Roman Catholic Diocese of Vigevano
|Diocese of Vigevano
|Area||1,509 km2 (583 sq mi)|
|(as of 2010)
|Established||14 March 1530 (485 years ago)|
|Cathedral||Cattedrale di S. Ambrogio|
|Emeritus Bishops||Claudio Baggini
Vincenzo Di Mauro
The Italian Catholic Diocese of Vigevano (Latin: Dioecesis Viglevanensis) lies almost entirely in the Province of Pavia, Lombardy. It has existed since 1530. The diocese is suffragan of the Archdiocese of Milan, having in the past been suffragan of the Archdiocese of Vercelli.
The earliest notices of Vigevano date from the tenth century, when it was favoured as a residence by King Arduin for hunting. In the next period it was a Ghibelline commune, and was accordingly besieged and taken by the Milanese in 1201 and again in 1275. In 1328 it surrendered to Azzone Visconti, and thereafter shared the political fortunes of Milan. In the last years of the Visconti domination it sustained a siege by Francesco Sforza.
With the Treaty of Worms (1743) it passed to the King of Sardinia. Blessed Matteo Carreiro, O.P., died at Vigevano. Until 1530 the town belonged to the Diocese of Novara and had a collegiate chapter. Francesco Sforza procured the erection of the see and provided its revenues.
The first bishop was Galeazzo Pietra, succeeded by his nephew Maurizio Pietra (1552); both of these promoted the Tridentine reforms, and the work was continued by their successors. Marsilio Landriani (1594) distinguished himself in various nunciatures and founded a Barnabite college for the education of young men. Giorgio Odescalchi (1610) was a very zealous pastor; the process of his beatification has been commenced. Giovanni Caramuel Lobkowitz (1675) was an example of pastoral virtue and zeal and the author of many works, philosophical, theological, ascetical etc., though his Theologia fundamentalis was censured. Pier Marino Sonnani (1688), a Minorite, who enlarged the seminary, maintained a struggle against the spread of the doctrines of Miguel Molinos. Nicola Saverio Gamboni was appointed to the see by Napoleon in 1801.
The Vigevano Cathedral was initially built in 1100, and then rebuilt in the sixteenth century through a commission by Duke Francesco II Sforza. The facade of the second and current structure was re-designed by Cardinal Juan Caramuel y Lobkowitz in 1673 (completed c. 1680). The Church of S. Pietro Martiere was built, with the adjacent Dominican convent, by Filippo Maria Visconti in 1445; the convent is now used for government offices and courts. Among the civil edifices is the castle, once a fortress, built by Bramante in 1492, by order of Ludovico il Moro, which became a royal palace.
Of the 87 parishes 86 fall, like Vigevano, within the Province of Pavia in Lombardy. The exception is S. Silvano Martire which is within the commune of Sozzago in the Piedmontese province of Novara.
- Cappelletti, Le chiese d'Italia, XIV
- Biffignandi, Memorie storiche della citta e contado di Vigevano