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Da Vinci Code: The Last Supper

In Dan Brown’s novel, the secret to the Holy Grail can be found in Leonardo Da Vinci’s depiction of the Last Supper. Leigh Teabing (the protagonist Professor Langdon’s trusted ally-cum-enemy) initiates the discussion as he explains to Sophie (a police agent and supporter of Professor Langdon) that the real Holy Grail is not a chalice, as so many historians have thought, but rather Mary Magdalene herself, carrier of the bloodline of Jesus.

In this conversation, Teabing discusses Leonardo’s representation of the biblical event, where no chalice can be found. Rather, Leonardo demonstrates his secret knowledge of the bloodline by using the symbol of the chevron, an ancient symbol of the sacred feminine, depicted in the space between Mary and Jesus in the painting. Furthermore, he shows Sophie that if Mary and Jesus’ place at the table were reversed, one would see that Mary is perfectly positioned to lie on Jesus’ shoulder.

In the story, Teabing goes on to analyze the use of color in the painting: Jesus and Mary are each wearing opposing blue/red blouses and capes, perhaps meant to symbolize their union.

In addition, he explains that the absence of the apostle John at the supper reveals that he was in fact, the “beloved disciple” – which is also code for Mary Magdalene. What’s more, the painting shows a hand, seemingly belonging to Simon Peter, that appears to be holding a knife pointing directly at John/Mary.

This would, in fact, be perfectly aligned with the picture of Peter’s hostile relationship to Mary as portrayed in the apocryphal texts of the Gospel of Mary and the Acts of Philip. This, Brown’s antagonist explains, was a particularly dangerous assertion for the Church, who upheld Peter as the supreme apostle. In fact, some historical accounts tell of a Gnostic movement called the Cathars, who were eliminated during the Church’s First Crusade, after espousing this same viewpoint.

According to the story, Mary was pregnant at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion. The Priory of Sion (of which Leonardo himself was a member and which Brown alleges spawned the creation of the Knights Templar) were the only ones to pass on the secret of her bloodline through history.

Jesus of Nazareth Mary Magdalene: Mariamne Early Christianity
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