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One of My Favorite Knights

I haven’t written much about King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table lately.  However, I have been thinking about a knight that modern stories on television seem to neglect, but I always loved.  I always loved him because he was good. They seem to like to make shows on TV about bad guys or guys who just caused a lot of trouble, but now a days, they seem to forget the good guys.  Micheal Jackson did a song saying, “I’m bad! I’m bad!” and everyone seemed to love it.  There is something cool about being bad now a days, but when I was growing up, they talked more about the good guys, and I like the good guys.  Now a days, they seem to make fun of the good guys.  When I was growing up, the Lone Ranger wore a white hat because he was a good guy, and we took him seriously and respected him. However, the modern movie about the Lone Ranger made fun of the Lone Ranger.  The shows now a days seem to have a fascination with bad and want to make fun of good.  However, I can’t give up the good guys. I still like them, and I wish that they were more in the forefront.  King Arthur’s Knight that was known as the number one pure, good guy was Sir Galahad.

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When I was growing up, the good guys wore white hats.

 

When I was growing up, when I heard the name Sir Galahad, it inspired me!  In my mind, he was so pure he must have glowed.  I wanted to be like Sir Galahad.  We really do need more stories praising the good guys on TV now a days.  Kids need good role models.  Kids now a days watch shows full of cuss words and don’t even know that there was a time not so long back that cussing wasn’t allowed on TV.  They watch people sleeping around, telling dirty jokes, and cross dressing.  They think that is normal life.  Well it has never been my normal life, and television gets to be a bit shocking for those of us who don’t do those kinds of things.  I am actually thankful to be in Korea because those things are not rampant here. It is still okay to be good in Korea. Here, it isn’t “cool” to be bad. In this blog, I want to tell you one of the stories of Sir Galahad, a good guy.

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In old England, people seemed to be quite superstitious, even after Christianity came. History tells us that Christianity first came to England right after the death of Christ, and that Joseph of Arimathea brought it to them. Jesus was buried in Joseph of Arimathea’s grave.  During the time of King Arthur, Christianity was new in England, and the Druids were still around. The Druids were the old pagan priests, and in the stories I have read, they were really bad guys who controlled the people with fear and superstition. England, in many ways, was still a lawless place then, but one redeeming factor was the Abbeys, Monasteries, and church buildings that seemed to dot the country side.  As the Knights of the Round Table were traveling around, they could stop at these places to rest and know they would be safe.

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At one point, the holy grail kept appearing and then disappearing in the great hall where the round table was.  The knights all wanted that holy grail.  I have read in a lot of places about what the holy grail was, and the modern day scholars really don’t know for sure what it was.  Some think it was the cup that Jesus used, and so Hollywood uses it in movies like Indiana Jones and the Quest for the Holy Grail.  They have a knight that has guarded the cup for centuries without dying in that movie.  If it was actually the cup that Jesus drank from, I would think that it was not a literal cup.  When Jesus was praying in the garden before he died, he was crying and saying to God, “If you will, let this cup pass from me,” but he also said to God that he would do anything God wanted him to do.  When he was talking about the cup he wanted to pass from him, he was talking about dying for the sins of man on the cross.  He was brave and good coming down from Heaven to teach us about God knowing all the while that people would reject him and nail him to the cross.  The scholars may not quite understand what the holy grail was, but if it was the cup of Christ, it was not a literal cup.  It was the true understanding of Christian commitment and sacrifice. These knights were seeking the holy grail; they were seeking bravery, commitment, and to sacrifice themselves for the people. They tamed the lawless land with their quests.

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The knights saw the holy grail appearing, then disappearing in the great hall.  They became brave. They became committed to helping the people by taming the land.  They were ready to sacrifice themselves for others.  However, the enthusiasm of the task ahead of them would come, and then the reality of the situation would cause them to back away from it, but they would always come back to it because they knew it was up to them to tame the land.  The Druids were scary guys.  There are King Arthur stories about them sneaking into the castle and knifing people in their sleep.  The Druids had people convinced the witches could do black magic. They had the people convinced that horrible trolls really lived under bridges just waiting to throw them off.  They had the people convinced of all kinds of goblins, ghosts, and other superstitious nonsense, and the knights knew what they were dealing with.  Druids didn’t teach peace and love like Christianity.  They taught evil, war, and hate.  The knights had their job cut out for them.  However, they finally, came to a commitment and stood up to their task.  King Arthur hated to see them leave, but slowly, one by one, they set off on a quest of the holy grail; they set out to deal with the superstition, the hatred, the violence, etc. that enveloped the people.

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Sir Gawaine was the first to be committed to leave and on his quest of the holy grail.  After that, Sir Lancelot decided he needed to do it too.  Sir Galahad was actually the youngest of the knights, but his decision came next. The queen tried to talk him out of it, but to no avail. The next morning, they had a special church worship service to send the knights out, and they set out, each with his shinning armor, helmet, and shield on good horses.  However, when Galahad set out on his quest, he didn’t have a shield yet because he was the youngest and had been unable to gather as much as the others. They marched on their horses through Camelot, and the people cheered them as heroes as the rode out. Everyone was crying. They knew the task set before these brave knights was not an easy one.

