Roman Catholic Diocese of Brescia

Diocese of Brescia
Dioecesis Brixiensis

Brescia Cathedral
Country Italy
Ecclesiastical province Milan
Area 4,538 km2 (1,752 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2015)
960,000 (est.) (83.3%)
Parishes 470
Denomination Catholic Church
Rite Roman Rite
Established 1st Century (199 years ago)
Cathedral Cattedrale di S. Maria Assunta e Ss. Pietro e Paolo (Duomo Nuovo)
Secular priests 735 (diocesan)
199 (Religious Orders)
Current leadership
Pope Francis
Bishop Luciano Monari
Emeritus Bishops Bruno Foresti
Giulio Sanguineti
Vigilio Mario Olmi (Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus)

The Diocese of Brescia (Latin: Dioecesis Brixiensis) is a see of the Catholic Church in Italy. The diocese is suffragan of the Archdiocese of Milan, also in Lombardy (northern Italy).[1][2] It has an area of 4,338 km², with 469 parishes and a population of 1,094,237.


Legend traces the beginnings of Christianity in Brescia to Saint Barnabas, who is said to have made Saint Anatolus bishop. However, Milan also claims Anatolus as its first bishop, consecrated by Saint Barnabas. In any case, faith was probably brought to Brescia by way of Milan. During the reign of Emperor Hadrian, Brescia was the scene of the martyrdom of Saints Faustinus and Jovita (cfr. Acta Sanctorum, 15 February). From the time of the persecutions tradition mentions the names of several bishops, but nothing authentic is known concerning them.[3] In the fourth century Saint Philastrius occurs. He was succeeded by Saint Gaudentius, consecrated by Saint Ambrose (c. 387), who erected outside the city walls the church Ad Concilia Sanctorum, in which the holy matron Silvia was buried later.

A number of the bishops who ruled this diocese form the 4th to the 7th centuries are entitled saints, e.g. Paul of Brescia, Theophilus of Brescia, Saint Silvinus, Saint Gaudiosus, Saint Optatianus, Saint Dominator (495), and Saint Dominic of Brescia (613), who with the many gifts he received from the Lombard Queen Theodolinda, erected the church called the Rotonda. Bishop Ramperto brought to Brescia the Benedictines, who constructed a church to which they transferred the relics of Saints Faustinus and Jovita; he also took part in the Council of Mantua of 827.

Bishop Notingus received the title of Count of Brescia for the see from Emperor Louis II in 844, so he and his successors became prince-bishops, civil rulers of the city and the countship. Many struggles followed, in particular after Margrave Arduin of Ivrea, who had proclaimed himself King of Italy (1002), had slain the bishop of this city of holding allegiance to Holy Roman Emperor Henry II. Henry, to ensure the fidelity of the citizens of Brescia, was obliged to confirm the civil liberty granted them by Arduin, which is the origin of the civic commune of Brescia. Bishop Landolfo II (1007) built the church of Santa Eufemia outside the walls.

During the episcopate of Manfredo Lucciaga (1133), Arnold of Brescia disseminated his teachings, with the result that the governors of the city all but confiscated the property of the churches of Brescia. Alberto Rezzato (1213) had the Paterines to contend against; he also brought many relics from the Holy Land. Blessed Gualla Ronio (1229), of the Friars Preachers, was distinguished for his virtue. Berardo Maggi (1275), a Guelph (papal supporter in the Investiture Conflict), was made Duke and Count of the city, and constructed among other works two canals diverting the waters of the Rivers Chiese and Mella, in order to furnish the motive force for many factories. Tommaso Visconti (1388) did much for the maintenance of discipline among the clergy. Under Bishop Francesco de' Mareri (1418), the preaching of St. Bernardine of Siena wrought a great moral reform in the city of Brescia. Pietro dal Monte (1442) adorned the episcopal palace, erected a hospital and wrote various works. Paolo Zane (1481) built the shrine of Santa Maria delle Grazie and established the hospital for incurables.

