Christmas is a season of great enthusiasm and merriment when everyone indulges in the festive spirit and celebrations. It is also considered to be the time of the year when families and friends gather together and share stories and fables with each other. Legend of the Christmas Thorn is one such oft narrated tale of Christmas. This story revolves around the time of death of the Christ and the story that led to the setup of the first Christian church outside Jerusalem, in Britain. The island valley of Glastonbury, or Avalon before the church was built, was a barren, leafless region which later transformed into a blooming beautiful area. This legend tells you how Joseph reached Gaul and what exactly made him travel to Britain in the first place. An entertaining and enlightening tale, it will surely add more color and joy to your celebrations. Scroll further to read more about the legend of the Christmas Thorn.
Legend Of The Christmas Thorn
After the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, Pointius Pilate persecuted Joseph Arimathea and created an environment of terror all over. Joseph was convinced by his people and decided to leave the Holy Land as per the orders. He did not have any material possessions with him at the time of leaving the country. He is rumoured as carrying the Holy Grail, a glass that Christ had used for his last supper, neatly wrapped in a white cloth. Apart from this, he also had a white thorn bush staff. Joseph did not know where to go when he was sent out from Bethlehem. He wandered around in the jungles and forests, crossed mountains, desserts, overcame various obstacles on his way and finally, landed in Gaul. During this time, Gaul was undergoing certain changes. Here, Apostle Philip was engaged in spreading Christianity far and wide. When Philip got the news that Joseph was coming, he arranged to provide him shelter.
One night, as Joseph dozed in his hut, he woke up at the sight of a radiant light. An angel appeared before him and gave him the message to spread Christianity. He was ordered by the Lord to spread the word of Christianity and teach people about Christ in Britain. He was asked to spread Christ's message to King Arvigarus and also to build the first Christian church outside Bethlehem. Also, the angel told Joseph about a miracle that would take place at the church. Joseph was stunned with such an encounter and did not know what to say in reply. By this time, the angel disappeared from his sight.
When Joseph woke from his sleep the next day, he told Apostle Phillip about this vision and sought his approval and help. He was provided eleven followers to go with him and together they travelled to Britain by sea. They travelled in a little ship and reached the coast of Britain. When they reached Britain, they told the King about the events that had transpired and he was moved on hearing it. So, they were heartily welcomed by the King Arvigarus who supported the cause of their travel and provided them land at Avalon for building the church. This place was referred to as the 'Isle of Apples' or 'Blessed or Glassy Waters'. This small island appeared picture perfect with a serene surrounding, calm, apple orchards encircled by the gentle sea. It was fate that Joseph and his followers reached Avalon on the eve of Christmas. He was delighted with the place and the feeling that he was able to fulfill his Lord's wish gave him immense relief. Just then, he thrust his white thorn bush staff into the ground and immediately, a miracle took place. Everyone standing in the premise was surprised to see roots sprouting from the staff, buds blooming and beautiful fragrant flowers popping up.
Hence, as per the prophecy of the Angel, a miracle did happen at Avalon. On this spot, a church was built and called 'Glastonbury Abbey'. Joseph also concealed the famed Holy Grail within the surroundings of the church. Every Christmas, it is believed that white fragrant flowers blossom from the staff.
Are you familiar with the story of Christmas Thorn? If not, read further and find out about the story of Joseph Arimathea.