Diocese of Gravina and Montepeloso

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The diocese of Gravina and Montepeloso is a former ecclesiastical territory of the Roman Catholic Church in Apulia, southern Italy. Since 1986 it has formed part of the merged diocese of Altamura-Gravina-Acquaviva. Gravina in Apulia was the seat of the episcopal see from the ninth century.

Ecclesiastical history[edit]

The first known bishop of Gravina is Leo; other bishops of note are: Samuele (1215), who built at his own expense the church of the Madonna di Altamura, afterwards an archipresbyterate nullius (i.e. exempt from the jurisdiction of the neighbouring bishop); Giacomo II (1302), who replaced the Greek rite with the Latin (Roman Rite) by order of the Archbishop of Acerenza; Vincenzo Giustianiani (1593), a Genoese nobleman, who founded the seminary, the church of the Madonna delle Grazie and the Capuccinelle convent; Domenico Cennini (1645), who built the episcopal residence; Fra Domenico Valvassori (1686), a patron of learning and founder of an Accademia Teologica.

In 1650 Vincenzo Maria Orsini, the future Pope Benedict XIII, was born in this town as Pietro Francesco Orsini.

In 1818 the diocese of Gravina was united aeque principaliter with the former bishopric of Montepeloso, which dated back to the 12th century (according to other sources, 15th century) and was suffragan of the archdiocese of Potenza. Montepeloso is situated on a hill in the neighbouring Province of Potenza. The united dioceses, directly subject to the Holy See, had in the early 20th century 9 parishes and some 28,000 baptized people.

Having been vacant for a long time, in 1986 it was included in the new diocese of Altamura-Gravina-Acquaviva.