Roman Catholic Diocese of Locri-Gerace

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Diocese of Locri-Gerace
Dioecesis Locrensis-Hieracensis
Gerace Cattedrale.jpg
Co-cathedral in Gerace
Country  Italy
Ecclesiastical province Reggio Calabria-Bova
Area 1,248 km2 (482 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2013)
133,000 (est.)
122,000 (est.) (91.7%)
Parishes 74
Denomination Catholic Church
Rite Roman Rite
Established 5th century
Cathedral Cattedrale di S. Maria del Mastro (Locri)
Co-cathedral Concattedrale di S. Maria Assunta (Gerace)
Secular priests 63 (diocesan)
29 (Religious Orders0
Current leadership
Pope Francis
Bishop Francesco Oliva
Roman Catholic Diocese of Locri-Gerace in Italy.svg

The Italian Catholic Diocese of Locri-Gerace (Latin: Dioecesis Locrensis-Hieracensis ) is in Calabria. It is a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Reggio Calabria-Bova.

Historically it was the Diocese of Gerace, becoming in 1954 the Diocese of Gerace-Locri and taking the current name in 1986.[1][2]


Gerace probably owes its origin, or at least its importance, to the ruin of the town of Locri Epizephyrii, one of the earliest Greek colonies in Lower Italy, founded by the Ozolian Locrians (684-680 B.C.) and endowed with a code of laws by Zaleucus. The town was in a favorable position for the exploitation of the rich fields along the coast of the Gulf of Taranto, and sharing in the commerce of the east-west trade route. Locri, however, was a beachfront town, wide-open to attacks by pirates and then by Arabs, Moors, and Saracens.[3] Before its total ruin, Locri Epizephrii had a bishop of its own; but in 709, under Bishop Gregory, the see was transferred to Gerace. Gerace had the advantage of being a fortifiable hilltop, where the population could protect itself from raiders. There was only one bishop and one diocese, however, first called Locri and then called Gerace. These were not two dioceses.[4]

In 731, Gerace and all the towns of Calabria suffered from a major earthquake, which devastated many of the cities of the region. There was another major earthquake in 1783, and one in 1908.[5]

The name Gerace is probably derived from Saint Cyriaca,[disputed ] whose church was destroyed by the Saracens in 915.[6] They captured the town in 986, but in 1059 it fell into the hands of the Normans. The Normans began the turn away from Greek affiliations toward Rome, aided by the policies of Gregory VII and Urban II.[7]

Until 1467 the Greek Rite was in wide use at Gerace, and such had probably been the custom from the beginning. As early as the thirteenth century efforts were made to introduce the Latin Rite, which accounts for the schism between Latins and Greeks about 1250-1253. The latter demanded as bishop the monk Bartenulfo, a Greek, whereas Pope Innocent IV, in 1253, appointed Marco Leone. In 1467, bishop Atanasio Calceofilo introduced the Latin Rite.

In 1749 Gerace was a town whose population was estimated at 3,000. It was divided ecclesiastically into thirteen parishes. There were forty-five ecclesiastical parishes in the diocese.[8] In 1890[9] the population of the diocese was given as 106,335, and the number of parishes was seventy one; there were 393 priests. The Chapter of the Cathedral had eight dignities and sixteen Canons.[10] Among the dignities were: the Cantor, the Archdeacon, the Archpriest, the Primicerius, the Dean, the Protonotary, the Treasurer, and the Master of Ceremonies[11] The seminary of the diocese was founded by Bishop Candido, in obedience to the decrees of the Council of Trent, and completed by his successor Bishop Pasqua.[12]

The population of the town of Gerace in 2012 was 2,715. The population of the town of Locri was 12,845 in 2010.