In the sixteenth century three cardinals succeeded each other: Francesco Cornaro (1532), Andrea Cornaro (1543) and Durante de' Duranti (1551). In conformity with the decrees of the Council of Trent, Domenico Bollani (1559) convened a diocesan synod (1574) and founded the seminary. Giovanni Dolfin (1579) seconded St. Charles Borromeo in his work of reform, who by his own desire celebrated the obsequies of Bishop Dolfin. Bishop Pietro Vito Ottoboni (1654) was later elevated to the papacy under the name of Alexander VIII. Cardinal Alb. Badoaro (1706) was a very zealous pastor, combating in an especial manner the Quietism which occurred his diocese. Cardinal Angelo M. Quirini (1727) founded the library of the commune, which took its name from him, and did much towards the restoration of the cathedral. During the episcopate of Giovanni Nani (1773) the French invasion took place, with the attendant pillaging of churches and convents.

The current bishop is Mons. Luciano Monari, since 2007.


This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.

to 1700

  • Ursacius (Ursicinus) (347)[4]
  • Joannes Fiumicelli (1174 – 1195)
  • Berardo Maggi (Sep 1275 - 1308)[5]
  • Federico Maggi (2 January 1309 – ca. 1317)[6]

since 1700

  • Daniello Marco Delfino (15 Sep 1698 - 5 Aug 1704 Died)
  • Cardinal Gianalberto Badoer (Badoaro)[18] (7 Jun 1706 - 17 May 1714 Died)
  • Giovanni Francesco Barbarigo (9 Jul 1714 - 20 Jan 1723 Appointed, Bishop of Padua)
  • Fortunato Morosini, O.S.B. (15 Mar 1723 - 25 Jun 1727 Died)
  • Angelo Maria (Gerolamo) Quirini (Querini), O.S.B. (30 Jul 1727 - 6 Jan 1755 Died)
  • Giovanni Molino (17 Feb 1755 - 14 Mar 1773 Died)[19]
  • Giovanni Nani (19 Apr 1773 - 23 Oct 1804 Died)
  • Gabrio Maria Nava[20] (18 Sep 1807 - 2 Nov 1831 Died)
  • Carlo Domenico Ferrari (20 Jan 1834 Confirmed - 29 Nov 1846 Died)
  • Girolamo dei Conti Verzeri (30 Sep 1850 Confirmed - 1 Dec 1883 Died)
  • Giacomo Corna-Pellegrini[21] (1 Dec 1883 Succeeded - 21 May 1913 Died)
  • Giacinto Gaggia[22] (28 Oct 1913 - 15 Apr 1933 Died)
  • Giacinto Tredici, Obl. Ss. A. C. (21 Dec 1933 - 19 Aug 1964 Died)
  • Luigi Morstabilini (7 Oct 1964 - 7 Apr 1983 Retired)
  • Bruno Foresti (7 Apr 1983 - 19 Dec 1998 Retired)
  • Giulio Sanguineti (19 Dec 1998 - 19 Jul 2007 Retired)
  • Luciano Monari (19 Jul 2007 - )


The great majority of the 469 parishes of the diocese are in the Province of Brescia; the remaining twelve are in the Province of Bergamo and in Lombardy.[23]


