History of The Crown of Thorns
According to Christian tradition, Jesus had suffered from the Crown of Thorns during His Passion i.e. His suffering before and during the Crucifixion. Three out of the four known Gospels have an indication of the Crown of Thorns. It is also mediated on in the Third Sorrowful Mystery of the Rosary according to the Catholic tradition. The Crown was woven from the thorny branches of the tree of Euphorbia Milii and was pounded into Jesus Christ's forehead before he was led to death through Crucifixion by the Roman soldiers. Interestingly, the stems and branches of the tree are so flexible that they can be tangled together to form a circle. Moreover, there is substantial evidence supporting the fact that this native plant of Madagascar was brought to countries in the Middle East even before the time of Jesus Christ. Pieces and fragments of the Crown of Thorns are saved as relics to-date. Thorns (may be) from the crown can be found at different churches all over Europe. Two most important parts of the Crown are lying in Paris at the Cathedral of Notre Dame and at the Capella della Spina in Pisa in Italy. Hence, the Crown of Thorns holds great significance in the rituals, prayers, and customs of the Christian tradition. For instance, every liturgical year commences with Advent. Each of the four Sundays prior to the Christmas day is celebrated as a signal of arrival of Christ, his arrival into the world of broken humanity, and his arrival into their lives. It is at this time that a garland of green leaves is woven in a circle and a white candle is placed at its center. The family then gathers around the wreath, lights the candle, prays together, and reads Easter stories. On Good Friday, one of the traditions is to keep the church completely plain and simple without any decorations apart from dressing the cross in a purple cloth along with an arrangement of a crown of thorns placed at its front. These auspicious days are marked with dramatic readings of Passion narrative. The Passion narrative included in the three Gospels of Mark, John, and Matthew makes an indication to the Crown of Thorns which had increased the suffering of Jesus. Thus, although the Crown of thorns plant blossoms throughout the year and especially during winter and has brightly colored attractive leaves below its beautiful small flowers, the plant in general is considered inauspicious. This is because it automatically triggers the memory of the Crucifixion and humiliation of Christ. Today, the Crown of Thorns represents the suffering and agony of Jesus on the cross for the sole purpose of achieving salvation of humanity on earth. It holds significance not only for remembrance of Jesus but also for giving meaning to our own lives. It signifies that we all have the choice to experience the difference between good and evil. However, the choice of going for the evil will turn out to be an immoral one since it is a choice filled with thorns, filled with suffering. It was when humankind had not experienced God's divinity and was alienated to it (the good path), that it chose to reject Jesus, a precursor of God's teachings, and respond it with thorns, suffering, and death.