Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo


Located in Italy ; united aeque principaliter . Valva, a medieval castle belonging to the Bishop of Sulmona, Baron of Valva, is situated near the ancient Corfinium, chief town of the Peligni, A Samnite tribe. In the Social War it was the capital of the Italici, who called it Italia, a name found on some coins. Of the ancient city there remains the Church of S. Pelino, which recalls the race of the Peligni rather than a saint. The ruins contained a great number of inscriptions. Corfinium, like Valva, had apparently its own bishop ; S. Pelino was the cathedral. In the vicinity of Valva is the sanctuary of S. Michele, near which is a large natural grotto. Sulmona, formerly Sulmo, is situated in a fertile plain, watered by the Gizzio, a tributary of the Pescara, at the base of the Maiella and Monte Morrone. The inhabitants are engaged in agriculture, the manufacture of liquors, confetti, and musical strings, and tanning. Among the churches are S. Maria della Tomba, the Annuziata, S. Francesco. Near the city is the monastery of the Spirito Santo, erected by Celestine V for his monks ; it is noted for its architecture. The town hall dates from the fifteenth century. Sulmona was a Pelignian city, and is first mentioned in the wars of Hannibal, during which is remained faithful to the Romans. In the Social War it was destroyed by Sulla. Ovid, who celebrates the salubrity of its climate, was born there. There are ruins of temples and ancient buildings in the vicinity. In the Lombard period the city was subject to the Duchy of Spoleto ; later it belonged to the counts of the Marsi. When the Normans conquered the Abruzzi, Sulmona increased in importance. Frederick II made it the capital of the "Gran Giustizierato" of the Abruzzi. In 1451 Alfonso of Aragon defeated there Count Ruggierone, an ally of Rene of Anjou; the city was regained by Piccinino, who was later defeated and slain by Ferdinand I.

Legend associates the evangelizing of the district with the name of St. Britius, Bishop of Spoleto, in the second century. The first known Bishop of Sulmona is Palladius (499); in 503 a Fortunatus Valvensis is mentioned. St Pamphilus, Bishop of Valva, renowned for his sanctity and miracles, died about 706; as he was buried in the cathedral of Sulmona, the sees had possibly been united then. Four or five other bishops of Valva are known, but none of Sulmona until 1054, when Leo IX named as Bishop of Valva, the Benedictine Domenico, and determined the limits of the Dioceses of S. Pelino (Valva) and S. Pamphilus (Sulmona), which were to have only one bishop, elected by the two chapters. Under Bishop Giacomo di Penne, a monk of Casa Nova (1252), it was arranged that the two chapters should unite in making the election, as frequent disputes had arisen when they acted separately. Other bishops were: Bartolomeo of Tocco (1402), highly esteemed for his learning by Innocent VII, who gave him his own mitre ; Donato Bottini (1448), an Augustinian, who enriched the cathedral ; Pompeo Zambeccari (1547), nuncio in Poland, who restored the episcopal residence; Francesco Bonapaduli (1638), who founded the seminary ; Pietro Antonio Corsignani (17380, the historian of the Abruzzi. During the dispute between the Holy See and the Kingdom of Naples the see remained vacant from 1800 till 1818. The See of Sulmona is immediately subject to the Holy See. It contains; 58 parishes ; 150,000 inhabitants, 200 secular, and 48 regular, priests ; 3 houses of monks ; 3 convents of nuns ; 2 educational institutes for boys, and 1 for girls.

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 between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy 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


Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 6:1-9
1 Children, be obedient to your parents in the Lord -- that is what ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 145:10-11, 12-13, 13-14
10 All your creatures shall thank you, Yahweh, and your faithful shall ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 13:22-30
22 Through towns and villages he went teaching, making his way to ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 26th, 2016 Image

St. Bean
October 26: On December 16, there is named in the Roman ... Read More