Diocese of Gerace[edit]

Latin Name: Hieracensis
Erected: 5th Century

to 1300[edit]

  • [Basilius (attested 451)][13]
  • Dulcinus[14]
  • Marcianus (attested 597, 598, 599)[15]
  • Crescens (649)[16]
  • Stephanus (attested 679)[17]
  • Christopher (attested 687)[18]
  • Georgius (attested 869)[19]
  • Leontius (attested 1100)[20]
  • Constantinus (attested January 1179 – March 1179)[21]
  • Leo (attested December 1194)[22]
  • Nipho (attested 1211)
  • Nicolaus (1219 – 1225/1226)
  • Barsanufius, O.S.Basil. (December 1250 – 18 October 1254)[23]
  • Leo (18 October 1254 – 8 July 1255)[24]
  • Paulus, O.S.Basil. (9 August 1262 – 29 July 1280)[25]
  • Jacobus[26]
  • Barlaam, O.S.Basil.[27]

1300 to 1600[edit]

1600 to 1920[edit]

Sede vacante (1793–1797)
  • Vincenzo Barisani, O.S.A. (18 Dec 1797 - 4 Feb 1806)[62]
  • Giuseppe Maria Pellicano (21 Dec 1818 - 19 Jun 1833 Died)[63]
  • Luigi Maria Perrone, C.O. (19 Dec 1834 - 14 Mar 1852 Died)
  • Pasquale de Lucia[64] (27 Sep 1852 - 11 Jun 1860 Died)
  • Francesco Saverio Mangeruva (6 May 1872 - 11 May 1905 Died)[65]
  • Giorgio Francesco Delrio (6 Dec 1906 - 16 Dec 1920 Appointed, Archbishop of Oristano)[66]

Diocese of Gerace (-Santa Maria di Polsi)[edit]

Gerace, the Cathedral at left

Latin Name: Hieracensis (-Sanctae Mariae de Pulsi)
Name Changed: 8 April 1920
Metropolitan: Archdiocese of Reggio Calabria

  • Giovanni Battista Chiappe (4 Oct 1922 - 26 Aug 1951 Died)
  • Pacifico Maria Luigi Perantoni, O.F.M. (31 Jan 1952 - 21 Aug 1962 Appointed, Archbishop of Lanciano e Ortona)

Diocese of Gerace-Locri (-Santa Maria di Polsi)[edit]

Latin Name: Hieracensis-Locrensis (-Sanctae Mariae de Pulsi)
Name Changed: 22 February 1954
Metropolitan: Archdiocese of Reggio Calabria

  • Michele Alberto Arduino, S.D.B. (21 Oct 1962 - 18 Jun 1972 Died)
  • Francesco Tortora, O.M. (21 Oct 1972 - 22 Sep 1988 Resigned)

Diocese of Locri-Gerace (-Santa Maria di Polsi)[edit]

Latin Name: Dioecesis Locrensis-Hieracensis (-Sanctae Mariae de Pulsi)
Name Changed: 30 September 1986
Metropolitan: Archdiocese of Reggio Calabria-Bova


