Holy Lance

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The Holy Lance (also known as the Spear of Destiny, Holy Spear, Lance of Longinus, Spear of Longinus or Spear of Christ) is the instrument used by the Roman soldier to pierce the side of Jesus while he was on the cross.

There are three accounts of what happened to the lance. The best known claim is that of the Constantinople relic, also known as the Vatican Lance. It was found in Constantinople by St. Antoninus of Piacenza in 520 AD. By the 8th century, it had ended up in Paris. After the French Revolution, the lance was moved to the Vatican and has not left Rome since.

The second relic, the Vienna Lance, belonged to the Holy Roman Emperors. When the French Revolutionary army was approaching Nuremberg, it was moved to Vienna for safe-keeping. On the outset of World War 2, it was seized by Adolf Hitler, and at the end of World War 2, it was returned to Austria by General George S. Patton. The day the lance was taken into custody by the US, Hitler committed suicide.[1] It is currently held in the Schatzkammer, in Vienna.

The third, the Echmiadzin Lance, was discovered by the First Crusade in Echmiadzin, Armenia. There is no conclusive proof for what happened to the lance after this, but some believe that it fell into the hand of the Turks and is, in fact, the same lance that the Vatican currently holds.


  1. http://web.org.uk/picasso/spear.html