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Prefecture Apostolic of Rhætia



(RHÆTORUM).

Prefecture Apostolic in Switzerland; includes in general the district occupied by the Catholics belonging to the Rhæto-Romanic race in the canton of the Grisons (Graubünden). The prefecture is bounded on the north by the Prättigau, on the south by Lombardy, on the east by the Tyrol, on the west by the cantons of Tessin (Ticino), Uri, and Glarus. During the sixteenth century the greater part of the inhabitants of the Grisons became Calvinists. In 1621 Paul V, at the entreaty of Bishop John Flugi of Coire (Chur) and Archduke Leopold of Austria, sent thither Capuchin missionaries from Brixen in the Tyrol; the first superior was P. Ignatius of Cosnigo, who resided in the mission (1621-45) and conducted it under the title of prefect Apostolic. The best known of the missionaries is St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen, who was martyred. After the death of P. Ignatius the mission was cared for by the Capuchin province of Brixen, represented in the mission by a sub-prefect. For a long time after the suppression of the religious orders by Napoleon, the mission was without an administrator; upon the restoration of the order, Capuchins from various provinces were sent into the mission. At present it is under the care of Capuchins of the Roman province. It has 22 parishes, in three of which the majority of inhabitants speak Italian; 52 churches and chapels; 40 schools for boys and girls; 7200 Catholics; 25 Capuchins. The prefect Apostolic lives at Sagens.

BÜCHI, Die kath. Kirche in der Schweiz (Munich, 1902), 89; Missiones Catholicae (Rome, 1907), 103; MAYER, Gesch. des Bistums Chur (Stans, 1907), not yet completed.

JOSEPH LINS.








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