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Diocese of Bovino
Diocese in the province of Foggia, Italy, suffragan to the Archdiocese of Benevento. The city, built on a gentle slope, has a population of over 30,000. The first bishop of Bovino known to history is a certain Joannes mentioned in a deed of Landulplhus I, Archbishop of Beneventum, dated 971. Among other bishops are Ugo (1099), whose services and bounty to the Church are eulogized on two tablets, one preserved in the episcopal residence, the other in the cathedral; Giso (1100), commemorated on the façade of the church of San Pietro; Roberto (1190), who built the shrine of San Michele; Pietro, who erected a new cathedral to replace the ruinous old one; Bartolomeo della Porta (1404), a distinguished jurisconsult; Cardinals Benedetto Accolti (1530) and Gabriele Marini (1535); Gian Domenico Annio, successor to his brother, Gian Ferdinando (1565), and the greatest canonist of his time; Paolo Tolosa (1601), founder of the seminary and later Archbishop of Chieti; Angelo Ceraso (1685), a man of great sanctity, who always made the visitation of his diocese on foot.
On account of political entanglements consequent upon difficulties which had arisen between the pope and the court of Naples, this see remained vacant from the death of Bishop Nicolò Molinari, in 1792, until 1818. There exists to the present day in this diocese a famous shrine of Our Lady (Santa Maria in Valverde) erected in 1244 by Bishop Giambattista. The little town of Castelluccio in the diocese is inhabited almost entirely by descendants of Greeks who took refuge in Italy in the fifteenth century. They have a clergy and a liturgy of their own rite. The diocese contains 32,710 Catholics, 10 parishes, 76 churches and chapels, 80 secular priests, and 13 seminarians.
CAPPELLETTI, Le chiese d'Italia (Venice, 1844); BATTANDIER, Ann. Pont. Cath. (Paris, 1907).