Roman Catholic Suburbicarian Diocese of Palestrina

The Roman Catholic Suburbicarian Diocese of Palestrina, (Lat:Diocesis Praenestina), is a Roman Catholic suburbicarian diocese centered on the comune of Palestrina in Italy.

Suburbicarian Diocese of Palestrina

Palestrina Cathedral
Ecclesiastical provinceRome
Area380 km2 (150 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2004)
113,000 (est.)
110,500 (est.) (97.8%)
DenominationCatholic Church
RiteRoman Rite
Established4th century
CathedralBasilica Cattedrale di S. Agapito Martire
Secular priests54 (diocesan)
46 (Religious Orders)
Current leadership
BishopDomenico Sigalini

The current Bishop of Palestrina is Domenico Sigalini, who from 3 November 2010, until 5 April 2014, was also appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to be the general ecclesiastical assistant of Italian Catholic Action.


Palestrina was looted in 1473.[1]

During the 17th century, the comune of Palestrina was the family territory of a number of Italian noble families including the Barberini, Colonna and d'Este families (which regularly intermarried). Members of these families are represented throughout the list of diocese Bishops, especially between 1600 and 1800. Barberini Pope Urban VIII appointed a number of relatives and close supporters to the Palestrina diocese and governmental positions.


To 1000

  • Maurus (558)[2]
  • Sergio (721)[3]
  • Venanzio 732[3]
  • Gregorio 761–767
  • Andrea 769–773
  • Contantinus 826
  • Leone 914–928[3]
  • Teofilo 963 – before 988[3]
  • Stefan 988[4]
  • Peter 996–1015[3]


  • Johannes I 1036–1039[5]
  • Johannes II 1044
  • Bruno 1059–1060
  • Bernhard 1061–1065
  • Loperto 1066–1069
  • vacant 1069–1073
  • Uberto Belmonte 1073–1082
  • [Berardo (?) ca.1092 (?)][6]
  • Milone 1095/98–1104
  • vacant 1104–1107[7]
  • Cuno of Praeneste 1107–1122
  • Guillaume Praenestinus 1123–1137[8]
    • Johannes 1130–1134 (pseudocardinal)
  • Étienne de Châlons 1139–1144
  • Guarino Foscari 1144–1158
  • Giulio I 1158–1164
  • vacant 1164–1176[9]
    • Vibiano 1168–1173 (pseudocardinal)
  • Manfredo de Lavagna 1176–1178
  • vacant 1178–1179
  • Benerede 1179–1180
  • Paolo Scolari 1180–1187
  • vacant 1188–1191[10]
  • Giovanni III da Anagni 1190–1196[11]
  • vacant 1196–1200
  • Guy de Paré, O.Cist. 1200–1204[12]




