In ancient times, soon after the Christ's death, Pontius Pilate persecuted Joseph of Arimathea. Thus, he had to flee from Jerusalem, the Holy Land. The only possessions that he carried with him was the Holy Grail (the dish from which Jesus drank during his Last Supper) wrapped in a snow-white samite cloth and a staff cut from a white-thorn bush. He wandered for miles through thick forests and dreadful topography until he reached Gaul. There, Apostle Philip who was working to spread Christianity gave him refuse. One night, Joseph dreamt of an angel who asked him to go to Britain and spread the message of Christianity there, especially to King Arvigarus. The angel also told him that he should build the first Christian church at the place where a Christmas miracle will come to pass.
Like a faithful and humble servant of God, Joseph told about his dream
to Apostle Philip and took leave from him along with eleven chosen
followers. They sailed across to Britain and met the King. King
Arviragus welcomed them and gave them Avalon, also known as the Happy
Isle, Island of Apples, Isle of the Blessed or Ynis-witren, Isle of the
Glassy Waters, to build an altar to their God. It was very beautiful and
peaceful, full of apple orchards and soft green grass. Gentle sea and
water lilies made it look even more paradisiacal. It was on Christmas
Eve that that Joseph and his companions reached the Isle of Avalon.
The isle had a steep hill called Weary-All. At the top of the hill,
Joseph thrust his thorn-staff into the ground and to everybody's
surprise, it put forth roots, sprouts and buds and burst into white and
fragrant flowers, just the miracle the angel had predicted about. Thus,
it was here, the church was made and it was known as Glastonbury Abbey.
In the chapel, the Holy Grail was placed. It is said that since then,
the thorn staff flowers every Christmas and every Spring. Another legend
connected to a place says that when a puritan tried to cut down the
sacred tree, he was blinded by a splinter of the wood even before he
could fulfill his desire.
Read legend of the Christmas thorn, the story of Joseph of Arimathea and his thorn staff here.