San Mamiliano’s arm: this is the first legend of Giglio Island

Giglio Island is not only a land of beaches and nature. It is also a place rich in history and charm. For this two characteristics, it’s a land where legends were born. And there’s a lenged, in particular, that Giglio Island people know: it is the one of San Mamiliano’s arm, patron saint of the island.

San Mamiliano’s life was quite troubled. He travelled along the length and breadth of Italy and Mediterranean sea to escape from Vandals persecution. His journey ended when he landed on a small island, Monte Giove, where he died. After his death, that small island was called Montecristo.

The legend begins at this point. It is said that, after his death, the body of the saint was brought back to Giglio Island. In particular, his remains were brought in the place where, later, arose the village of Giglio Castello.

But there was someone else who craved the saint’s remains. At night, a group of persons from Elba Island and Genoa, without being seen by anyone, landed on Giglio Island. And tried to steal the body.

There was a violent scuffle. Where no one wanted to slacken off: Giglio, Elba, and Genoa would never give away the saint. Suddenly, the saint’s body was dismembered in the hands of the contenders.

Maybe it’s only a legend, maybe not. Even today, Giglio Island inhabitants have the arm of San Mamiliano, revered as a precious relic.

 

Image source: Flickr.com/photos/jimforest

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