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Diocese of Pesaro
Located in central Italy. The city is situated at the mouth of the river Foglia, on the Adriatic Sea. The industries of the town include fisheries, agriculture, the manufacture of majolicas, the working of sulphur and lignite coal mines, bituminous schist, and marble. The cathedral (San Francesco) has a beautiful Gothic portal and a "Coronation of the Madonna", by Bellini; the church of San Domenico is a work of Fra Paolo Belli; in the latter is the mausoleum of the poet Giulio Perticari. The Palazzo Ducale was begun by Laurana before 1465, and was finished by the Gengas, father and son. In the Almerici palace is a museum of ancient inscriptions, coins, and ivory carvings, a collection of majolica, a small picture gallery, and the Olivieri library. Beside the episcopal residence is the ancient duomo, now closed, and the remains of a Christian nymphæum. Outside the city is the Villa Imperiale, built by Alessandro Sforza (1469). Among the scientific institutions mention should be made of the Liceo Musicale, dedicated to Rossini, a native of Pesaro. Of the charitable institutions, the infant asylum dates from 1257, and the retreat for penitent women from 1619.
At the beginning of the fourth century B. C., Pesaro was occupied by the Senones, who were driven from there in 283. The town became a colony in 184. During the Gothic War, it underwent frequent sieges. In the eighth century Pesaro fell four times into the hands of the Lombards, and finally was annexed to the Pontifical States. Giovanni Malatesta, the Lame, became podestà of Pesaro in 1285. Galeazzo Malatesta, having no children, gave Pesaro as a dower to his niece, Costansa Varano, wife of Alessandro Sforza, and the latter was confirmed in the possession of the city by the Holy See in 1447. Costanzo Sforza (1473) fought against the pope in the service of Florence, and left the duchy to his natural son Giovanni (1481); the latter married Lucrezia Borgia, from whom he was eventually separated. Costanso II inherited the duchy in 1510, under the tutelage of his uncle Galeazzo, but in 1512 Julius II gave Pesaro to Francesco M. della Rovere, Duke of Urbino, and the city remained united to this duchy, of which it became the capital. In 1860 the town was valiantly defended by 800 men of the Pontifical troops against the army of Cialdini, but it was compelled to surrender.
The Blessed Francis of Pesaro (1350) and the Blessed Michelina Metelli (1356) were of this city; the first is buried in the cathedral, and the second in the church of the Conventuals; other natives of Pesaro were the Blessed Santo, O. Min., who died in 1393; Blessed Pietro Giacomo (1496), an Augustinian, and Blessed Serafina Sforza (1478), wife of the Duke Alessandro Sforza; at the cathedral is the body of the Blessed Felice Meda (died 1444). The people of Pesaro have great veneration for St. Terentius, a martyr of uncertain date. The first bishop, St. Florentius, is said to have governed this see in the middle of the second century, while the bishop, St. Decentius, according to tradition, suffered martyrdom under Diocletian; Bishop Heradianus was at the Council of Sardica in 343. Other bishops were Germanus, who went with Cresconius di Todi to Constantinople in 497 as legate of Anastasius II; Felix, whom St. Gregory the Great brought to trial; Maximus (649); Benenatus, a legate to the Sixth General Council (680); Stabilinus (769); Adelberto (998), founder of the monastery of S. Tommaso in Folgia, where Clement II died in 1047; Pietro (1070), who was deposed, being a partisan of the schism of Barbarossa; Bartolomeo (1218); Omodio (1346); Biagio Geminelli (1354); Leale Malatesta (1370), who was the first to convoke a diocesan synod; Cardinal Antonio Casini (1406); Giuio Simonetti (1560), was at the Council of Trent, and founded the seminary; Gian Lucido Palombara (1658), consecrated the new cathedral; Umberto Radicati (1742), held an important diocesan synod; Cardinal Gennaro Ant. de' Simoni (1775); and Andrea Mastai-Ferretti (1806).
The diocese is a suffragan of Urbino; it has 39 parishes, 47,000 inhabitants, 9 religious houses of men, 7 of women, 2 educational establishments for male students, and 4 for girls.
CAPPELLETTI, Le Chiese d'Italia, III; MARCOLINI, Notizie storiche della provincia di Pesaro e Urbino (2nd ed., Pesaro, 1883).
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