  • Alessandro Ottaviano de' Medici 1602–1605 (Bishop of Albano 1600–1602)
  • Agostino Valeri 1605–1606
  • Ascanio Colonna 1606–1608
  • Antonio Maria Galli 1608–1611, 20 (Bishop of Frascati 1605–1608, of Porto 1611–1615 and of Ostia and Velletri 1615–1620)
  • Gregorio Petrocchini 1611–1612
  • Benedetto Giustiniani 1612–1615, (Bishop of Sabina 1615–1620 and of Porto 1620–1621)
  • Francesco Maria Del Monte 1615–1621, (Bishop of Porto 1621–1623 and of Ostia and Velletri 1623–1625)
  • Ottavio Bandini 1621–1624, (Bishop of Porto 1624–1626 and of Ostia and Velletri 1626–1629)
  • Andrea Baroni Peretti Montalto 1624–1626, (Bishop of Albano 1626–1627 and of Frascati 1627–1629)
  • Domenico Ginnasi 1626–1629, (Bishop of Porto 1629–1630 and of Ostia 1630–1639)
  • Marcello Lante della Rovere 1629, (Bishop of Frascati 1629–1639, of Porto 1639–1641 and of Ostia 1641–1652)
  • Pier Paolo Crescenzi 1629–1641, † 1645 (Bishop of Porto 1641–1645)
  • Guido Bentivoglio 1641–1644
  • Alfonso de la Cueva Albuquerque 1644–1655
  • Bernardino Spada 1655–1661 (Bishop of Albano 1646–1652, of Frascati 1652 and of Sabina 1652–1655)
  • Antonio Barberini 1661–1671 (Bishop of Frascati 1655–1661)
  • Rinaldo d'Este 1671–1672
  • Cesare Facchinetti 1672–1679, † 1683 (Bishop of Porto 1679–1680 and of Ostia and Velletri 1680–1683)
  • Alderano Cybo 1679–1680, † 1700 (Bishop of Frascati 1680–1683, of Porto 1683–1687 and of Ostia and Velletri 1687–1700)
  • Lorenzo Raggi 1680–1687
  • Antonio Bichi 1687–1691
  • Paluzzo Paluzzi Altieri degli Albertoni 1691–1698 (Bishop of Sabina 1689–1691)
  • Luis Manuel Fernando Portocarrero 1698–1709
  • Fabrizio Spada 1710–1717
  • Francesco del Giudice[20] 1717–1721
  • Francesco Barberini 1721–1726, (Bishop of Ostia and Velletri 1726–1738)
  • Tommaso Ruffo 1726–1738, † 1753 (Bishop of Porto 1738–1740 and of Ostia and Velletri 1740–1753)
  • Giorgio Spinola[21] 1738–1739
  • Giovanni Battista Altieri (iuniore) 1739–1740
  • Vincenzo Petra 1740–1747[22]
  • Antonio Xaverio Gentilis 1747–1753
  • Giuseppe Spinelli 1753–1759, † 1763 (Bishop of Porto 1759–1761 and of Ostia and Velletri 1761–1763)
  • Federico Marcello Lante 1759–1763, † 1773 (Bishop of Porto 1763–1773)
  • Giovanni Francesco II Stoppani[23] 1763–1774
  • Girolamo III Spinola 1775–1784
  • Marcantonio Colonna (iuniore) 1784–1793
  • Leonardo Antonelli 1794–1800, † 1811 (Bishop of Porto 1800–1807 and of Ostia and Velletri 1807–1811)
  • Alessandro Mattei 1800–1809, † 1820 (Bishop of Porto 1809–1814 and of Ostia and Velletri 1814–1820)


From 2001

Post 1960

Like all dioceses in this category, for historical reasons it has had, since 1960, an incumbent diocesan bishop with ordinary powers but also has assigned to it as an honorary high ranking dignity one of the six cardinals in the Order of Cardinal Bishops.[26] The Cardinal Bishop has no powers with regard to the government of the diocese.

The diocesan bishops have been:[27]


