New Catholic Dictionary illustration of the development of the mitre, 11th century to presentDerivation

  • Latin: mitra, hood


A folding cap of linen, silk, or cloth of gold, often ornamented, consisting of two parts, stiffened and peaked, sewed together on the sides and united above by a strip of folding cloth, having two fringed lappets hanging down the back, worn by the pope, bishops, and cardinals at solemn liturgical functions. It was first worn in Rome about the middle of the tenth century and its use became a general custom among bishops, 11001150. It is derived from a cone-shaped head-covering distinctive of the pope. It is frequently used in art to indicate that a subject is or was a bishop, or had other connection to the office.

Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “mitre“. Emblems of the Faith. CatholicSaints.Info. 30 August 2018. Web. 23 September 2021. <>