Archdiocese of Lanciano and Ortona
(LANCIANENSIS ET ORTONENSIS).
Lanciano is a small city in the province of Chieti, in the Abruzzi, Central Italy, between the Pescara and the Trigni, with a majestic view of Mount Maiella. It was the ancient Anxia, a city of the Frentani. Its beautiful cathedral, S. Maria del Ponte, so called because built on bridgework along a precipice, is the work of Michitelli (1619) and has some beautiful paintings by Pozzulaniello (Giacinto Diana). Another beautiful church is S. Maria Maggiore with its Norman portal. Until 1515 Lanciano was subject to the Bishop of Chieti. In 1562 Pius IV, to end a dispute with that bishop, made it an archdiocese without suffragans. The first bishop was Angelo Maccafani, who was succeeded by Cardinal Egidio Canisio (1532); the first archbishop was the Dominican Leonardo Marini (1560). In 1818 the See of Ortona was united to that of Lanciano by Pius VII. Ortona is a very ancient city in the province of Chieti, on the Adriatic Sea, and has a small port from which it carries on commerce with Dalmatia and the Adriatic coast of Italy. Charles I, King of Sicily, assigned the revenues of this port to the Vatican Basilica. It was here that Gregory XII, fleeing from Cividale, landed on Neapolitan territory (1409), and went thence to Gaeta. Ortona was an episcopal see even in the time of Gregory the Great, who mentions the Bishop Calumniosus and his predecessor Blandinus. Another bishop was Joannes, who in 916 was the papal legate at the Council of Altheim. There is no record of a Bishop of Ortona after the tenth century. Pius V in 1570 re-established the see, to which in 1569 that of Campli was united. When, in 1818, Ortona was joined to Lanciano, Campli was assigned to Teramo. The archdiocese has 20 parishes, with 61,000 faithful, 2 religious houses of men, and 6 of women.
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