But the woman insisted her daughter had died and pointed to a cupboard where she kept her daughter's
things. The doctor indulged the woman and opened the cabinet, only to discover the woman indeed had her young daughter's things—among them the very shawl, dry as a bone, that he had seen her clutching as she called to him in the snowy night. No trace of the little girl was found.