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Diocese of Fabriano and Matelica

In Italy

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Fabriano and Matelica, Diocese of (Fabrianensis et Mathelicensis). Fabriano, a city in the province of Macerata, Central Italy, is noted for its paper manufactories and its trade in salted fish. It is said to have been founded in the ninth century B.C. by refugees from the ancient Attidium (the modern Attigio); even as late as 1254 the baptismal font of Fabriano was in the church of San Giovanni Battista in Attigio. The history of Fabriano is closely connected with that of the Marches. In the church of San Benedetto, of the Silvestrine monks, is the tomb of Blessed Giovanni Bonelli, a Silvestrine (d. 1290). St. Silvestro Guzzoli, the founder of this order, is buried at Monte Fano, not far from Fabriano, where Blessed Giuseppe dei Conti Atti and Blessed Ugo Laico, both Silvestrines, are also buried. The relics of St. Romuald were transferred to the church of SS. Biagio and Romoaldo in 1480. The city was under the jurisdiction of Camerino until 1785, when Pius II reestablished the see of Matelica and united it oeque principaliter with Fabriano.

The town of Matelica possesses some ancient inscriptions. A Roman colony was established there in 89 B.C. In 487, Bishop Equitius of Matelica was at Rome; and in 551, Bishop Florentius accompanied Pope Vigilius to Constantinople. No other bishops of the ancient see are known. Until 1785 Matelica was under the jurisdiction of Camerino. Mention may be made of Blessed Gentile da Matelica, a Franciscan, martyred in Egypt in 1351, and buried in Venice (ai Frari), and of Blessed Mattea Lazano, a Benedictine nun, also of Matelica, buried in the church of Santa Maria Maddalena. The diocese is immediately subject to the Holy See, and has 32,000 inhabitants, 42 parishes, 1 male and 2 female educational institutions, 6 religious houses of men and 4 of women. The painter, Gentile da Fabriano (q.v.), is one of the most famous of the natives of Fabriano. He worked at Foggia and Bari, and later in the palace of the doges at Venice, in the Strozzi chapel at Florence, and finally at Rome.



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