  1. ^ "Diocese of Locri-Gerace (-Santa Maria di Polsi)" David M. Cheney. Retrieved August 8, 2016
  2. ^ "Diocese of Locri–Gerace" Gabriel Chow. Retrieved June 16, 2016
  3. ^ D'Avino, p. 261.
  4. ^ D'Agostino, p. 91.
  5. ^ D'Avino, p. 262, 263.
  6. ^ On the cult of S. Cyriaca, see D'Agostino, pp. 84-91.
  7. ^ D'Agostino, pp. 93-94; 117-125.
  8. ^ Ughelli, p. 394. Perhaps he means 45 parishes in the rest of the diocese, outside Gerace. Cf. the list of parish priests attending the Synod on 1651, pp. 10-14.
  9. ^ O. Werner, Orbis Terrarum Catholicus (Freiburg im Breisgau: Herder 1891), p. 31.
  10. ^ Ritzler-Sefrin, VI, p. 235, note 1.
  11. ^ Ughelli, IX, p. 393. Synodus dioecesana (1651), pp. 8-9. Interestingly twenty-one of the twenty-three signatories of an episcopal decree (p. 163) hold the degree of Doctor in utroque iure, and two are Doctor decretorum; the list includes the signatures of the Cantor, Archdeacon, Archpriest, Protonotary, and Master of Ceremonies.
  12. ^ D'Avino, p. 263.
  13. ^ Basilius was present at the Council of Chalcedon in 451, according to Ughelli, pp. 394-395. But Lanzoni (p. 340) draws attention to the well-known fact that only bishops of the Eastern Church attended the council, with the exception of the papal delegates. The assertion that Basilius was present cannot be maintained. His name does not appear in the subscription lists.
  14. ^ Dulcinus: Lanzoni, p. 340. A letter of Pope Gregory I of 598 speaks of him as the decessor Marciani episcopi Locrensis: Jaffé-S. Loewenfeld, Regesta pontificum Romanorum, editio altera, I (Leipzig: Veit 1885), p. 186, no. 1600.
  15. ^ Marcianus, Bishop of Locri: Taccone-Galucci, p. 309. Lanzoni, p. 340.
  16. ^ Taccone-Galucci places Crescens at the Roman Synod of Pope Martinus in 649. J.D. Mansi (ed.), Sacrorum Conciliorum nova et amplissima collectio, editio novissima, Tomus X (Florence: A. Zatta 1764), p. 866.
  17. ^ Stephanus gratia Dei episcopus Locrensis ecclesiae: Mansi, Tomus XI, p. 299. Taccone-Gallucci, p. 411.
  18. ^ Christopher was present at the Second Ecumenical Council of Nicaea in 687. Taccone-Gallucci, p. 411.
  19. ^ Georgius was present at the IV Council of Constantinople. Taccone-Gallucci, p. 411.
  20. ^ Leontius was the founder of the Basilian monastery of S. Filippo in Gerace in 1100. Taccone-Gallucci, p. 411.
  21. ^ Kamp, p. 966.
  22. ^ Kamp, p. 966.
  23. ^ Ughelli, p. 329. Kamp, p. 971.
  24. ^ Leo had been Archdeacon of the Church of Gerace. Ughelli, p. 329. Eubel, I, p. 263. Kamp, pp. 971-972.
  25. ^ Eubel, I, p. 263. Ughelli, p. 329. Kamp, pp. 972-973.
  26. ^ Jacobus had been Abbot of S. Filarete. Ughelli, p. 329. Taccone-Gallucci, p. 411.
  27. ^ Ughelli, p. 329. Taccone-Gallucci, p. 411. Eubel, I, p. 263.
  28. ^ A native of Calabria, Barlaam was Abbot of San Salvatore at Constantinople, and ambassador from the Emperor Andronicus to Pope Benedict XII in Avignon, apropos the union of the two Churches. Barlaam at one time had opposed the idea, but later reversed his position. Unfortunately, Benedict XII died on 25 April 1342, with Barlaam's business uncompleted. Pope Clement VI (1342 – 1352) bestowed on him the see of Gerace. The letter of appointment of 2 October 1342 is given in Taccone-Gallucci, pp. 202-203. He was sent as Papal Ambassador to Constantinople in 1346. Barlaam taught Greek to Petrarch, Boccaccio, and others, and was thus one of the first of the Italian humanists. He died in 1347, probably of the plague. Eubel, I, p. 263 with note 3. Martin Jugie, "Barlaam de Seminara." in: Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, vol. 6 (Paris 1932), cols. 817–834. Antonis Fyrigos (2001). Barlaam Calabro: l'uomo, l'opera, il pensiero : atti del convegno internazionale, Reggio Calabria, Seminara, Gerace, 10-11-12 dicembre 1999 (in Italian). Roma: Gangemi. ISBN 978-88-492-0117-8. 
