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Diocese of Oria

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Oria, in the Province of Lecce [now the Province of Brindisi -- Ed. ], Apulia, Italy, suffragan of Taranto. In the Middle Ages, Oria was a principality that passed to the Borromei; St. Charles sold it for 40,000 crowns, which he distributed among the poor. Oria was besieged by Manfred in 1266. When Brindisi was destroyed by the Saracens in the ninth century, its bishops established their see at Oria and called themselves Bishops of Brindisi and Oria, even after their return to their former capital. It would appear that Oria, in early times, had bishops of its own, because there is a record on a slab in the cathedral, dating from the eighth or ninth century, in which there is mention of a Bishop Theodosius, not one of the bishops of Brindisi. In 979 Bishop Andrew was slain by Porphyrius. In 924 and 977 Oria was sacked by the Mohammedans. The town was erected into an episcopal see in 1591; its first bishop was Vincent Tufo. The diocese has 15 parishes, 120,000 inhabitants, 9 religious houses of men, and 11 of women.

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