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Comune di Belcastro
Location of Belcastro
Belcastro is located in Italy
Location of Belcastro in Italy
Belcastro is located in Calabria
Belcastro (Calabria)
Coordinates: 39°1′N 16°47′E / 39.017°N 16.783°E / 39.017; 16.783Coordinates: 39°1′N 16°47′E / 39.017°N 16.783°E / 39.017; 16.783
ProvinceCatanzaro (CZ)
FrazioniFieri di Belcastro
 • Total52 km2 (20 sq mi)
535 m (1,755 ft)
(31 December 2013)
 • Total1,397
 • Density27/km2 (70/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Dialing code0961
Patron saintThomas Aquinas
Saint day21 March

Belcastro (Latin: Bellicastrum; Calabrian: Bercastru) is a comune, former bishopric and present Latin Catholic titular see in the province of Catanzaro, in the Calabria region of southern Italy.


The small town of Belcastro is situated on a rocky spur crowned by a Norman-style castle that belonged to the counts of Aquino and that some propose as the birthplace of Saint Thomas Aquinas, more commonly taken to have been born in the castle of Roccasecca, not far from Aquino. Feudo for some centuries of the Lords of Aquino, in 1330 by decree of the King of Naples, Robert of Anjou, became a county and changed its name from Geneocastro to Belcastro (Bellicastrum), as a tribute to the beauty of the place and gratification to Thomas 'Aquino, first count of the city and nephew of the saint. In the 15th century it was given the title of city.[1][2][3] The historic Lutio d'Orsi [4] (16th and 17th centuries) and the great jurist Giuseppe Poerio (1775-1843), patriot of the Italian Risorgimento and father of the poet Alessandro Poerio, also a great patriot, were born in Belcastro. Its population is now reduced to about 1400 (2013).

Ecclesiastical History[edit]


The town was the seat of a [Roman Catholic Diocese of Belcastro|diocese of Belcastro]] from at least 1122, suffragan of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Santa Severina, but the earliest bishop whose name is known is of the early 13th century. By the papal bull De utiliori of Pope Pius VII of 27 June 1828, the diocese was suppressed, its territory being incorporated (without its title) into its Metropolitan's archdiocese of Santa Severina.[5][6][7][8]

Titular see[edit]

No longer a bishop's residence, the diocese, known in Latin as Bellicastrum, is today listed by the Catholic Church as a titular see [9] since its nominal restoration as a titular bishopric in 1968.

It has had the following incumbents of the lowest (episcopal) and intermediary (archiepiscopal) ranks :

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Articles by Ivan Ciacci in Calabria Letteraria 1998, 1999, 2005, 2006;
  2. ^ Cesare Sinopoli, La Calabria, Storia, Geografia, Arte (Catanzaro 1925);
  3. ^ Girolamo Marafioti, Cronache e Antichità di Calabria (Padova 1601);
  4. ^ Lutio d'Orsi..., I terremoti delle due Calavrie..., NA 1640 - New edition on line 2500 a cura di Ivan Ciacci.
  5. ^ Bolla De utiliori, in Bullarii romani continuatio, Vol. XV, Rome 1853, pp. 56-61
  6. ^ Giuseppe Cappelletti, Le Chiese d'Italia della loro origine sino ai nostri giorni, vol. XIX, Venezia 1864, pp. 44-83
  7. ^ Taccone-Gallucci, Vescovi di Cal. in Regesti dei Pontefici, Roma 1902
  8. ^ Giovanni Minasi, Le chiese di Calabria dal V al XII secolo: cenni storici. Napoli: Lanciano e Pinto, 1896, Cap. XVI, ad indicem; Ristampa anastatica: Oppido Mamertina: Barbaro, 1987
  9. ^ Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2013 ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), p. 848