Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. - Ephesians 6:11
The Lord protects The Priest from evil. They are bathed in a glowing golden aura of Faith, marking them as one of the Lord's servants to any with knowledge of such things. Any attacks are slowed by their aura of Faith, often failing to reach them at all. Should one of their attacks make it through, the act of coming so close to a holy man hurts them just as much.
As long as you are holding your gilded cross, you have an Armor rating of 2. Armor from multiple sources does not stack. Passive, always in effect. Any attacker within 5 feet takes damage equal to half your Armor rating, rounded up.