Galgano Guidotti was born in Tuscany, perhaps in Chiusdino, around 1148. His parents Guidotto and Dionisia were already quite old when he was born; his mother had been praying God to give her a child for quite a long time.
Galgano had a well-to-do and pleasurable childhood, but growing up he led a dissulute and violent life. Seeing that her son had become a sinner, Dionisa constantly prayed the Archangel Michael to convert him.
At the death of his father, Galgano did not shed a tear, but the same night he had a dream that troubled him: the Archangel Michael kept his mother Dionisia by the hand and invited her to help his son wear the armour of a knight because he had to follow him.
Galgano did not give importance to the dream, but a few years later he again dreamed of the Archangel Michael who asked him to follow him. This time the Archangel led him to Mount Siepi where Galgano had the vision of a round building where the twelve Apostles were located and there he also had a vision of Christ. When he woke up he told his mother about the dream.
One day, while Galgano was riding and thinking of his imminent wedding to Polissena, Archangel Michael wrapped in a dazzling light appeared to him again. Galgano’s horse was so frightened that Galgano fell off, he drew his sword with strength and this stuck in a rock forming a cross with the hilt; the Archangel disappeared and the branches of the trees formed a dome above the stuck sword.
That day Galgano decided to become a hermit devoted to the Lord.
The Devil, who could not lose such a sinner, urged the mother and the knight's girlfriend to visit him to make him change his mind, but to no avail.
When Galgano went to Rome to the Pope, the Devil sent a small group of men to destroy the sword: they tried to shatter the rock, but they failed, then they destroyed the sword by tearing it to pieces. When Galgano returned and saw the disaster, he began to pray so intensely that the Lord miraculously made the pieces solidify.
Polissena also decided to dedicate her life to God and to a life of prayer.
Galgano died in 1181, while he was praying on his cross-sword.