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Archdiocese of Rossano
Archdiocese in Calabria, province of Cosenza, Southern Italy. The city is situated on an eminence not far from the Gulf of Taranto. It was the ancient Roscianum, a Roman colony, and was ravaged by Totile. The Saracens failed to conquer it. In 982 Otto II captured it temporarily from the Byzantines, who had made it the capital of their possessions in Southern Italy. It preserved its Greek character long after its conquest by the Normans. In the cathedral there is an ancient image of the "Madonna acheropita" (i.e. the "Madonna not made by hands"). Rossano was the birthplace of John VII, the antipope John VII (Philagathus), St. Nilus,-founder of the Abbey of Grottaferrata, and St. Bartholomew, another abbot of that monastery. The first known bishop of this see is Valerianus, Bishop of the "Ecclesia Rosana" in the Roman Council of 680. Cappelletti, however, names a certain Saturninus as first bishop. In the tenth century, or perhaps earlier, the Greek Rite was introduced at Rossano, and continued until the sixteenth century, although two attempts were made to introduce the Latin Rite-once in 1092, and again by Bishop Matteo de' Saraceni in 1460. Priests of the Latin Rite, however, were often appointed bishops. The Greek Rite was maintained especially by the seven Basilian monasteries in the diocese, the most famous of which was S. Maria in Patiro. In 1571 the Greek Rite was abandoned in the cathedral, and half a century afterwards throughout the city. It is still observed in a few villages inhabited by Albanians. Noteworthy bishops were: Vincenzo Pimpinella (1525), nuncio in Germany; Giovanni Battista Castagna (1553), afterwards Urban VII; Lucio Sanseverino, founder of the seminary; Pier Antonio Spinelli (1628) and Jacopo Carafa (1646), both of whom restored and embellished the cathedral. The archdiocese is without suffragans. It includes the ancient Diocese of Turio (Thurii), a city which arose after the destruction of Sybaris; five of its bishops are known, the first being Giovanni (501) and the last Guglielmo (1170). Rossano has 39 parishes, 70,000 Catholics, 140 secular priests, 4 houses of nuns, and 3 schools for girls. For the famous "purple Codex Rossanensis", discovered in 1879 in the cathedral sacristy, see Batiffol (below). This Greek parchment manuscript of St. Matthew (to xvi, 14) and St. Mark is the oldest pictorial Gospel known, and is accorded by scholars various dates from the end of the fifth to the eighth or ninth century; it is probably of Alexandrine origin (ed. Gebhardt and Harnack, 1880; A. Muñoz, Rome, 1907).
CAPPELLETTI, Le Chieze d'Italia, XXI; DE ROSIS, Cenno storico della citta di Rossano (Naples, 1839); RENDE, Cronistoria dei Monastero di S. Maria in Patiro (Naples, 1747); BATIFFOL L'abbaye de Rossano (Paris, 1891); GAY, Les dioceses de Calabre a l'epoque byzantine (Macon, 1900). For the Codex Rossanensis, as above, see KRAUS. Gesch. christl. Kunst (Freiburg, 1896-7); KONDAKOFF, Hist. de l'art byzantin, I (Paris, 1886), 114 sqq.