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Glastonbury Shrines
Part 2: Apostolic Missionaries

The saint most readily associated with Glastonbury by the modern visitor is St. Joseph of Arimathea, the Virgin Mary's maternal uncle, who is supposed to have founded the Abbey in AD 63. Though the monks encouraged this saint's cult and his well was on display in the "Old Church," they never discovered the whereabouts of his body and it was thus unavailable for veneration. This fact is sometimes used to argue that if they did not forge the miraculous appearance of St. Joseph's bones, why should the monks do such a thing for other, less important, saints?

St. Aristobulus appears in British legend as the first Bishop of the British. He supposedly returned to Britain with King Bran after his capture during the Roman Conquest and imprisonment in Rome. He is supposed to have died and been buried at Glastonbury. It is not clear whether the monks held his relics, but he is almost certainly a purely mythical character. King Bran certainly is.

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