Why is there a thistle on the new St. Margaret's cross?

Dear Maggie,

Why is there a thistle flower on the new St. Margaret’s cross?

Thanks,
Prickled


Dear Prickled,

For some a rose makes the heart sing, but for we Scott’s it is the purple beauty of the thistle that makes us hum with joy.  Tis a common wild flower on tha heath and one that often explodes with the beautiful flight of the wee goldfinches that love to feed on its seeds.  Beyond being a common flower in Scotland, the thistle is said to have once saved our country from invasion.  It was in the time of the Vikings and a group of Norse invaders were attempting a covert attack on a band on Scottish warriors.  The Norsemen landed at night and tried to sneak up on the sleeping Scots, but just as they were nearing their camp the Vikings stepped on a patch of prickly thistles.  They cried out in pain and woke the Scotts who then chased them back to their boats.  Since the thistle had helped save Scotland, Alexander III (1249 -1286) declared that the thistle would be our national symbol. 

For we Christians it’s another part of God’s creation that can speak to so many truths.  It is often considered a weed, but it shows up in the places in the world that are broken. The plant’s deep roots help to heal unhealthy soils and the thistle can be used to sooth many illnesses from headaches to ulcers.  Like the Kingdom of God, it can break in and grow anywhere and once it is rooted it is hard to get rid of.  Better to simply welcome it and enjoy its beautiful healing presence.

Peace be with ya,
St. Maggie