  29. ^ Simon, who was a Basilian monk, was transferred to the diocese of Thebes on 17 April 1366. He was a humanist. Eubel, I, p. 482.
  30. ^ Nicolaus had been Treasurer of the Cathedral Chapter of Gerace before being named bishop. He was removed from his bishopric by order of Urban VI and thrown in prison. He was liberated after the death of Urban VI. Eubel, I, p. 263 with note 5.
  31. ^ Jacobus was provided to the See by Urban VI. Eubel, I, p. 263 with note 6.
  32. ^ Bishop Angelo had been Dean of the Cathedral Chapter of Aversa. Eubel, I, p. 263.
  33. ^ Paul had previously been Bishop of Siponto (1414-1419), appointed by Pope John XXIII. He was transferred to Reggio on 4 February 1429; he was deprived of the See in 1440. Eubel, I, pp. 263, 418, 453.
  34. ^ Aimericus had been Cantor of the Cathedral Chapter of Bisignano. Taccone-Gallucci, p. 411.
  35. ^ Gregorius had been Primicerius of the Cathedral Chapter of Gerace. Eubel, Hierarchia catholica II, p. 159. Enzo D'Agostino (2004). Da Locri a Gerace: storia di una diocesi della Calabria bizantina dalle origini al 1480 (in Italian). Soveria Mannelli: Rubbettino Editore. pp. 253–255. ISBN 978-88-498-1158-2. 
  36. ^ Athanasius was a native of Constantinople, and was Abbot of S. Maria de Patiro and de Arca, where suppressed the Greek rite. He effected the union with the diocese of Oppido. Ughelli, p. 396. Eubel, II, p. 159. D'Agostino, pp. 257-260.
  37. ^ Carafa: Eubel, II, p. 159; III, p. 209.
  38. ^ Conchillos was named Bishop of Catania on 25 February 1509. Eubel, II, p. 159; III, p. 159.
  39. ^ Helen Hyde (2009). Cardinal Bendinello Sauli and Church Patronage in Sixteenth-century Italy. Woodbridge, UK ; Rochester, NY: Royal Historical Society/Boydell Press. p. 41. ISBN 978-0-86193-301-3.  Eubel, III, p. 209.
  40. ^ Armellini: Ughelli, p. 397. Eubel, III, p. 209.
  41. ^ Cesarini: Ughelli, p. 397. Eubel, III, p. 209.
  42. ^ Planca: Ughelli, p. 397-398. Eubel, III, p. 209.
  43. ^ Cesarini: Ughelli, p. 398. Eubel, III, p. 209.
  44. ^ Muti was a priest of the diocese of Rome. He was a Canon of S. Maria in Via Lata, and then of the Vatican Basilica. In 1541 he carried out a pastoral visit of his diocese. He was transferred from Gerace to the diocese of Assisi on 9 March 1552. Ughelli, p. 398. Eubel, III, pp. 110, 209. Vincenzo Nayamo, "La visita pastorale di Tiberio Muti nella diocese di Gerace (1541) alla vigilia del Concilio di Trento. Parte prima: Gerace," in: Rivista storica Calabrese nuova serie 14 (1993) 79-170. D'Agostino, pp. 251-253.
  45. ^ Candido: Ughelli, p. 398. Eubel, III, p. 209.
  46. ^ Ughelli, p. 398. Eubel, III, p. 209. Roberto Fuda, "Le « Vite » inedite di Ottaviano Pasqua," Archivio storico italiano, 148, 1990, 331-391.
  47. ^ Bonardo had been Master of the Sacred Apostolic Palace in Rome. Synoda dioecesana (1651), p. 6. Ughelli, p. 398. Eubel, III, p. 209.
  48. ^ Mattei: Gauchat, Hierarchia catholica IV, p. 202 with note 2.
  49. ^ Boschi was a native of Bologna. He was a Doctor in utroque iure (Civil and Canon Law), and a Protonotary Apostolic. He was Bishop of Carinola (1619–1622). He was Vicar of Rome under Urban VIII, and was not resident in Gerace. Ughelli, p. 399. Gauchat, pp. 129 with note 3; 202 with note 3.
  50. ^ De Rosis had been an Auditor of the Rota in Rome. He was consecrated a bishop in Rome on 11 February 1624 by Cardinal Francesco Sforza, Bishop of Porto e Santa Rufina. Ughelli, p. 399. Gauchat, p. 202 with note 4.
