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Diocese of Santa Agata dei Goti

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(S. AGATHAE GOTHORUM)

In the Province of Benevento, Southern Italy ; the city, situated on a hill at the base of Monte Taburno, contains an ancient castle. In the vicinity are many antiquities and inscriptions belonging to the ancient Saticula, a town taken from the Samnites by the Romans and made a Latin colony in 313. The present name is derived possibly from a body of Goths who took refuge there after the battle of Vesuvius (552); the church of the Goths in Rome, too, was dedicated to St. Agatha. In 866 Emperor Louis II captured it from the Byzantines who had taken it from the Duchy of Benevento ; in 1066 it fell into the hands of the Normans. It was almost completely destroyed by an earthquake in 1456. Besides the Saticulan inscriptions there are two Christian inscriptions of the sixth century. It had already been an episcopal see for a long time when the first bishop, Madelfridus, was appointed (970); a metrical epitaph of his successor, Adelardus, is preserved in the Church of the Misericordia. Of the other bishops we may mention Felice Peretti (1566), later Sixtus V ; Feliciano Ninguarda, O.P. (1583), visitor of the monasteries in Germany ; Giulio Santucci, a Conventual (1595), and distinguished theologian ; Filippo Albini (1699), who reformed the discipline and studies of his clergy ; St. Alphonsus Liguori (1762-75). The diocese is suffragan of Benevento ; it contains 26 parishes, 63 churches and chapels, 93 secular and 14 regular priests, 30,500 inhabitants, 3 houses of religious men and 6 of nuns, 1 institute for young boys, and 3 for young girls.

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