A Garner of Saints – Legend of the Girdle

detail from the fresco 'Assumption of the Virgin with the Gift of the Girdle' by Bastiano Mainardi, latter 15th century; Santa Croce, Florence, Italy; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsAlso known as

  • Girdle of Thomas
  • Holy Belt
  • Sacra Cintola
  • Sacro Cingolo
  • Virgin’s Girdle


The “girdle” refers a relic that is purported to be the belt of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is made of goat’s hair, dyed green and is embroidered with gold thread. Legend says that she gave it to Saint Thomas the Apostle (Doubting Thomas) as proof of her Assumption. Michele dei Dagomari, a youth of Prato, visiting Palestine in 1096, married the daughter of a Greek priest, in whose family the girdle had been preserved for generations. As they were very poor, they bestowed the girdle as a dowry and Michele brought it to Italy. He disembarked at Pisa, and on his way to Prato he slept on the girdle for the sake of safety, for which offence he was awakened and rebuked by two angels. On his deathbed he entrusted the girdle to the priest Uberto, who deposited it in the cathedral where it now is.

MLA Citation

  • Allen Banks Hinds, M.A. “Legend of the Girdle”. A Garner of Saints, 1900. CatholicSaints.Info. 23 April 2017. Web. 16 January 2019. <>