  51. ^ A native of Pollone (Biela), Belletti had been Auditor and Vicar General of Cardinal Maurizio di Savoia. Belletti wrote: Giovanni Maria Belletti (1635). Disquisitio clericalis in duas partes distincta (in Latin). Roma: Ludouicus Grignanus.  Ughelli, p. 389. Gauchat, p. 202 with note 5.
  52. ^ Tramallo was a native of Sarzana or Porto Venere (Liguria, diocese of Genoa). He was a Doctor in utroque iure (Civil and Canon Law). He was Auditor and Vicar-General of Cardinal Laudivio Zachias of Genoa, Bishop of Montefiascone. Ughelli, p. 399. Gauchat, p. 202 with note 6.
  53. ^ Vincentini: Gauchat, p. 202 with note 7.
  54. ^ Sulco: Ritzler-Sefrin, V, p. 219 with note 3.
  55. ^ Caracciolo was accused of a felony, imprisoned on order of King Alfonso I, and deprived of his feudal rights. Scaglione, II, p. 71. Ritzler-Sefrin, V, p. 219 with note 4.
  56. ^ "Bishop Tommaso Caracciolo, O.S.B." David M. Cheney. Retrieved August 8, 2016
  57. ^ Diez: Ritzler-Sefrin, V, p. 219 with note 5.
  58. ^ Del Tufo: Ritzler-Sefrin, V, p. 219 with note 6.
  59. ^ Bozzoni was born in Naples in 1700, and he was Doctor in utroque iure (Civil and Canon Law) from the University of Naples (1725). He was Vicar-General of the diocese of Bitetto and S. Angelo dei Lombardi, and the diocese of Capua. He was Advocate of the Poor in the papal Nunciature in Naples. He was consecrated a bishop in Rome on 9 March 1749 by Ferdinando Maria Rossi, Titular Archbishop of Tarsus. He died on 21 December 1749. Ritzler-Sefrin, Hierarchia catholica VI, p. 235 with note 2.
  60. ^ Rossi had been Bishop of Montepeloso (Irsina) from 1739 to 1750. Ritzler-Sefrin, VI, pp. 235 with note 3; 295 with note 2.
  61. ^ Scoppa was born at S. Catarina (diocese of Squillace) in 1720. He obtained the degree of Doctor in utroque iure (Civil and Canon Law) from the Sapienza in Rome in 1740. He served as Vicar-General of the diocese of Strongoli; then pro-Vicar-General and Vicar-General of Mileto. He was consecrated in Rome on 18 April 1756 by Ferdinando Maria Rossi, titular Latin Patriarch of Constantinople. He died on 14 November 1793. Ritzler-Sefrin, VI, p. 235 with note 4.
  62. ^ Barisani was born in Naples in 1739. He took the degree of Master of theology. He lectured in theology in the houses of his Order. He became a Prior, then Provincial of the Neapolitan Province of his Order. He was then public lecturer in theology at the University of Naples. He was consecrated in Rome on 21 December 1797 by Cardinal Giuseppe Doria. He died on 4 February 1806. Ritzler-Sefrin, VI, p. 235 with note 5.
  63. ^ Pellicano rebuilt the cathedral, destroyed by an earthquake in 1783. Umberto Benigni, Catholic Encyclopedia article, Gerace
  64. ^ Leonardo Calabretta (2004). Le diocesi di Squillace e Catanzaro. Cardinali, arcivescovi e vescovi nati nelle due diocesi (in Italian). Cosenza IT: Pellegrini Editore. pp. 150–151. ISBN 978-88-8101-229-9. 
  65. ^ Mangeruva was born in Sinopoli (diocese of Mileto) in 1823. He was Archdeacon in the Collegiate Church of Sinopoli, Vicar Forane in the diocese of Mileto, and held a Licentiate in theology. He was approved (preconized) by Pope Pius XI on 6 May 1872.
  66. ^ Delrio was born in Silanus (diocese of Alghero, Sardinia) in 1865. He had been a diocesan priest of Alghero, and was a Doctor of theology. He was appointed to the theological college at Sassari. He was named Canon Penitentiary of the Cathedral Chapter of Alghero, and pro-Vicar-General of Alghero. Wiener Diöcesanblatt (in Italian). Jahrgang 1906. Vienna: K. Gorischek. 1906. p. 266. 


Reference works[edit]



  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Gerace". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton. 

Coordinates: 38°14′00″N 16°16′00″E / 38.2333°N 16.2667°E / 38.2333; 16.2667