  1. Ferdinand Gregorovius, A History of the City of Rome in the Middle Ages Volume VII. part 1 (London: Bell 1900), pp. 57–60.
  2. Bishop Maurus received a letter from Pope Pelagius I: Kehr, p. 48, no. 1.
  3. The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church - Creations of Cardinals of the XI Century
  4. cf. G. Cappelletti: Le chiese d'Italia della loro origine sino ai nostri giorni. Vol. 1, Venice 1844, pp. 599–601
  5. Sources for the period 1036–1130: Hüls, pp. 108–117; Klewitz, pp. 33–35, 117 and 120
  6. Hüls, p. 111 no. 8 says that Bernardo's existence is dubious because he appears only in one bull dated September 1092 which has been recognized as a forgery, though possibly based on original documents. Klewitz, p. 117 does not mention him among the occupants of this suburbicarian see.
  7. Some sources mention cardinal Corrado 1105–1106 but the only document attesting his existence (bull of Paschalis II in favour of the church of S. Salvatore dated 27 December 1105) has been recognized as falsehood and both Klewitz, p. 120 and Hüls, p. 112–113, eliminated him from the list of the bishops of Palestrina
  8. Source for the period 1130–1187: Brixius p. 135
  9. Some sources mention cardinal Ugo or Ottone occupying that see ca. 1164 but Brixius, pp. 60–68 excludes him from the list of cardinals created by Alexander III because no papal bulls signed by him has been found. Probably he is confused with cardinal-bishop Odo of Tusculum 1170–1171 (cf. Brixius, p. 65 no. 21)
  10. Source for the period 1188–1228: Maleczek, p. 63
  11. Some sources indicate that abbot Mainard of Pontigny became bishop of Palestrina in 1188 and died few weeks after his promotion but Maleczek, p. 125 says that Mainard is attested as abbot of Pontigny until 1192. Therefore, he should be excluded from the list of the bishops of Palestrina
  12. Guy de Paré was born at Paray-le-Monial, diocese of Autun. In 1187 he became Abbot of Notre-Dame-du-Val, diocese of Paris. Cardinal Guy was sent as Legate to Germany in 1201 to deal with Otto IV. Eubel, I, p. 3 and note 4. Cardinal Guy was appointed Archbishop of Reims: Eubel, p. 419. He died on 30 July 1206. Honoré Fisquet (1864). La France pontificale (Gallia Christiana): Metropole de Reims: Reims (in French). Paris: Etienne Repos. pp. 97–98.
  13. Giacomo Pecoraria was promoted by Pope Gregory IX in his third Consistory in September 1231. he was Vicar of the City of Rome for Gregory IX. Eubel, I, p. 6 with n. 5, 37.
  14. Maricotti was a nephew of Urban VI (Roman Obedience), and took his name. He was created a Cardinal Priest in the Consistory held on 18 September 1878. He was granted the titular church of San Eusebio. In July 1380 he was named Bishop of Palestrina. He died in Assisi on 6 February 1394. Eubel, I, p. 23.
  15. Sommariva, of Neapolitan ancestry, had been created by Urban VI on 17 December 1384 and assigned the Deaconry of Santa Lucia in Septasolio (Saepta Solis). In May 1396 he was promoted Cardinal Priest of San Pudenziana by Boniface IX (of the Roman Obedience), a fellow Neapolitan. He attended the Council of Pisa in 1409, which brought him excommunication by the Roman Obedience and the Obedience of Benedict XIII. On 23 September 1412 he was promoted Cardinal Bishop of Palestrina. He attended the Council of Constance, and helped elect Pope Martin V. He died on 21 July 1428. Eubel, I, pp. 25 and 37.
  16. Giovanni Berardi Tagliacozzo was a priest of the diocese of the Marsi. He had previously been Archbishop of Taranto, appointed by Pope Martin V on 20 October 1421. He was created a Cardinal Priest by Pope Eugene IV on 18 December 1439, and assigned the titular church of Santi Nereo e Achilleo. He was promoted Bishop of Palestrina on 7 March 1444. He served as Major Penitentiary. He died on 21 January 1449. Eubel, I, p. 473; II, pp. 7, 60, and 64.
  17. Vigerio, a Master in theology, had been Bishop of Senigallia (1478–1513) and Castellan of the Castel S. Angelo. He was created Cardinal Priest by Pope Julius II on 1 December 1505, and assigned the titular church of Santa Maria trans Tiberim. On 29 October 1511 he was promoted Bishop of Palestrina. He died on 18 July 1516. Eubel, II, p. 235; III, p. 10, 298.
