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of the Holy Tub

THE HISTORY of the Holy Tub is long and convoluted. Even though there were long periods where it was hidden from the world, from 33-326 and 1307-2005, the impact it had while it was in the world and the mysterious events that followed, assured that the Sacred Basin would never be forgotten. And during those fallow periods, significant evolution in beliefs of its miraculous powers only increased its allure.

What follows is a somewhat simplified chronology, but details have been retained which may aid in more deeply understanding the situation behind Hunters of the Holy Tub.


Biblical Origin

Thursday, 2 April: the Last Supper
Jesus Christ uses a washtub borrowed from his mother to bathe the Apostles’ feet. It is later believed to have been used by Pilate, and saved the next day by Simon Magus and his first wife, St. Berenice.

Apostolic Memento

c. 40
Peter retrieves Sacred Basin from Simon Magus, leading to their feud.
c. 60
Peter departs for Rome, leaves Holy Tub with St. Berenice in Antioch.
c. 100
The Gospel of John written.
c. 180
The Acts of Peter and John is composed.
c. 220
First evidence of “Foot-washers” or Pedilavists in Lower Egypt comes from a Gnostic tract composed at this time.
St. Prunella sees the Sacred Basin in a vision shortly before her martyrdom with St. Murexius the Gladiator.
St. Prunella’s testimony incorporated into her Passion.

Imperial Heirloom

c. 350
An iron frame is made to carry and protect the Sacred Basin.
c. 400
The Golden Legend of the Holy Basin is compiled.
Byzantine Emperor Justinian orders a bejeweled box made of porphyry and gold, which becomes known much later as the “Inner Reliquary,” to house the Pelluvium Sanctissimum.
Empress Irene sends the Holy Tub to Charlemagne with other relics and a letter.
Brother Eadward of York writes a detailed description of the basin and reliquary and carrying frame for the Imperial Inventory.
Holy Roman Emperor Otto I wields the Holy Tub during formal deposition rites of Pope John XII and coronation of Pope Leo VIII.
Emperor Henry IV promises Holy Tub to Pope Gregory VII, but reneges.

Templar Talsiman

On his deathbed, Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II entrusts the Knights Templar with the Sacred Basin.
c. 1260
Templars encase Inner Reliquary in an outer wooden one, known as the “Ark,” to take on pilgrimage in grand circuits around the continent.
Cathedral and part of Chateau Bellegarde are burnt during a raid by rebels.
St. Thomas Aquinas sees the Sacred Basin, supposedly writes On the Well of Forgiveness shortly before his death.
Templar Grand Master Jacques de Molay uses the Holy Tub to secure the election of Pope Celestine V, and publicly displays it during his coronation.
In an encyclical, Pope Boniface VIII demands the Sacred Tub for the papacy, threatening the Knights Templar with excommunication.
Failed ambush on the Templars by a group of rival Hospitallers to seize the Holy Tub for the pope damages reliquaries.
Cathedral reconstruction begins in Bellegarde; by year’s end Friar Lorenzo of Venice starts work on the Rose Line in the South Transept. Heronimo becomes his apprentice.

