The mystery of the Spear of Destiny has fascinated people for centuries. This relic is associated with the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and has since become the subject of incredible interest. Everyone would like to know who owned the weapon after the day of crucifixion on Golgotha. In this article, we will explore various myths and speculations associated with the weapon.
The Legend Begins
Imagine that there was an artifact that gave the ability to conquer the whole world. That exactly was believed about the Spear of Destiny (also known as the Holy Lance or the Spear of Longinus). What is Holy Lance and where did it come from?
Legend has it that the Roman soldier Longinus used it to pierce the side of the crucified Jesus Christ in order to be sure that he was dead. That caused the ordinary lance to become a holy relic, frantically sought after by rulers and warlords. The legend of the Holy Lance, which was stained with Jesus' blood during the crucifixion, probably originated as a combination of several ancient Christian sources and legends.
Rulers Won Battles with the Spear of Destiny
Now to the belief that the owner of the Holy Spear could conquer the world. It may be due to the fact that powerful and successful rulers like Constantine the Great owned the spear, and their success was attributed to the ownership of the relic. Constantine is best known for legally recognizing Christianity as the religion of the Roman Empire. During his reign, the church hierarchy was formed and religious practice was established. According to one legend, Constantine won a battle because he wielded the Spear of Destiny, and that helped him become an emperor.
The Spear was also important during the Crusades. The First Crusade was marked by a long and exhausting Siege of Antioch. The Crusaders found themselves at a disadvantage and had to face a massive army of Kerbogha. After a miraculous discovery of the Holy Spear under the altar of the Temple of St. Peter, their morale was restored.
Raimond of Toulouse became the guardian of the relic. The spectacular discovery motivated the crusaders to fight on. They launched an attack on foot, armed with Crusader swords. In a decisive battle on 28 June 1098 at Antioch, they finally won and the Holy Lance became a key symbol of their success. We have written more about the topic in our articles on the History of Crusades.
The Spear was owned by many leaders. For a certain period of time, it was the property of Charles IV., the Holy Roman Emperor and the most famous king of Bohemia. The powerful relic was stored at Karlštejn Castle along with other holy objects – Charles IV was a passionate collector. After Charles' death, the spear passed into the hands of his son Sigismund, who had it transported to Nuremberg. It remained there until the Napoleonic Wars.
The Holy Spear and World War II
As Napoleon fought his way through Europe. The Habsburg rulers decided to hide the relic in the safety of the Vienna Court Treasury. But during the Second World War, the Spear did not bring their owner victory. The superstitious Adolf Hitler was convinced that the Holy Lance would help him lead his nation to greatness, so he had the Spear of Destiny transferred back to Nuremberg as a sacred Nazi relic.
Whether the Spear ever had any “supernatural powers” remains an eternal mystery, but one thing is certain - it did not help Hitler to win his battles. It is no longer possible to say with certainty whether the weapon, considered to be the Holy Spear, really was the spear used at the crucifixion of Jesus. What happened to the mysterious relic after the war?
The American soldiers found the Spear of Destiny in an underground hideout, causing a sensation. General George Smith Patton, who knew the legend well, had to resist the temptation to take the relic to the United States. Eventually, there was an order to return the artifact to Austria.
Modern Technology Has Revealed the Age of the Spear
Officially, the real Holy Spear is promoted as the real one. But there are speculations that the Americans returned only a copy to Austria and kept the original weapon for themselves. Some experts even claim that the spear on display dates back to the eighth century and was ordered by Charlemagne.
However, more recent analyses suggest that the spear was made in the 3rd or 4th century AD. This means that it cannot be the real Spear of Longinus! So, what happened with the relic? Where could it be and what secrets does it hold? These questions may remain unanswered forever.
You Too Can Own the Spear of Destiny
If you are tempted to embark on the quest to find the Spear of Destiny, we have good news for you. You don't have to travel the whole world and dig holes in the ground. The Spear of Destiny is a part of our portfolio, or at least its replica. It's a museum-quality replica made of patinated iron and brass. The shiny brass case is hand-engraved with the inscription "lancea et clavus domini” - "Lance and nail of the Lord". The product comes from the workshop of a Czech blacksmith. If you are interested in authentic replicas, head to our sword replica category, where you will find both famous and lesser-known weapons.