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Diocese of Ruvo and Bitonto
(RUBENSIS ET BITUNTINENSIS)
Diocese in the Province of Bari, Aquileia, Southern Italy. Ruvo, the ancient Rubi, situated on a calcareous hill, contains a fine Norman cathedral of the eleventh century. Outside of the city are the ruins of a more ancient cathedral, possibly of the late fourth or early fifth century. According to a legend St. Peter preached the Faith here and appointed to the see as its first bishop St. Cletus, later pope. We read also of a St. Procopius, Bishop of Ruvo, of unknown date; Bishop Joannes, spoken of in 493, is the first prelate of the city known with certainty; of the others mention may be made of Pietro Ruggieri (1759-1804); Bishop Anderano (about 734) belonged either to Bitonto or Bisignano; Arnolfo (1087), the first undoubted Bishop of Bitonto; Enrico Minutolo (1382), later cardinal; Cornelio Musso (1544), a Conventual, distinguished at the Council of Trent; Fabrizio Carafa (1622), founder of a literary academy; Alessandro Crescenti (1652), later cardinal. In 1818 the Diocese of Ruvo, which comprised only the commune of Ruvo, was united æque principaliter to the See of Bitonto, which included only the commune of Bitonto. It has a fine cathedral with four rows of beautiful marble columns. The chief historic events relating to the dioceses are the capture of Ruvo in 1503 by Gonsalvo di Cordova, who defeated the French, and the battle of Bitonto (1734) in which the Austrians were defeated by the Spaniards. The united dioceses contain 25,000 inhabitants, a Franciscan friary, 7 houses of religious, 3 of which are enclosed, 2 having hospitals attached, and 2 others charitable establishments.
CAPPELLETTI, Le Chiese d'Italia, XVI (Venice, 1857).