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Diocese of Candia



(Diocese of Candia)

On the north shore of Crete was an ancient city called Heracleion. Lequien (II, 269) mentions among those present at the Seventh General Council (Nicaea, 787) Theodorus, Bishop of Heracleiopolis, by which he understands Heracleion; the latter title, however, does not figure in the Greek "Notitiae episcopatuum". The Greeks still give the name of Heracleion to a city built by the Arabs in 825 near the site of the ancient city; the Arabian name was Khandak, whence the Italian name Candia is used also for the whole island. In 960 Candia was taken by Nicephorus Phocas. In 1204 it passed to the Venetians and in 1669 to the Turks. It has now about 25,000 inhabitants (8000 Greeks, 100 Latins). There are remains of its ancient walls and aqueduct, also a museum of antiquities. Under the Venetian occupation Crete was divided into eleven Latin sees, Candia being the seat of an archbishopric. Lequien (III, 907-916) cites twenty-seven archbishops, from 1213 to 1645; Eubel (I, 223, II, 156) has thirty, from the thirteenth century to 1493. Among the latter are the famous Carmelite, St. Peter Thomas (1363), and Blessed Francis Quirini (1364). The hierarchy disappeared with the Turkish conquest. In 1874 Pius IX re-established the See of Candia, as a suffragan of Smyrna; the bishop has until now resided at Canea. The diocese has only about 300 Catholics. The Capuchins have parishes at Candia (Megalokastro), Canea (Khania), Retimo, and a station at Sitia; 4 schools for boys and 2 for girls (Sisters of St. Joseph de l'Apparition). Candia is the residence of the Greek Metropolitan of Crete, who has seven suffragan sees, Khania, Kisamos, Rethymnon (Retimo), Sitia, Lampa, Arkadia, and Chersonesos.

S. Pétridès








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