|Heiligen Johannes der Evangelist|
Speer des Schicksals (also known as the 'The Holy Lance', 'Spear of Destiny', 'Holy Spear', 'Lance of Longinus', 'Spear of Longinus') is the name given to the lance that pierced Jesus's side as he hung on the cross in John's account of the Crucifixion.
The Spear of Destiny is an ancient weapon, supposedly forged by the equally ancient Hebrew prophet, Phineas.
Legend has it, is has been passed down from dynasty to dynasty over the centuries.
Among those who are alleged to have possessed the Spear at one time or another are :
Herod the Great (King of Judea, ruled 37 BC-4BC)
Maurice the Manichean (from Egypt, who held the spear until his death circa 306, to keep it from the Emperor Maximian)
Constantine the Great (Roman Emperor, b.337, d.361, carried it into victory at the battle of Milvian Bridge and also while surveying the layout of his new city, Constantinople)
Alaric (who sacked Rome)
Theodoric (the only man to force Attila the Hun to retreat, circa 451)
Justinian, Charles Martel (Frankish ruler, grandfather of Charlemagne, b.688?, d.741)
Charlemagne the Great (Carolingian King of France, Emperor of the West, b.771, d.814), carried the Spear through 47 victorious battles, but died when he accidentally dropped it).
In the early 900's, it fell into the possession of the Saxon Dynasty of Germany, passing from Heinrich I the Fowler (Duke of Saxony, Saxon King of Germany, ruled 919-936, the Spear was present at his victorious battle against the Magyars) to his son Otto I the Great (Saxon King of Germany, Holy Roman Emperor, ruled 936-973, Pope John XII (term 955-963) used the Spear to christen him Holy Roman Emperor in 936 - Otto went on to carry the Spear into victory over the Mongols in the Battle of Leck. After his death, there are conflicting stories of what happened to the Spear. One tale says it was passed on to his son Otto II (Saxon King of Germany, Holy Roman Emperor, ruled 973-983), then to Otto III (Saxon King of Germany, Holy Roman Emperor, ruled 983-1002), and eventually to Henry II the Saint (Saxon King of Germany, Holy Roman Emperor, ruled 1002-1024). Another story claims it was moved to Antioch following the death of Otto I the Great, where it remained until rediscovered in 1098, during the First Crusade.
|Napoléon Empereur des Français|
Eventually, it fell into the possession of the house of Hohenstaufen (descendants of the house of Saxon) and to Frederick Barbarossa (Holy Roman Emperor and conqueror of Italy during the 12th century, ruled 1152-1190, Barbarossa died within minutes after accidentally dropping the Spear into a stream), Henry VI (King of Germany, Holy Roman Emperor, ruled 1190-1197), Otto IV (Holy Roman Emperor, ruled 1198-1218), and Frederick II (King of Germany, Holy Roman Emperor, ruled 1218?-1250).
It was allegedly possessed by three other Hohenstaufen Emperors as well.
Napoleon attempted to sieze the Spear after the Battle of Austerlitz, but it had been smugged out of Vienna just prior to the battle, so he never managed to obtain it.
|Kaiser Wilhelm II|
In the early 20th century, the spear was briefly in the possession of Kaiser Wilhelm II, before eventually ending up the Hofsburg Treasure House in Vienna.
It was there, in September of 1912, where Adolf Hitler first laid his eyes upon it...
'I knew with immediacy that this was an important moment in my life...
I stood there quietly gazing upon it for several minutes, quite oblivious to the scene around me.
It seemed to carry some hidden inner meaning which evaded me, a meaning which I felt I inwardly knew, yet could not bring to consciousness...
I felt as though I myself had held it in my hands before in some earlier century of history - that I myself had once claimed it as my talisman of power and held the destiny of the world in my hands.
What sort of madness was this that was invading my mind and creating such turmoil in my breast ?
|Katharinenkirche Nürnberg - 1938|
Adolf Hitler seized the Spear in the name of the Third Reich on March 12th, 1938, the day he annexed Austria.
It was shipped via an armored SS train to Nuremberg on October 13th (the same date that the Knights Templar were destroyed centuries earlier), where it remained for six years in St. Catherine's Church before being moved to an underground vault for protection.
During the final days of the war in Europe, at 2:10 PM on April 30th, 1945, Lt. Walter William Horn, serial number 01326328, of the United States 7th Army, took possession of the Spear in the name of the United States government
Within 90 minutes of the United States capturing the Spear, Adolf Hitler disapeared from history.