Mystery and Marvels

Friday, 13 October
Mass arrests of Templars take place all across France in pre-dawn raids. The escort of the Holy Tub is besieged in an unfinished cathedral in the town of Bellegarde. Before sunrise on the following Sunday, the Holy Tub vanishes. The dumbfounded knights claim that Mary took it back to Heaven.
De Molay and other Templars are burnt in Paris. A month later, on Wednesday, 17 April, the remaining Templars are burnt in Bellegarde. Only their young squire Simeon is left alive.
Br. Gabriele composes an investigative report on the mysterious events in Bellegarde for the Pope.
By popular demand, the Templars’ ashes are entombed in South Transept in the Cathedral of Bellegarde.
The Inquisition arrives in Bellegarde. On Friday night, 13 June, the first confirmed Vision of the Holy Tub is seen by Squire Simeon, Bl. Madeleine, and Jacques, just before Simeon is murdered by Inquisitor Jehan D’Leval. The next day at noon, the Miracle of the Scolding Madonna occurs, with dire prophecies and pyrotechnics which destroy the Chief Inquisitor.
Assistant Inquisitor Fr. Ricardo of Seville, who survived, writes an account of the Inquisition there for Pope Benedict XII.
c. 1346
Friar Martin the Sanguine founds a Flagellant order, the “Little Brothers and Sisters of Penance.”
Forces of King Edward III of England invade southern France. Bellegarde successfully withstands a 6-week siege.
The first wave of the Black Death slices through Europe, reaping millions. Bl. Madeleine and a third of the population of Bellegarde are taken.
With Abel Montcélance, Heronimo installs the Memento Mirabilis and the Great Clock in the Cathedral, and the Cosmoscope in the Chateau. Remains from mass burials are shifted from the overstuffed Ossuary in the catacombs to the new Garden of Remembrance established in Haute Maurerven.
On Tuesday, 23 June, the Vision is seen for the second time, this time by the Seven Blessed Witnesses. With the addition of the Pedilavists, the “Little Brothers and Sisters of Penance” become the “Sorrowful Community of Penance and Perfection” – later called the Endurists.
Fr. Martin writes the first account of the Visions of Bellegarde, The Miracles of the Scolding Virgin.
Maitre Heronimo finishes Danse Macabre, dies, and is buried in Cathedral Crypt.
Gilles resigns as Baron of Bellegarde, takes holy orders.
Trying to avert a faction of cardinals from splitting apart the Church, Mad Cardinal Gilles foolishly reveals the existence of the Holy Tub.
The Great Western Schism begins; Sir Guy Falconer marries Gilles’ grand-daughter Alix, and together they escape the besieged town of Bellegarde to England.
Cardinal Gilles’ death is soon followed by the Rape of Bellegarde. His new tomb and much of the town are destroyed by the Antipope of Avignon Clement VII.

Hunters and Heretics

On 16 June, the first Vision seen since Rape of Bellegarde marks the beginning of the town’s recovery.
The last session of the Council of Constance officially condemns Endurists as heretics.
Father Gorm “the Thunderer” rallies the “barefoot leftists” and the town’s citizens to save the cathedral from Protestant raiders.
The adoption of the Gregorian calendar causes the official celebration of the Miracle of the Scolding Madonna to be shifted to 23 June starting the next year.
The Secrets of the Sages, a satirical play based on the legends of Heronimo, is shut down by the government after its first performance in Paris.
Tobias the Shoeless sees the Vision and successfully predicts one the following month; soon takes over Endurists.
On Beltane, Saturday, 30 April, while officiating as “Red Pope,” Tobias is arrested and later sentenced to perpetual imprisonment by agents of Louis XIV. The Little Sisters of Penance starve themselves; the Brothers who escape being sent to the galleys literally go underground.
Thursday, 29 February, Tobias dies alone in his cell.
Surviving Endurists publish Tobias’ strange manifesto, The Tears of the Virgin and the Garden of True Delight.
After another mass arrest of Endurists, the cult is believed destroyed.
On Monday, 24 June, Don Yago “Ionas” sees the Vision while drinking with companions. He vows to explore the catacombs. Three days later he emerges alone with wild tales, dragging “dragon bones” behind him.
Don Yago debunks a fake Holy Tub in Stuttgart.
French Revolution begins; Chateau Bellegarde burnt, Cathedral nearly so. Dragon bones are safely re-hidden in caverns by Don Yago.
On New Year’s Day, the Seers, Sages and Heirs join together in the Triple Knot alliance with the “Tying of the Knot” ritual in the ruins of Chateau Bellegarde.
Jean-Baptiste Beauregarde’s exposé of secret societies, Betrayers of the Red Cap, is published posthumously.

