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Archdiocese of Aquila

Italian archdiocese in the Abruzzi, directly dependent on the Holy See

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Aquila, the Archdiocese of. —An Italian archdiocese in the Abruzzi, directly dependent on the Holy See. The See of Forconium preceded it, in 680. The Diocese of Aquila was erected by Alexander IV, February 20, 1257. Pius VII joined to it the suppressed See of Cittaducale in 1818, and Pius IX raised it to an archiepiscopal see, January 23, 1876. It has 107,800 Catholics; 135 parishes; 217 secular priests; 29 regulars; 130 seminarists; 264 churches or chapels. Aquila is on a high mountain, with broad, straight streets, and fine churches. The cathedral is dedicated to Sts. Maximus and George, martyrs. The body of St. Bernardine of Sienna, who died in Aquila, is preserved in a church erected there in his honor. St. Celestine V was also buried there in 1296 in the monastery of Collemaggio, where he was made Pontiff. Aquila has suffered from three earthquakes, and in that of February 2, 1703, over two thousand persons perished, eight hundred of whom were in the church of St. Dominic, where Communion was being given. The priest was found in the ruins, still holding in his hand the ciborium, containing two hundred particles, perfectly whole.


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