The gospel states that the Romans planned to break Jesus' legs, a practice known as crurifragium, which was a method of hastening death during a crucifixion.
Just before they did so, they realized that Jesus was already dead and that there was no reason to break his legs.
Peter Paul Rubens
… but one of the soldiers pierced his side with a lance (λογχη), and immediately there came out blood and water.
The phenomenon of blood and water was considered a miracle by Origen.
Catholics, while accepting the biological reality of blood and water as emanating from the pierced heart and body cavity of Christ, also acknowledge the allegorical interpretation: it represents one of the main key mysteries of the Church, and one of the main themes of the Gospel of Matthew, which is the homoousian interpretation adopted by the First Council of Nicaea, that "Jesus Christ was both true God and true man."
The blood symbolizes his humanity, the water his divinity.
A ceremonial remembrance of this is done when a Catholic priest says Mass: The priest pours a small amount of water into the wine before the consecration, an act which acknowledges Christ's humanity and divinity and recalls the issuance of blood and water from Christ's side on the cross.
Saint Faustina Kowalska, a Polish nun whose advocacy and writings led to the establishment of the Divine Mercy devotion, also acknowledged the miraculous nature of the blood and water, explaining that the blood is a symbol of the divine mercy of Christ, while the water is a symbol of His divine compassion and of baptismal waters.
|Crucifixion - Jesus is Speared|
The figure is unnamed in the gospels. The Longinus legend further identifies this soldier as the centurion present at the Crucifixion, who testified, "In truth this man was son of God."
Longinus' legend grew over the years to the point that he was said to have converted to Christianity after the Crucifixion, and he is traditionally venerated as a saint in the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, and several other Christian communions.
No name for this soldier is given in the Gospels; the name Longinus is found in the pseudepigraphal Gospel of Nicodemus that was appended to the apocryphal Acts of Pilate. Longinus did not start out as a saint.
An early tradition, found in the 4th-century pseudepigraphal "Letter of Herod to Pilate," claims that Longinus suffered for having pierced Jesus, and that he was condemned to a cave where every night a lion came and mauled him until dawn, after which his body healed back to normal, in a pattern that would repeat till the end of time.
The name is probably Latinized from Greek longche (λόγχη), the word used for the lance mentioned in John 19:34.
It first appears lettered on an illumination of the Crucifixion beside the figure of the soldier holding a spear, written, perhaps contemporaneously, in horizontal Greek letters, Loginos, in the Syriac gospel manuscript illuminated by a certain Rabulas in the year 586, in the Laurentian Library, Florence.
The spear used is known as the 'Holy Lance', more recently, especially in occult circles as the "Spear of Destiny", which was revered at Jerusalem by the sixth century, though neither the centurion nor the name "Longinus" were invoked in any surviving report.
As the "Lance of Longinus", the spear figures in the legends of Parsifal and the Holy Grail.
In some medieval folklore, e.g., the Golden Legend, the touch of Jesus's blood cures his blindness.
Often claimed that the body of Longinus, twice recovered and lost, was asserted to have been found once more at Mantua in 1304, together with the Holy Sponge stained with Christ's blood, wherewith it was told - extending Longinus' role - that Longinus had assisted in cleansing Christ's body when it was taken down from the cross.
However, literatures deny any recovery of body.
What is venerated in Mantua is corpules of alleged blood taken from the Holy Lance.
There are no documents that support that th relics were divided and have been distributed to Prague and elsewhere, the body taken to the Church of San Agostino in the Vatican at Rome. All official guides of Saint Agustine Church in Rome do not even mention of the presence of any tomb associated with Saint Longinus.
Furthermore, any modern relics claimed to be dispensed from Rome recently are of little value and could be labelled immediately as fakes.
Longinus is venerated, generally as a martyr, in the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Armenian Apostolic Church. In the Roman Martyrology he is mentioned, without any indication of martyrdom, in the following terms: "At Jerusalem, commemoration of Saint Longinus, who is venerated as the soldier opening the side of the crucified Lord with a lance".
His Feast Day is 15 March. In the Armenian Apostolic Church, his feast is commemorated on October 22.
Relics Claimed to be the Holy Lance
There have been three or four major relics that are claimed to be the Holy Lance or parts of it.
