Diocese ; suffragan of Ravenna. Comacchio is a town in the province of Ferrara in the Romagna, Italy, situated on islands near the mouths of the Po, and connected with the sea by a canal built by Cardinal Palotta. The ancient name of the town was Cymaclum. The first known Bishop of Comacchio was Pacatianus, present in 503 at a synod held in Rome under Pope Symmachus. St. Gregory the Great reckons the see among the suffragans of Ravenna. In 708 a certain Vincentius is mentioned as Bishop of Comacchio. In the seventh century Gregory, the youthful son of Isaac, Exarch of Ravenna, died at Comacchio in a monastery dedicated to St. Maurus, as is recorded in a Greek inscription. During the fifteenth century the town was held by the Venetians, but was retaken in 1509 by Alfonso II, Duke of Ferrara, and fortified by him. At the death of Alfonso in 1597, Comacchio, with the rest of the Duchy of Ferrara passed under the control of the Holy See . One of its bishops, Alfonso Pandolfo (1631), was a polished writer and poet, and established the Accademia dei Fluttuanti . In the vicinity of Comacchio is the ancient shrine of Santa Maria in Aula Regia, approached by a long portico of 142 arches, built in 1647 by the papal legate, Cardinal Giovanni Stefano Dongo. In 1708 Emperor Joseph I, on the pretence of having an ancient claim on the city seized Comacchio, which was, however, restored in 1724. In 1796 the town was occupied by the French. The famous Benedictine Abbey of Pomposa is in the Diocese of Comacchio. The diocese has a population of 40,630, with 114 parishes, 24 churches and oratories, 26 secular and 6 regular priests, 1 religious house of men, and 1 of women.
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