The Spear Of Destiny

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The Spear Of Destiny

      The Spear of Destiny, also known as the Spear Longinus, 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.

      At the crucifixion of Jesus, the Spear was in the possession of the Roman Centurion, Gaius Cassius Longinus. It was Longinus who pierced Jesus' side with the Spear, causing blood and water to spurt forth from the wound. The mixture apparently splattered in Longinus' face, restoring his vision, which had been failing. The circumstances surrounding Jesus' crucifixion had such a profound effect on Longinus that he later sought out the surviving Apostles, so he could learn from them. He later moved to Caesarea of Cappadocia and became a monk, where he was eventually condemned to death for being a Christian.

      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), Theodosius, 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), and 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 chrsiten him Holy Roman Emperor in 936 - Otto went on to carry the Spear into vicctory 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.

      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 smugged out of Vienna just prior to the battle, so he never managed to obtain it.

      Obviously, having "the Great" (or a Roman Numeral) as part of your name increases your chance of actually possessing the Spear - as does having the occupation of "Emperor".

      In the early 20th century, it was briefly in the possession of Kaiser Wilhelm, 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 ?"

      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 committed suicide.

      Generals Eisenhower and Patton decided to return the Spear to the Royal House of Hapsburg shortly thereafter.

      The staff of the spear has long since disappeared. All that remains now are the Spear's head (in two sections), and a bolt used to connect the two sections, rumored to be one of the actual nails from the True Cross.

      The Spear has been in the possession of the Royal House of Hapsburg (de jure Holy Roman Emperors) for quite some time. It now rests, once again, in the Hofsburg Treasure House in Austria, where Hitler first saw it in 1912, and where the public can see it, free of charge, Monday through Saturday, 9am-6pm.

      A copy of the Spear is kept in Cracow, Poland. Another Spear, also claimed to be the true Spear of Destiny, was taken by St. Louis to Paris, following his return from the Crusades in Palestine in the 13th century. Yet another "true" Spear was sent to Pope Innocent VIII by the Ottoman Sultan Bajazet II in 1492. That Spear is now encased in one of the pillars supporting the dome of St. Peter's Basilica.

 
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