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Diocese of Montefeltro

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(FERETRANA)

Located in the province of Urbino, in the Marches, Central Italy. The earliest mention of it, as Mona Feretri, is in the diplomas by which Charlemagne confirmed the grants of Pepin the Short to the Holy See. Montefeltro was then the seat of counts, who became imperial vicars in 1135, and Counts of Urbino in 1213. Their rule was interrupted from 1322 to 1375, when Ederigo I of Montefeltro and Urbino lost possession of the city. This prince and his successors made several attempts to recover Montefeltro, from which Cardinal Albornoz (1359) again expelled them in the person of Nolfo. The elder Guido of Montefeltro, a famous Ghibelline captain, finally became a Franciscan, and died in 1298.

The first known bishop of Montefeltro was Agatho (826), whose residence was at San Leo; other bishops were Valentino (1173), who finished the cathedral ; Benvenuto (1219), deposed as a partisan of Count Ederigo; Benedetto (1390), a Benedictine monk, rector of Romagna and Duke of Spoleto ; the Franciscan Giovanni Seclani (1413), who built the episcopal palace of Calamello; Cardinal Ennio Filonardi (1549); Giovanni Francesco Sarmani (1567), founder of the seminary of Pennabilli, thenceforth residence of the bishops, the episcopal see having been transferred to that town from San Leo, an important fortress of the Pontifical States. Under Bishop Flaminios Dondi (1724) the see was again transferred to San Leo, but later it returned to Pennabilli. This diocese is suffragan of Urbino, and has 120 parishes, 173 secular priests, 30 regulars, 60,350 Catholics 91 religious houses of men, 9 of women, 2 educational institutes for male students, and 3 for girls.

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