Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

(ACHERONTIA.)

This archdiocese, in the provinces of Lecce and Potenza, Italy, has been united since 1203 with the Diocese of Matera. It lays claim to a very early, even Apostolic, origin. Acerenza was certainly an episcopal see in the course of the fifth century, for in 499 we meet with the name of its first known bishop, Justus, in the Acts of the Roman Synod of that year. The town is situated on an elevated ridge of the Apennines whence the eye dominates both the Adriatic and the Mediterranean; it was known in antiquity as the high nest of Acherontia (Hor., Odes, III, iv, 14). The cathedral is one of the oldest and most beautiful in Italy, and has lately become quite famous for a bust long supposed to be that of St. Canus or Canius (Ascanius?) patron of the city, but now judged to be a portrait-bust of Julian the Apostate , though others maintain that it is a bust of the Emperor Frederick II, after the manner of the sculptors of the Antonine age. Acerenza was in early imperial times a populous and important town, and a bulwark of the territory of Lucania and Apulia. In the Gothic and Lombard period it fell into decay, but was restored by Grimwald, Duke of Beneventum (687-689). An Archbishop of Acerenza ( Giraldus ) appears in 1063 in an act of donation of Robert Guiscard to the monastery of the Holy Trinity in Venosa. For a few years after 968 Acerenza was forced to adopt the Greek Rite in consequence of a tyrannical order of the Byzantine Emperor Nicephorus Phocas (963-969), whereby it was made one of five suffragans of Otranto, and compelled to acknowledge the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Constantinople (Moroni, Dizionario, L, 63). Pope Urban VI (1378-89, Bartolommeo Prignano), was once Archbishop of Acerenza. Matera is said to have been created a see by the Greeks. Its cathedral dates from the year 1000, and is likewise a richly ornamented specimen of contemporary ecclesiastical architecture in Southern Italy. The Archdiocese of Acerenza contains 22 parishes, 308 secular priests, and a few priests of religious orders. The population numbers 147,900. The present bishop is Monsignor Raffaele Rossi, successor (1899) of Monsignor Diomede Falconio, now Apostolic Delegate to the United States.


More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online


Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Samuel 1:24-28
24 When she had weaned him, she took him up with her, ... Read More

Psalm, First Samuel 2:1, 4-5, 6-7, 8
1 Hannah then prayed as follows: My heart exults in ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 1:46-56
46 And Mary said: My soul proclaims the greatness of ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 22nd, 2014 Image

St. Chaeromon
December 22: Bishop of Nilopolis, in Egypt. When the persecution was ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter