During the Middle Ages, the holy foreskin achieved a Holy Grail-level of fame. About a dozen monasteries and towns claimed to possess it, each insisting theirs came from Charlemagne—who received the relic from an angel while praying at the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. The holy foreskin that ended up in Calcata, the only papal-approved version of the relic, was said to have been given by Charlemagne to Pope Innocent III upon the French king's coronation in Rome on Dec. 25, 800. The Pope placed the relic in Rome's Sancta Sanctorum (where it resided with the heads of Sts. Peter and Paul) until 1527, when a German soldier—part of the booty-hungry army that sacked the city—swept in to the relic-laden room, grabbing a bejeweled reliquary, tucking it under his arm, and making a mad dash northward. He got as far as Calcata before being caught and imprisoned in the village, where he stashed the relic in his cell. Thirty years later, in 1557, its discovery set off a series of climatic miracles in the village.