  1. "Diocese of Brescia" David M. Cheney. Retrieved February 29, 2016
  2. "Diocese of Brescia" Gabriel Chow. Retrieved February 29, 2016
  3. See the remarks of Lanzoni, pp. 957-958.
  4. Ursacius was present at the Council of Serdica. J.D. Mansi (ed.), Sacrorum Conciliorum nova et amplissima collectio, editio novissima, Tomus tertius (3) (Florence 1759), pp. 42 and 49. Gams, p. 779.
  5. Gams, p. 780.
  6. Maggi was transferred to Piacenza ca. 1317. He was a supporter of Louis the Bavarian as Emperor. Eubel, I, pp. 147 and 401.
  7. A native of Venice, De Dominicis worked in the Roman Curia. He became a Protonotary Apostolic. He was named Bishop of Torcello on 20 February 1448, a position he held until his promotion to Brescia. Though he was appointed bishop of Brescia on 14 November 1464, he did not take possession until 25 August 1466. He travelled to Rome numerous times, and he was there in 1475 when the Imperial Ambassador proposed his name for a cardinal's hat. He did not get it. Pope Paul II, a fellow Venetian, compensated him by naming him his Vicar for Rome. His diocese was actually administered by Bishop Paganino da San Paolo, bishop of Dulcigno (Olcini, Olgun) in Dalmatia (1441–1481), who had also been Vicar General for Bishop Pietro del Monte. Cappelletti, XI, p. 643-645. Eubel, II, p. 111, 146, and 253.
  8. "Patriarch Lorenzo Zanni (Zane)" David M. Cheney. Retrieved September 28, 2016
  9. Eubel, II, p. 111; III, p. 140 n. 1.
  10. Eubel, III, p. 140.
  11. Andrea Cornaro was Cardinal Francesco's nephew. He was named a cardinal by Pope Paul III in 1544. Eubel, III, pp. 29 and 140.
  12. "Bishop Giovanni Delfino" David M. Cheney. Retrieved March 21, 2016
  13. Morosini served as Papal Nuncio in France from 1587–1589, during the crisis of the succession to Henry III of France. He was named a Cardinal by Pope Sixtus V on 15 July 1588, and assigned the titular church of Santi Nereo e Achilleo. Eubel III, pp. 52 no. 27; 140. Salvador Miranda, The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church: Morosini, Gianfrancesco, retrieved: 2016-11-23.
  14. Zorzi was a member of the Venetian nobility. He was a Referendary of the Two Signatures, a purchasable position in the Roman Curia. He was a propinquus of Cardinal Gianfrancesco Morosini. He became Nuncio in Florence on 27 February 1592. He died on 28 August 1631. Gauchat, IV, p. 121 with note 2.
  15. "Bishop Vincenzo Giustiniani" David M. Cheney. Retrieved March 21, 2016
  16. "Bishop Marino Giovanni Zorzi (Giorgi)" David M. Cheney. Retrieved August 26, 2016
  17. "Bishop Bartolomeo Gradenigo" David M. Cheney. Retrieved August 26, 2016
  18. Badoer was born in Venice of a family of the patrician nobility. He obtained a degree of Doctor in utroque iure from the University of Padua, and he was named a Canon of Padua. He was named Patriarch of Venice by Pope Innocent XI in 1688. He was created a cardinal on 17 May 1706 by Pope Clement XI, and assigned the titular church of San Marcello. He was transferred to Brescia three weeks later. He was particularly noted for his opposition to Quietism. Cappelletti, p. 662. Ritzler, V, p. 24, 127, 409 with note 3.
  19. A native of Venice, Molino was Doctor in utroque iure (Civil Law and Canon Law) from the University of Padua (1729); Auditor Causarum Apostolici Palatii (locumtenens). He was consecrated in Rome by Cardinal Joaquin de Portocarrero on 1 April 1755. He was created a cardinal on 23 November 1461 by Pope Clement XIII, and assigned the titular church of S. Sisto. He died in Brescia on 14 March 1773, and was buried in the Cathedral. Ritzler, VI, p. 23 with notes 64 and 65; p. 131 with note 2.
  20. Gaetano Scandella (1857). Vita di Gabrio Maria Nava vescovo di Brescia (in Italian). Brescia: Tipografia vescovile del Pio Istituto.
  21. Antonio Fappani (1964). Un vescovo "Intransigente": Mons. Giacomo M. Corna Pellegrini Spandre e il movimento cattolico bresciano dal 1885 al 1913. Appunti per una biografia. Brescia: Morcelliana.
  22. Gaggia had been Professor of Ecclesiastical History and Canon Law at the Seminary of Brescia, then Auxiliary Bishop of Brescia from 29 april 1909. Antonio Fappani (1984). Giacinto Gaggia vescovo di Brescia (in Italian). Volume I (1984), II (1985). Verolanuova: Comune di Verolanuova.
  23. Source for parishes: CCI (2008), Parrocchie, Chiesa Cattolica Italiana, retrieved 2008-03-15.


External links


This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/24/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.