A relic

21 Aug 2007

The following is based on a relic that once existed, and a legend about it that was told roughly as below. The events have been hammed up a bit.

To be exact, as many as eighteen of the said relics once existed. It is a disturbing thought in several ways.

The details are from the Holy Wikipedia; the mindset is from watching too much Monty Python.

A night. Charlemagne, the King of Franks, is on his knees, alone, praying. The next day His Holiness the Pope is to crown him a Latter-Day Roman Emperor. As the king prays, a smiling Angel descends from the Heavens.

Charlemagne: My God!

Angel: Not quite, old boy --- just a lowly angel.

C: God be praised!

A: Indeed. Take this.

Angel hands him a small jewelled box.

C: Huh?

A: It is a sacred relic I was instructed to give thee.

C: It smells good, oh Divine Emissary.

A: Open it and see.

He does, and frowns.

C: O Angel of Heaven, o Reflector of the One Light... it does not look very sacred. What is it?

A: It is a sacred relic. You are to give it to Our Vicar, His Holiness the Pope when he crowns thee tomorrow, to show that the Heaven approves of your designs.

C: Thank you, o Winged Messenger!

A: Why, I'm just doing my job. Thank someone else.

C: Thank God!

A: That's a more willing target. Now, what this relic is ---

C: Thank God!

A: Enough already. Tell the Pope this relic is the Holy and Ineffable Prepuce of Our Lord.

C: A relic of the Lord himself! Thank God! Thankyouthankyou---

A: Charles?

C: ---thankyou uh? Thank you, too! Thank everybody! Even the wetnurse! A relic of the Lord!

A: Charles?

C: Um... yes?

A: You don't have the faintest clue of what a prepuce is, do you?

C: Of course I do! It's a... a...

He gazes at the box, puzzled.

C: It smells good, anyway. It's a sort of... a kind of a... a um, a um piece of skin? Torn off at the Cross?

He prods it; not much to prod there.

A: The medical knowledge these days, oh dear. Sit down, Charles.

He does.

A: A prepuce is a foreskin.

He recoils.

A: Cut off at the Day of the Holy Circumcision ---

C: Aaah! I touched it! I touched it! I am soiled!

A: Shut up. Just give it to the Pope and be done with it.

C: I --- I can't! What he'll think of me, giving him a dried old foreskin in exchange for a crown? He'll excommunicate me! And my family! And the wetnurse! An old, shriveled, dusty -

A: If that's your problem ---

The Angel waves a hand, and the box trembles. Charlemagne looks in and screams.

A: Now it's not old and shriveled, but as if newly ---

Charlemagne's still screaming.

A: Oh. Obviously not a good idea. Does this boy have a trauma about these things or something? What shall I do with this, o Lord?

There is a great voice from the Heavens.


The Angel isn't shaken.

A: Very funny, Metatron. Now let the man speak for himself. It's his, um, his relic I'm trying to give here.

There is a Second Voice.

Voice 2: Charlemagne, King of the Franks! Listen to me!

Charlemagne recovers a bit and looks up.

C: Um, who is this?

V2: It is I, the Son of Man, the Sacred Redeemer, the Crucified, Buried and Risen, the Lord of Golgotha, I.

C: Jesus Christ!

V2: Yes.

C: Sorry, o Lord.

V2: Now. Close the box and listen to me.

He does.

V2: Tomorrow you're going to give that box to the Pope, describe its miraculous contents and its holy powers of enhancing fertility and easing childbirth by its sweet scent -

In the background, the Angel is making gagging motions.

V2: Quit the mime, Wingaling. Now, I shall give His Holiness a dream that prepares him for this marvelous gift, so don't worry about that. And this conversation is a Holy and Secret Mystery, so be mum about this, do you understand?

C: Yes, o Lord!

V2: All's fine, then. Do you have any questions, o King of Franks?

C: O Lord, if I dare...

V2: Speak up.

C: I am affected by a bald patch ---

V2: So let there be a Holy Combover.

And there was a Holy Combover.


(Three hours later, the Pope awoke screaming, took two glasses of wine, looked mournfully between his legs, and wondered if it had been a warning.)

last updated: (Mar 15 2011)