The Book of Matthew calls Joseph of Arimathea a "rich" man, although there is no indication in Scripture what he did for a living. To make sure Jesus received a proper burial, Joseph boldly asked Pontius Pilate for custody of Jesus' body. Not only did this devout Jew risk ritual uncleanness by entering the quarters of a pagan, he further contaminated himself under Mosaic law, by touching a corpse.
Robert de Boron wrote that Joseph was given the responsibility of keeping the Holy Grail In Boron's Joseph d'Arimathe, Joseph is imprisoned and the Grail that sustains him during his captivity. Upon his release he founds his company of followers, who take the Grail to Britain. In the Lancelot-Grail Cycle, it is not Joseph but his son Josephus who is considered the primary holy man of Britain.