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Comune di Belcastro
Belcastro is located in Italy
Location of Belcastro in Italy
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
Country Italy
Region Calabria
Province Catanzaro (CZ)
Frazioni Fieri di Belcastro
 • Total 52 km2 (20 sq mi)
Elevation 535 m (1,755 ft)
Population (31 December 2013)
 • Total 1,397
 • Density 27/km2 (70/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Belcastresi
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 88050
Dialing code 0961
Patron saint Thomas Aquinas
Saint day 21 March

Belcastro (Latin Bellicastrum) 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, near Aquino itself. After being for some centuries a fief of the counts of Aquino, it passed in 1300 into the possession of Robert of Anjou, who changed its name from Geneocastro to Belcastro as a tribute to the beauty of the surroundings. In the 15th century it was given the title of city.[1][2][3] 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.[4][5][6][7]

Titular see[edit]

No longer a residential bishopric, the diocese, known in Latin as Bellicastrum, is today listed by the Catholic Church as a titular see [8] 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. ^ Bolla De utiliori, in Bullarii romani continuatio, Vol. XV, Rome 1853, pp. 56-61
  5. ^ Giuseppe Cappelletti, Le Chiese d'Italia della loro origine sino ai nostri giorni, vol. XIX, Venezia 1864, pp. 44-83
  6. ^ Taccone-Gallucci, Vescovi di Cal. in Regesti dei Pontefici, Roma 1902
  7. ^ Giovanni Minasi, Le chiese di Calabria dal quinto al duodecimo secolo: cenni storici. Napoli : Lanciano e Pinto, 1896, Cap. XVI, ad indicem; Ristampa anastatica: Oppido Mamertina : Barbaro, 1987
  8. ^ Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2013 ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), p. 848