First the Arkenstone, Then the Monkenstone


From the studio of Simone Martini.

One synopsis for Richard Armitage’s next film Pilgrimage, says that the  monks are on a “reluctant pilgrimage” to deliver their monastery’s holiest relic to Rome. The relic in question: a stone used in the martyrdom of St Matthias, the 13th

egallery2-11Matthias, it turns out, was selected by Peter to backfill the 12th position as Apostle vacated by Judas. Uniquely, he was the only apostle not selected by Jesus, himself. Writings on Matthias’s history vary, including where  he preached and how he died,  but scholars seem to agree that he spent  at least some time in Judea. He’s also reported to have preached in Georgia, along the Caspian Sea and Ethiopia,  in a town that practiced cannibalism where he might have been eaten, or, might have  been saved. One source says he died of old age.


For our purposes,  he had to be martyred by stoning, else how would the Pilgrimage relic be a stone used in his martyrdom?. Some sources say he was stoned to death by the Jews under the order of Annas, and others say he was stoned to death in modern-day Georgia. I’m hoping for Georgia, but I think not, because one source recounts that in Jerusalem, Matthias asked that two stones used to kill him be buried with him. I’m guessing one of these buried stones is the Irish relic.

It’s amusing to me that in one film, Richard Armitage’s character engages in a long arduous journey focused on obtaining a powerful stone, while in another, his character is engaged in a long, arduous journey,  focused on getting rid of one.

My mind is spinning on how to respectfully insert the phrase,  Richard Armitage again getting his rocks off, – but for now, I’m chickening out and settling for this.


read for yourself,  here and here. Images from here and fan art from here


11 thoughts on “First the Arkenstone, Then the Monkenstone

  1. ah, another stone! interesting 🙂 at least it would be a bit more unusual than some chalice or a sword or some bones and such usual items in similar stories. Love the smokiness of the fan art 🙂
    I’m shallowly looking forward to the sword fighting 🙂


    • Speculation again. Putting together the pieces. But I still don’t know what role Armitage plays. I am wondering about the synopsis that says the Monks begin to wonder about or question the relic, itself.


  2. A stone, a wood piece from the holy cross… well, those were very easy objects to falsify and claim as authentic. No scientific procedure in Middle Age to disprove the claim. And each relic were giving a terrific power to the towm, convent, monastery securing it. Pilgrimage, local fairs, trade… That’s why people were always trying to steal, find, prove or disprove each others relic.If you never did it, this is the right time to read The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco. Its events happens later than 1209, but Eco gives a wonderful description of all the past fights on religious orders, the superstition, the horrible persecution by Roman Church and the less-than-holy sects and religious orders and relevant Catholic representatives.

    I suppose that the “power” of the stone in this film will be its ability in making the monks realise the world outside, religion, people and their own faith are not as they thought. Sort of lapis philosophorum giving them the awareness about temporal and secular power, the meaning of faith and what is really good or bad in the world.

    At least, it’s what I’m hoping for.


  3. Pingback: Pilgrimage: The French Connection in Ireland | Armitage Agonistes

  4. Pingback: Pilgrimage – Looking Back | Armitage Agonistes

  5. Pingback: What Pilgrimage doesn’t know about the medieval Church [SPOILERS] #richardarmitage | Me + Richard Armitage

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