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St Joseph of Arimathaea

Joseph of Arimathaea appears in Saint Matthew's Gospel (27: 57-60). He was a rich man who was a follower of Christ, and after Christ's death (see the entry for Crucifixion), he requested the body of Christ for burial. Having received permission to remove it, he wrapped it in a shroud and placed it in the tomb which he had bought for himself.

He is depicted in scenes of the Deposition, Lamentation and Entombment, carrying the nails and assisting with the carrying of the dead Christ.

There is a legend that he caught Christ's blood in a cup, the Holy Grail, which he carried to England, founding the first Christian church at Glastonbury.