  18. A native of Nice, Ferreri was Bishop of Vercelli (1509–1511) in succession to his brother, Cardinal Giuseppe Ferreri; and Bishop of Ivrea (1511–1518). He was created a Cardinal Priest by Pope Leo X on 1 July 1517, and assigned the titular church of Santi Nereo e Achilleo. Ferreri was Bishop of Albano 1533–1534. On 5 September 1534 he was promoted to the diocese of Palestrina; from Palestrina he was promoted to the diocese of Sabina 1535–1537; and finally he became Bishop of Porto 1537–1543. Eubel, III, pp. 15, 55, 57, 58, 214.
  19. Eubel, III, pp. 17, 57.
  20. A native of Naples, Del Giudice, who had been a Cleric of the Apostolic Camera (the papal Treasury), was created a Cardinal Priest by Pope Alexander VIII on 13 February 1690, and assigned the titular church of. S. Maria del Popolo. He was transferred to Santa Sabina on 30 March 1700. He was promoted Bishop of Palestrina on 12 July 1717. He was made Bishop of Frascati (1721–1724) and then Bishop of Ostia and Velletri (1724–1725) Ritzler, V, p. 16, pp. 40–43, 48 and 51.
  21. Spinola was a native of Genoa. He was a Doctor in utroque iure (Doctor in Civil and Canon Law) (Siena 1691). He served as Vice-Legate of Ferrara, and then became Referendary of the Two Signatures and a Consultor at the Holy Office of the Inquisition. In 1703 he was named Inquisitor of Malta. On 1 June 1711 he was named Archbishop of Cesarea in Palestine; he was consecrated on 29 June 1711 by Cardinal Fabrizio Paolucci, and named Nuncio to Spain and then to the Emperor. Spinola was created a cardinal by on 29 November 1719, with the titular church of Sant'Agnese fuori le mura. He was then Cardinal Priest of S. Maria trans Tiberim from 15 December 1734, and then Cardinal Priest of Santa Prassede, from 16 December 1737. He was promoted to Palestrina on 3 September 1738. He died on 17 January 1739. Ritzler, V, pp. 31, no. 61; p. 43; p. 133, with n.6. Ritzler, VI, pp. 40, 46, 48.
  22. A native Neapolitan, Petra held a doctorate in Civil and Canon Law (Naples 1682), and was at the time of his appointment as a cardinal the Archbishop of Damascus in Syria and Secretary of the Congregation of Bishops and Regulars. He was created a Cardinal Priest on 20 November 1724 by Pope Benedict XIII, and assigned the titular church of San Onuphrio. He was made Prefect of the Congregation de propaganda Fide (evangelization). In 1730 he became Protector of the Greek Nation. He transferred to S. Pietro in Vincoli in 1737, and was promoted Cardinal Bishop of Palestrina on 16 September 1740. He died in Rome on 21 March 1747 at the age of 84. Ritzler, V, pp. 35–36, with notes 7 and 8, 1 and 2, and p. 180 with note 7; VI, p. 40.
  23. Stoppani was a native of Milan. He held a doctorate in Canon and Civil Law (Pavia 1716). He was a Chamberlain of Honor of Innocent XIII, a member of the SC of Good Government, and a voting member of the Consistorial Congregation. He was Inquisitor of Malta (1730) and then Referendary of the Two Signatures. In 1735 he was named Archbishop of Corinth, consecrated a bishop in Rome by Cardinal Giorgio Spinola, and appointed Nuncio in Florence. In 1739 he became Nuncio in Venice, and in 1743 Nuncio to the Emperor. He was President of Urbino in 1747. He was created Cardinal Priest of S. Martino in Montibus by Pope Benedict XIV on 26 November 1753. He was promoted to the diocese of Palestrina by Pope Clement XIII on 18 July 1763. He died on 18 November 1774. Ritzler, VI, p. 16, with notes 82 and 83; p. 183 with note 2.
  24. Pedicini was Prefect of the Congregation de propaganda fide from 1831 to 1834. Christopher Dowd (2008). Rome in Australia: The Papacy and Conflict in the Australian Catholic Missions, 1834–1884. Boston-Leiden: Brill. pp. 78–85. ISBN 90-04-16529-0.
  25. "Palestrina". David M. Cheney. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  26. Umberto Benigni, "Diocese of Palestrina",  Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Diocese of Palestrina" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved: 2016-10-19.
  27. "Suburbicarian See of Palestrina". David M. Cheney. Retrieved 21 January 2015.


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