The Blue Pilgrim Knighthood and King Arthur

Very old tales told in England recount that there once lived a King named Arthur whose kingdom was in the western parts of the land. He was a very highly respected and good man and had a large number of brave noblemen who supported him. These were his Knights. There were other people with special ‘magical’ powers who sometimes helped him.

King Arthur would call his Knights together for special meetings at a place called Camelot. At these meetings he would arrange everyone to sit at a Round Table so nobody had a more important place to sit than another. All his serving Knights were equal in rank. (In other kingdoms in other lands it was normal for the important men to sit close to their king.)

King Arthur would send his knights out on special jobs or errands which were called ‘Quests’. Some of these quests would mean the knights would have many dangers to face and hardships to put up with. As these Knights were good and noble in their hearts they would do their best to do the work that they sent out to do. Their Quests were many and varied but one of the most famous of them all was the ‘Quest for the Holy Grail’. The Knights went out to search for the ‘Grail’. Most people think that the ‘Holy Grail’ was the cup that Our Lord drank from during the Last Supper, but the story is full of mystery so nobody can be quite sure. Some people nowadays believe it to mean a search to live closer to Christ.

In Tennyson’s Idylls – the set of poems that Beatrice Hankey and the early Blue Pilgrims enjoyed so much – King Arthur makes a promise to return as he is dying. This reminded Beatrice and her ladies of the promise of Our Lord’s Second Coming; it made them feel that the ‘King Arthur’ in the old legends could be used to remind them of Christ the King. People (like them) who set out to serve Christ in the best way they could, were like the ‘Knights’ in the old stories but serving King Jesus not King Arthur. Put together with the early translation of disciple as ‘Learning Knight’ this gave those ladies the idea of the Blue Pilgrims being a ‘Knighthood’ with the work the members do being called ‘Quests’ and the meetings being called ‘Camelots’. We share news of our Quests at a Round Table and all are valued equally.