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DIOCESE OF CASSANO ALL' IONIO (CASSANENSIS).

Suffragan of Reggio. Cassano all' Ionio is a city of Calabria, province of Cosenza, situated in a fertile region in the concave recess of a steep mountain. It was already known in Caesar's time as Cassanum . It is not known when it became an episcopal see ; in 1059 mention is made of a bishop of Cassano, otherwise unknown. In 1096 we read of a bishop known as Saxo (Sassone). Other bishops worthy of mention are: Antonello dei Gesualdi (1418), learned in canon and civil law ; Belforte Spinelli (1432), who while yet a layman assisted at the Council of Constance, under Martin V was sent on important missions, and later renounced the world and retired to Venice, leaving his rich library to the Collegio Spinelli of Padua; Cristoforo Giacoazzi (1523), later Cardinal, called to Rome by Paul III on account of his skill in ecclesiastical affairs; Giovanni Angelo Medici (1553), afterwards Pius IV ; the Englishman, Audoeno Ludovico Cambrone (1588), who was sent by Pope Gregory XIII on different missions, and never resided in Cassano; the Franciscan, Deodata de Arze (1614); the two Theatines, Paolo Palombo (1617) and Gregorio Caraffa (1648); the Augustinians, Luigi Balmaseda (1670) and Vincente de Magistris (1671). The diocese has a population of 130,000, with 46 parishes, 200 churches and chapels, 253 secular and 10 regular priests, 2 religious houses of men and 3 of women.


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