DIOCESE OF GERACE (HIERACENSIS).
Diocese in the province of Reggio in Calabria (Southern Italy ), on a lofty site overlooking the Ionian Sea, not far from Cape Spartivento. The city probably owes its origin, or at least its importance, to the ruin of the town of Locri Epizephyrii, one of the earliest Greek colonies in Lower Italy, founded by the Ozolian Locrians (684-680 B.C.) and endowed with a code of laws by Zaleucus. Through its advanced civilization and its trade Locri Epizephrii was brought into prominence. It suffered much during the wars of Dionysius the Younger and of Pyrrhus, and in the Second Punic War, when it passed into the hands of the Romans, retaining, however, the ancient constitution of Zaleucus. Its decay dates from this period. Before its total ruin, Locri Epizephrii had a bishop of its own; but in 709, under Bishop Gregory, the see was transferred to Gerace.
The name Gerace is probably derived from Saint Cyriaca, whose church was destroyed by the Saracens in 915. They captured the town in 986, but in 1059 it fell into the hands of the Normans. Until 1467 the Greek Rite was in use at Gerace, and such had probably been the custom from the beginning. As early as the thirteenth century efforts were made to introduce the Latin Rite, which accounts for the schism between Latins and Greeks about 1250-1253. The latter demanded as bishop the monk Bartenulfo, a Greek whereas Innocent IV, in 1253, appointed Marco Leone. In 1467, bishop Atanasio Calceofilo introduced the Latin Rite . Among bishops of note are: Barlaam II (1342), Abbot of San Salvatore at Constantinople, and ambassador from the Emperor Andronicus to Benedict XII, apropos of the union of the two Churches. Barlaam at one time had opposed the idea, but later recognized his error, and Clement VI bestowed on him the See of Gerace. He taught Greek to Petrarch, Boccaccio, and others, and was thus one of the first of the Italian humanists. Bishop Ottaviano Pasqua (1574) wrote a history of the diocese. Another bishop, Giovanni Maria Belletti (1625), wrote "Disquisitiones Clericales"; Giuseppe Maria Pellicano (1818) rebuilt the cathedral, destroyed by an earthquake in 1783. Gerace is a suffragan of Reggio; it has 69 parishes, and 132,300 souls ; 1 religious house for men, and 3 for women.
St Sebastian Holy Card
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.
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