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Diocese of Borgo San-Sepolcro

Italian diocese

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Borgo San-Sepolcro, Diocese of, situated in the province of Arezzo, Tuscany, Italy. The city is believed by some to be the ancient Biturgia mentioned by Ptolemy, and is so designated in the usage of the Roman Curia. The foundation of the present city is attributed to two pilgrims of the tenth century, who halted in this neighborhood on their return from Palestine, and built an oratory in which they placed the relics they had brought from the holy places. This oratory attracted many pilgrimages; gradually there grew up about it a settlement of considerable size known as Borgo San-Sepolcro. Later on, Camaldoli monks erected a monastery there, the abbot of which had temporal jurisdiction over the town, Guido Petramala, Bishop of Arezzo, fortified Borgo San-Sepolcro, and made it a Ghibelline strong-hold. At first subject to the Diocese of Castello, it was made an episcopal see by Leo X in 1515, the first bishop being Giovanni Ev. Galeotto Graziani. Among the bishops worthy of record are Nicolo Tornabuoni (1560), a learned theologian, author of a treatise on the controversies between Catholics and Calvinists; Dionisio Bussotti (1638), likewise a skilled theologian; Gian Lorenzo Tilli (1704), founder of the seminary. The cathedral is a splendid three-nave Romanesque edifice, showing, however, a marked tendency towards the Gothic. A famous image of the Holy Face (Volto Santo) is venerated in the cathedral. It is a wooden crucifix of heroic size; the sacred Body is covered with a long tunic, and a crown rests on the head. It resembles the Volto Santo of Lucca, and has been in this cathedral since the tenth century; previously it was kept in the neighboring castle of Bibbiona. Nothing certain is known as to its origin. However, the crucified Christ dressed in a long garment (colobium) indicates a great antiquity, perhaps the eighth or ninth century. Other beautiful churches are those of San Agostino and Santa Maria; the latter has a beautiful baptistery, brought thither from the ancient church of San Agostino. Noteworthy also is the church of San Nicola, built in 1258 by the Franciscan, Fra Tommaso da Spello, and restored in the eighteenth century. This diocese has a population of 60,500 Catholics, with 135 parishes, 250 churches and chapels, 190 secular priests, 26 regulars, and 60 seminarists, There are 3 academies, one for girls, and 2 for boys. The male religious orders represented are: Minors Conventual, Servites, Capuchins; the female congregations are: Franciscans, Capuchins, Benedictines, Sisters of St. Anne, Sisters of Charity, Sisters of the Sacred Heart, Salesian Sisters, about 70 in all.


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