Author Unknown

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An old and beautiful legend says that, at the time of the crucifixion,
the dogwood was comparable in size to the oak tree and other monarchs
of the forest. Because of its firmness and strength it was selected
as the timber for the cross, but to be put to such a cruel use
greatly distressed the tree. Sensing this, the crucified Jesus
in his gentle pity for the sorrow and suffering of all said to it:
"Because of your sorrow and pity for My sufferings, never again
will the dogwood tree grow large enough to be used as a cross.
Henceforth it will be slender, bent and twisted and its blossoms
will be in the form of a cross ~ two long and two short petals.
In the center of the outer edge of each petal there will be
nail prints ~ brown with rust and stained with red ~ and in the center
of the flower will be a crown of thorns,
and all who see this will remember."