San Marco and Bisignano
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(SANCTI MARCI ET BISINIANENSIS)
Diocese in the Province of Cosenza in Calabria, Italy. San Marco Argentano (so called because it is near the ancient Argenta) was founded in the eleventh century by the Norman Drogo, who erected a high tower there. Bisignano is the ancient Besidias, or Besidianum, which in the eleventh century became the residence of a Norman count and later a fief of the Orsini. In 1467 Skanderberg's daughter, wife of the Prince of Bisignano, invited thither many Albanian families who established various colonies, spoke their own language, and used the Greek Rite. The first mention of a bishop is in 1179. Bisignano certainly had bishops in the tenth century, when mention is made of Ulutto in the life of St. Uilo di Rossano ; Bishop Federico (1331) was killed in 1339. The two sees were united in 1818. The united dioceses are immediately subject to the Holy See, and contain 64 parishes, 256 priests, 110,000 inhabitants, some convents of religious, and a house of nuns.
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