Monday, March 21

The Legend Of The Glastonbury Thorn And Joseph Of Arimathea

The Holy Glastonbury Thorn

The thorn tree in the photo above may not seem very interesting, especially at this time of year, but this is the Glastonbury Thorn in the grounds of Glastonbury Abbey. Here's why it is special:

The legend tells of how Joseph of Arimathea came to convert the English to Christianity, bringing with him with the Holy Grail. On arriving at Glastonbury - at Wyrral Hill - he leant on his staff in prayer, whereupon the staff took root. This was taken as a sign that Joseph should settle in the area and start a religious house.

UK Postage Stamp showing Glastonbury Thorn
The Glastonbury Thorn on a UK postage stamp
The holy thorn on Wyrral Hill was destroyed during the English Civil War (1642–1651) but by this time a cutting had been made, from the original thorn, and placed in the grounds of Glastonbury Abbey - where it remains to this day.

The story of the thorn was first mentioned in an early sixteenth-century metrical Lyfe of Joseph of Arimathea.

There is also a legend that as a child Jesus visited Glastonbury along with Joseph.

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1 comment:

  1. Not sure how I missed this one! Fascinating.