No actual lance is known until the pilgrim Antoninus of Piacenza (AD 570), describing the holy places of Jerusalem, says that he saw in the Basilica of Mount Zion "the crown of thorns with which Our Lord was crowned and the lance with which He was struck in the side".
A mention of the lance occurs in the so-called Breviarius at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The presence in Jerusalem of the relic is attested by Cassiodorus (c. 485 – c. 585) as well as by Gregory of Tours (c. 538 – 594), who had not actually been to Jerusalem.
Holy Lance of Rome
St Peter's - Rome
According to the Chronicon Paschale, the point of the lance, which had been broken off, was given in the same year to Nicetas, who took it to Constantinople and deposited it in the church of Hagia Sophia, and later to the Church of the Virgin of the Pharos.
This point of the lance, which was now set in an icon, was acquired by the Latin Emperor, Baldwin II of Constantinople, who later sold it to Louis IX of France.
The point of the lance was then enshrined with the Crown of Thorns in the Sainte Chapelle in Paris. During the French Revolution these relics were removed to the Bibliothèque Nationale but subsequently disappeared.
(The present "Crown of Thorns" is a wreath of rushes.)
As for the larger portion of the lance, Arculpus claimed he saw it at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre around 670 in Jerusalem, but there is otherwise no mention of it after the sack in 615.
Some claim that the larger relic had been conveyed to Constantinople in the 8th century, possibly at the same time as the Crown of Thorns.
At any rate, its presence at Constantinople seems to be clearly attested by various pilgrims, particularly Russians, and, though it was deposited in various churches in succession, it seems possible to trace it and distinguish it from the relic of the point. Sir John Mandeville declared in 1357 that he had seen the blade of the Holy Lance both at Paris and at Constantinople, and that the latter was a much larger relic than the former; it is worth adding that Mandeville is not generally regarded as one of the Middle Ages' most reliable witnesses, and his supposed travels are usually treated as an eclectic amalgam of myths, legends and other fictions.
"The lance which pierced Our Lord's side" was among the relics at Constantinople shown in the 1430s to Pedro Tafur, who added "God grant that in the overthrow of the Greeks they have not fallen into the hands of the enemies of the Faith, for they will have been ill-treated and handled with little reverence."
Whatever the Constantinople relic was, it did fall into the hands of the Turks, and in 1492, under circumstances minutely described in Pastor's History of the Popes, the Sultan Bayezid II sent it to Pope Innocent VIII to encourage the pope to continue to keep his brother and rival Zizim (Cem Sultan) prisoner.
At this time great doubts as to its authenticity were felt at Rome, as Johann Burchard records, because of the presence of other rival lances in Paris (the point that had been separated from the lance), Nuremberg (see "Vienna lance" below), and Armenia (see "Echmiadzin lance" below).
In the mid-18th century Pope Benedict XIV states that he obtained from Paris an exact drawing of the point of the lance, and that in comparing it with the larger relic in St. Peter's he was satisfied that the two had originally formed one blade.
This relic has never since left Rome, where it is preserved under the dome of Saint Peter's Basilica, although the Church makes no claim as to its authenticity.
In 1655, the French traveler Jean-Baptiste Tavernier is the first Westerner to see this relic in Armenia
A Holy Lance (in Armenian Geghard) is now conserved in Vagharshapat (Echmiadzin), the religious capital of Armenia.
The first source that mentions it is a text "Holy Relics of Our Lord Jesus Christ", in a thirteenth century Armenian manuscript.
According to this text, the spear which pierced Jesus was to have been brought to Armenia by the apostle Thaddeus.
The manuscript does not specify precisely where it is kept, but the Holy Lance gives a description that exactly matches the lance, the monastery gate, since the thirteenth century precisely, the name of Geghardavank (Monastery of the Holy Lance).
In 1655 the French traveler Jean-Baptiste Tavernier was the first Westerner to see this relic in Armenia.
In 1805, the Russians took the monastery and the relic was moved to Tchitchanov Geghard, Tbilisi, Georgia.
It was later returned to Armenia at Echmiadzin, where it is always visible to the museum Manougian, enshrined in a reliquary of the seventeenth century.
This Echmiadzin Lance has never been a weapon.
Rather, it is the point of a sigillum, perhaps Byzantine, with a diamond-shaped iron openwork Greek cross.
Holy Lance of Antioch
|The Spear of Antioch|
After much digging in the cathedral, Peter apparently discovered a lance.
