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DIOCESE OF CESENA (CAESENATENSIS).
The ancient Cæsena is a city of Emilia, in the province of Forli ( Italy ), in the former States of the Church. It is situated picturesquely on a hill at the base of which flows the Savio. It was probably of Gallic origin, and was taken by the Romans in the third century B.C. It was destroyed during the civil wars between Marius and Sylla. After the overthrow of the Ostrogoths it became a part of the exarchate. By the Donation of Pepin (752) it became the fief of the Holy See, which was confirmed in its possession by Rudolph of Hapsburg (1278). In medieval times it was governed by various families, e.g. the Ordelaffi di Forli and the Malatesta, the latter being remembered for their justice and good government. After the death of Caesar Borgia, Cesena, with the rest of Romagna, acknowledged the immediate authority of the Holy See (1503). Among its many famous men we may mention two popes : Pius VI (Gian Angelo Braschi) and Pius VII (Barnaba Charamonti). The best known of its bishops were: St. Maurus (d. 946); Gian Battista Acciaioli (1332), exiled by Francesco degli Ordelaffi; Gregorio Malesardi (1408), who built the cathedral ; Jacopo (1379), under whom occurred the massacre ordered by the pseudo-pope, Clement VII ; the Dominican Vincenzo Maria Orsini, later Benedict XIII. Cesena is suffragan of Ravenna and has 59 parishes, 66,700 inhabitants, and possesses 5 convents for men and 8 for women.
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