(MELPHICTENSIS, TERLITIENSIS ET JUVENACENSIS)
Molfetta is a city of the province of Bari, in Apulia, southern Italy, on the Adriatic Sea; its origin is unknown, but many objects of the neolithic, bronze, and the Mycenæan epoch have been found at a place called Pulo, which shows that the site of Molfetta was inhabited in prehistoric times. The town has a beautiful cathedral, and beyond its limits is the sanctuary of the Virgin of the Martyrs containing an image brought to it by some Crusaders in 1188. The first bishop of this city of whom there is any record was John, whose incumbency is referred to the year 1136. The see was at first suffragan of Bari, but in 1484 it became immediately dependent upon Rome. In 1818, it was enlarged with the territory of the suppressed sees of Giovinazzo and Terlizzi, which were re-established in 1835, remaining united, œque principaliter . In the opinion of some people, Giovinazzo is the ancient Egnatia; it has been an episcopal see since 1071. Terlizzi was a city in the Diocese of Giovinazzo, and in 1731, to put an end to certain questions of its independence, it was declared an episcopal see, but united with Giovinazzo. The city was a fortress of the Hohenstaufens and of the Aragonese.
The Diocese of Molfetta contains 4 parishes ; 80 secular and 6 regular priests ; 42,000 Catholics. Terlizzi contains 3 parishes ; 40 secular and 6 regular priests ; 24,100 Catholics. Giovinazzo contains 2 parishes ; 37 secular and 3 regular priests ; 12,150 Catholics. In the united dioceses there are 6 convents for women, 4 for men, 2 schools for boys, and 4 for girls.
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