According to Arthurian legendi, Galahad was the purest and noblest knight in King Arthur's court and the only one ever to see the Holy Grail. The son of Lancelot—another celebrated knight—and Elaine, Galahad was raised by nuns and arrived at the court as a young man.
When the knights took their seats at the Round Table, Galahad sat in a special seat known as the Siege Perilous. It was said that only the knight destined to find the Holy Grail could occupy this seat safely. All others who had sat in it had instantly perished. When Galahad remained unharmed, it became clear that he would accomplish great deeds. In some stories, the knight also proved his worth by drawing a special sword from a stone. An inscription on the stone stated that only the best knight in the land could withdraw the sword.
After Galahad's arrival at Arthur's court, the knights began their search for the Holy Grail. Galahad set off alone but later joined forces with two other knights, Perceval and Bors. Their travels took them to the city of Sarras, where they were imprisoned by a cruel king. However, when the king was dying, he released the knights, and the people of the city chose Galahad to be their next king.
After ruling Sarras for a year, Galahad had a vision in which the Holy Grail was revealed to him. Content with having achieved his life's goal, he prayed to be allowed to die then. According to the legend, his request was granted and "a great multitude of angels bore his soul up to heaven."
See also Arthurian Legends; Holy Grail; Lancelot; Round Table.
Holy Grail sacred cup said to have been used by Jesus Christ at the Last Supper