Painter and Priest

Canon Dupre arrives in Bellegarde to oversee restoration work by Silviano Alfini on the Cathedral.
On 18 June, Silviano Alfini becomes the last person to behold the Vision of the Holy Tub.
Abbé Dupre brings his “niece” Antoinette to live in the rectory as housekeeper.
Silviano Alfini finishes his masterpiece, The Ascension of the Sacred Reliquary.
Alfini installs the Birdcage to protect the Tomb of the Templars and dies. Dupre begins promotion of the cult of the Scolding Madonna.
The heavily worn and damaged floor of the South Transept is completely covered over with lineleum. Within the year, pews are installed also.
Mysterious glow witnessed on Alfini’s painting. Dupre gets the town’s name changed to “Bellegraal.”

Protectors Unknown

1 August
World War I begins. Abbé Dupre is found murdered the next day. Antoinette moves to Paris where she opens a club for soldiers.
Antoinette dies during the Spanish Influenza epidemic but her funeral is attended by thousands.
A glow on the painting is observed by German tourist Otto Rahn and photographed by Émilien Montcélance – a week before Montcélance’s disappearance in Haute Maureven.
Françoise Noël stumbles across The Secrets of the Sages of Bellegarde in the French National Library.
Otto Rahn publishes The Other Grail months before his suicide.
On 25 March, a team of OSS agents including Capt. James MacLantis parachutes into Southern France. Only MacLantis and the team commander survive the ambush at the landing site. They later work with the Resistance in Bellegraal, including the Montcélance brothers, led by Françoise Noël.
26 August
While trapped with Noël beneath the Cathedral by a cave-in caused by an errant bomb, Doc MacLantis discovers signs of a mysterious vault. A week later, 2 September, Bellegraal is liberated from the Nazis.
Returning to Bellegraal after getting a degree, Doc recovers Don Yago’s “dragon bones.” Françoise Noël publishes The Visions of Old Bellegarde.
Cathedral repairs finished: the damaged statues in the South Transept and painting restored by an unknown hand.
23 June
At the unveiling of “The Grieving Mother” at the Maureven War Memorial on Midsummer Day, Doc MacLantis first meets his future wife, Maureen Masterson, and his future nemesis, Raimondo Fatamorgana. 2 November, Françoise Noël dies.
Dr. James H. MacLantis with Maureen Masterson and Professore Raimondo Fatamorgana publish The Holy Tub and the Holy Grail, later popularly called Holy Tub, Holy Pail by fans.
James and Maureen marry. “Doc’s Discovery Digs” premieres on the DuMont television network.
On 5 July, Charles Scipio (Skip) MacLantis is born.
Augustine (Gus) Xenophon MacLantis is born on 21 September. The television show is cancelled. Doc establishes the “Discovery Ranch.”
20 April, Alix (Allie) MacLantis is born.
Chateau Bellegarde is completly rebuilt with new Cosmoscope and Terrace Restaurant; the catacombs beneath the Cathedral are excavated and made tourist-friendly, and the Danse Macabre and Great Clock are fully restored.
Raimondo publishes Cracked: The Real Mystery of the Holy Tub.
Gus sickened and his mother Maureen dies from the Plague in Alvarado.
On Sunday, 15 October, Doc opens the sand-filled Vault under the Cathedral on live satellite TV to world-wide derision.
Doc MacLantis retires from filmmaking to the Ranch.
Lord Fawkeslorne announces the existence of the Order of Knightly Guardians of the Maundy Grail (Outer).
Excavators of the Vault uncover broken bronze piece of Outer Reliquary and find entrance through Heronimo’s tomb.
Another piece of carrying hook from the Outer Reliquary found in Haute Maureven by a road crew.
First Nipterological Conference held in Bellegraal. Doc claims both pieces are real during speech and with Gus and Allie participates in psychic readings inside Vault.
Gus publishes Exploring an Enchanted Landscape with photos by Skip and design by Allie, and is later denied tenure by the University of Alvarado.
Doc comes out of retirement for MacLantis Mysteries syndicated TV series. Raimondo publishes Broken: The Mystery of the Holy Tub Revealed. South Transept flooring is restored.

Present Day

Events that took place to the conclusion of the quest and beyond are covered in Hunters of the Holy Tub.


“Some things
must wait
until the world
is ready;
and the
Holy Tub.
No wonder
they are not promised
to arrive

– Doc MacLantis

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