Despite the doubts of many including the papal legate Adhemar of Le Puy, the discovery of the Holy Lance of Antioch inspired the starving Crusaders to break the siege and secure the city.
The 'Spear of Destiny' (Hofburg Spear)
The Holy Roman Emperors had a lance of their own, attested from the time of Otto I (912-973). In 1000 Otto III gave Boleslaw I of Poland a replica of the Lance at the Congress of Gniezno.
In 1084 Henry IV had a silver band with the inscription "Nail of Our Lord" added to it.
This was based on the belief that this was the lance of Constantine the Great which enshrined a nail used for the Crucifixion.
In 1273 it was first used in the coronation ceremony.
Around 1350 Charles IV had a golden sleeve put over the silver one, inscribed "Lancea et clavus Domini" (Lance and nail of the Lord).
In 1424 Sigismund had a collection of relics, including the lance, moved from his capital in Prague to his birthplace, Nuremberg, and decreed them to be kept there forever.
This collection was called the Reichskleinodien or Imperial Regalia.
When the French Revolutionary army approached Nuremberg in the spring of 1796 the city councilors decided to remove the Reichskleinodien to Vienna for safe keeping.
The collection was entrusted to one "Baron von Hügel", who promised to return the objects as soon as peace had been restored and the safety of the collection assured.
However, the Holy Roman Empire was disbanded in 1806 and the Reichskleinodien remained in the keeping of the Habsburgs.
When the city councillors asked for the Reichskleinodien back, they were refused. As part of the imperial regalia it was kept in the Weltliche Schatzkammer - 'Secular Treasury' - (Hofburg - Vienna) and was known as the 'Lanze von Saint Maurice'.
Die Schatzkammer in Wien
|Kaiserkrone des Heiligen|
The Schatzkammer collections were set up from 1556 onwards by the scholar Jacopo Strada, court antiquarian of Ferdinand I.
The Imperial Regalia arrived in the last days of the Holy Roman Empire around 1800 from Nuremberg, where they had been kept since 1424, in order to save them from the advancing French troops under Napoleon.
|"Speer des Schicksals"|
(The Spear of Destiny)
Reichskleinodien - Weltliche Schatzkammer - Hofburg
The Weltliche Schatzkammer contains a collection of royal objects:
The Reichskleinodien (Imperial Regalia): insignia and jewels of the Holy Roman Empire, including the Imperial Crown, the Spear of Destiny (Lance of Saint Maurice) and the Imperial Sword.
The Austrian Crown Jewels, comprising the personal crown of Emperor Rudolf II, which with the proclamation of the Austrian Empire in 1804 became the Imperial Crown of Austria, with sceptre and globus cruciger, the regalia worn by Emperor Ferdinand I of Austria on the occasion of his coronation as King of Lombardy–Venetia in 1835, as well as the vestments and other precious items of the Order of Saint Stephen of Hungary and the Military Order of Maria Theresa;
The Burgundian Treasury, part of the dowry of Mary the Rich at her wedding with Archduke Maximilian I in 1477.
The treasury of the Order of the Golden Fleece from the heritage of Mary's father Duke Charles the Bold.
On display are various valuable gems, including one of the world's largest emeralds.
Part of the treasury are also the crown of the Transylvanian prince Stephen Bocskay and the two “inalienable heirlooms of the House of Austria”: a giant narwhal tooth which was thought to be the horn of a unicorn (Ainkhürn) and the Agate bowl from Late Antiquity which was thought to be the legendary Holy Grail; furthermore the Napoleonica artifacts of Napoleon II and his mother Marie Louise.
The ecclesiastical collection contains numerous devotional images and altars, mostly from the Baroque era.
During the Anschluß, when Austria was annexed to Germany, the Reichskleinodien were returned to Nuremberg and afterwards hidden.
They were found by invading U.S. troops and returned to Austria by American General George S. Patton after World War II.
According to Paul the Deacon, the Lombard royal line bore the name of the Gungingi, which Karl Hauck and Stefano Gasparri maintain identified them with the name of Odin’s lance, Gungnir (a sign that they probably claimed descent from Odin, as did most of the Germanic royal lines).
Paul the Deacon notes that the inauguration rite of a Lombard king consisted essentially of his grasping of a sacred/royal lance.
Milan, which had been the capital of the Western Roman Empire in the time of Constantine, was the capital of the Lombard kings Perctarit and his son Cunipert, who became Catholic Christians in the 7th century.