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The knights rode together until sunset, and then they parted and all went their own way.  Sir Galahad rode on for four days, and he came to an Abbey. He decided to stop and rest.  When the monk showed him to his chambers, there were two other knights already there, but not knights of the round table.  They told him they had come to this abbey because they heard there was a special shield there, and each of them wanted it.  One of the knights said, “In this abbey hangs a shield that no man can carry for three days without dying or some other terrible thing happening to him, but we want to try.”  King Bagdemagus, the other knight continued saying,”Promise us that if you we can’t carry the shield that you will try.”  Sir Galahad didn’t mind them asking him to try because he didn’t have a shield yet and replied that he would take the shield if something bad happened to them.

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The next morning, the three knights got up and went to an early worship service.  After the worship service, one of the monks took the three knights behind the altar.  He showed them a beautiful shield hanging there. It was so white it shone with a red cross in the middle.  The monk said to them, “Sirs, this shield can only be borne by the worthiest of knights. The knight must be pure.  If you take it and carry it, if you are not worthy, within three days, a terrible ill will befall you, so if you want to take it, be very careful!”  King Bagdemagus replied, “I am not the best knight in the world, but I am willing to try,” and he took the shield from its place and carried it out of the abbey with him as he left.  As he left, he said to Sir Galahad, “Sir, please stay here until you know what happens with me and this shield,” and with that, he left with a squire.  Sir Galahad did as he was bade to do.

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King Bagdemagus had only gone three miles from the abbey when he encountered an extremely handsome knight all dressed in gleaming white riding a magnificent white horse. The two of them began trying to knock one another off their horse.  The knight hit King Bagdemagus with a spear. The shield didn’t cover King Bagdemagus, and he was knocked off his horse.  After that, the strange, handsome white knight got off his horse.  He took the shield from King Bagdemagus and handed it to the squire. He said to the squire, “Please take this shield to Sir Galahad who you left in the abbey. Tell him ‘hi’ from me.”  The squire was shocked and said, “What is your name?”  The white shinning knight replied, “It is not for you to know, nor for any earthly man to know.”  The squire was curious. He said to the white shinning knight, “Please, sir, tell me why any man who tries to carry this shield befalls ill within three days. ”  “The only person who can bear this shield is Sir Galahad” replied the white shinning knight.

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The squire turned to King Bagdemagus saying, “Are you wounded?”  The King replied, “yes, I am wounded badly.”  The squire brought the horse close to King Bagdemagus, and the king could hardly get on the horse, but finally accomplished it.  The squire led the king to the closest monastery he could find. The monks took the king in and took care of him. They put him to bed bandaging his wound and putting healing herbs on it.  Since the squire could see the king was in good hands and would be okay if he just stayed there and rested, he went back to the abbey and took the shield to Sir Galahad.

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The squire delivered the shield to Sir Galahad telling him that the white shinning knight sent his greetings.  On hearing the story, Sir Galahad wanted to see the shinning white knight.  He saddled up his horse, and the squire took him back to the clearing where King Bagdemagus had encountered the shinning white knight.  The shinning white knight was still there. Sir Galahad greeted him, and the knight greeted Sir Galahad.  Sir Galahad was curious about the shield, so the knight told him that the shield had been given to his charge.  When the shield was given to him, he was told that only Sir Galahad to carry the shield.  Sir Galahad thanked him for the shield, and he and the squire returned to the abbey.

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When they got there, they were greeted by a monk.  The monk was in distress because there was a terrible noise coming from the grave yard by the church building.  The monk was extremely frightened by the noise and told Galahad that it was going to drive them mad because it never stopped and went on night and day.  He told Galahad that they considered it a demon. Galahad had the monk show him to the grave yard to the grave where the noise was coming from. Galahad was still wearing his armor and carrying his shield.  When they came to the grave, Sir Galahad lifted the stone that was over the grave, and a voice came from inside saying, “Don’t come near me! You will send me back where I came from!”  Sir Galahad didn’t listen. He went ahead and removed the stone.  A great cloud of black stench came from the grave, and out of the cloud of dust, a strange looking figure appeared from the cloud of black dust.  The strange being looked at Galahad and said, “Galahad, I see so many angels around you that I dare not touch you!”  Galahad looked inside the grave, and the body that was lying there was completely armed with weapons, a sword, an ax, etc.  Galahad turned to the monk and said, “Let’s remove this body from the grave yard.  He is not a Christian.  He doesn’t belong here. he is not worthy, good brother.”

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After that,they all returned to the abbey. Galahad knighted the squire, and they slept there for the night. The next morning, the new knight and Sir Galahad headed out on their quest of the holy grail.  They went in opposite directions.

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Sir Galahad went to the tower of the seven maidens.  The tower belonged to the seven maidens, but some evil knights had come in and taken over the castle and locked the women up in the dungeon seven years ago. Galahad threw the knights out and freed the seven maidens restoring the castle to the rightful owners.  Sir Galahad was brave, committed, and ready to sacrifice himself for others, and he took with him the pure, white, gleaming shield with a red cross in the middle that had been given to him by the white, shinning knight. Sir Galahad went on with his quest of the holy grail.

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