Thus it seems possible that the iron point of the Lombardic royal lance might have been recast in the 7th century in order to enshrine one of the 1st century Roman nails that St. Helena was reputed to have found at Calvary and brought to Milan, thus giving a new Christian sacred aura to the old pagan royal lance.
If Charlemagne’s inauguration as the King of the Lombards in 774 had likewise included his grasping of this now-Christianized sacred or royal lance, this would explain how it would have eventually become the oldest item in the German imperial regalia.
The Iron Crown of Lombardy (dated to the 8th century), which eventually became the primary symbol of Lombardic kingship, takes its name from the tradition that it contains one of the holy nails.
Gregory of Tours in his Libri Historiarum VII, 33, states that in 585 the Merovingian king Guntram designated his nephew Childebert II his heir by handing him his lance, it is possible that a royal lance was a symbol of kingship among the Merovingian kings and that a nail from Calvary was in the 7th century incorporated into this royal lance and thus eventually would have come into the German imperial regalia.
Parsifal - Richard Wagner
Das Unbekannte Übermensch
der Speer des Schicksals
und der Heilige Gral
The opera's plot concerns the consequences of the spear's loss by the Knights of the Grail and its recovery by Parsifal.
Having decided that the blood on the Spear was that of the wounded Saviour – Christ is never named in the opera – Wagner has the blood manifest itself in the Grail rather than on the spearhead.
The spear is an important symbol not only because it is derived from the spear of Longinus who, it is said, was thrust into Christ's side during the crucifixion, shedding the Savior's blood, but also because it stands for higher mind, that part of us which must decide whether the mind will aspire to spirit or succumb to material desire.
|The Spear and the Chalice|
The spear is an important element in Wagner's version of the Grail story, and this is where Wagner deviates from the earlier accounts of the Grail mystery.
While Hitler suspected that the Spear of Longinus (St Maurice Speer), held in the Schatzkammer in Wien, was the spear used during the crucifixion of Jesus - symbolically he associated it with the spear in Wagner's 'Parsifal'.
For Wagner, the 'union' of the Spear and the Chalice of the Grail were essential to the eventual consummation of the drama.
Through his involvement with the 'Thule Gesellschaft' (which derived some of its traditions from the OTO), Hitler understood the sexual symbolism of Wagner's sacred drama.
Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.) (Order of the Temple of the East) is an international fraternal and religious organization founded at the beginning of the 20th century.
Originally it was intended to be modelled after, and associated with Freemasonry, but it was later reorganized around the Law of Thelema as its central religious principle.
This Law—expressed as “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law" and "Love is the law, love under will” —was promulgated in 1904 with the writing of 'The Book of the Law'.
The Grail cup symbolises the purity and perfection of the 'Aryan womb',and the Spear symbolises the Aryan phallus.
The bringing together of these two elements represents the sexually creative union, which is essential to the creation of the 'pure, noble blood'.
|© Copyright Peter Crawford 2012|
this union of the 'spear' and 'chalice' would be an 'act of creation, the divine operation,
the goal of a biological mutation which would result in an unprecedented exaltation of the human race, and the appearance of a new race of heroes, demi-gods and god-men'.
"I am founding an Order.
the final stage will be the creation of the 'Man-God', when Man will be the measure and centre of the world.
'Der Speer des Schicksals'
(The Spear of Destiny)
© copyright Peter Crawford 2012
"The old beliefs will be brought back to honour again.
The whole secret knowledge of nature, of the divine, the demonic.
We will wash off the Christian veneer and bring out a religion peculiar to our race."
|Fourth Reich Antarctic Base|
Buechner was a retired colonel with the U.S. Army who served in World War II.
He claims he was contacted by a former U-boat submariner, the pseudonymous “Capt. Wilhelm Bernhart,” who claimed the spear currently on display in Vienna is a fake.
"Bernhart" said the real spear was sent by Hitler to Antarctica along with other Nazi treasures, under the command of Col. Maximilian Hartmann.
In 1979 Hartmann allegedly recovered the treasures.
Bernhart presented Buechner with the log from this expedition as well as pictures of the objects recovered, claiming that after the Spear of Destiny was recovered, it was hidden somewhere in Europe by a Nazi secret society.
After contacting most of the members of the alleged expedition and others involved, including Hitler Youth Leader Artur Axmann, Buechner became convinced the claims were true.