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Patriarchate of Venice
Patriarchatus Venetiarum
File:Stemma Diocesi Venezia.gif

The coat of arms of the Patriarchate of Venice

Basic information
Location Venice, Italy.
Territory Veneto
Rite Roman Rite
Patron Saints Mark and Theodore
Ecclesiastical province Province of Venice
Cathedral Saint Mark's Basilica
Co-cathedral Saint Peter of Castello
Bishop Patriarch of Venice
Current leadership
Diocesan Bishop Angelo Cardinal Scola

Angelo Cardinal Scola, actual Patriarch of Venice, flaunting the Blessed Sacrament during a religious ceremony.

The Patriarch of Venice (latin: Venetiarum Patriarcha, Italian: Patriarca di Venezia) is one of the few Patriarchs in the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church (currently five Latin sees, including Diocese of Rome itself, to be accorded the title of Patriarchate, together with Lisbon, the East Indies and Jerusalem). Currently, the only advantage of this purely formal title is the bishop's place of honor in papal processions.

The diocese of Venice was created in 774 as suffragan of the Patriarchate of Grado. It was only in 1451 that, in consideration of the political influence of the city, its bishops were accorded the title of patriarch by the Pope.

By tradition, the Patriarch of Venice is created a cardinal at the consistory following his appointment, although the Pope is not bound by law to do so. A large number of the prelates holding this office have been elected Pope. Three of these were in the 20th century alone: Pope Pius X (1903), Pope John XXIII (1958) and Pope John Paul I (1978).

The current Patriarch of Venice is Angelo Cardinal Scola, who himself was considered a papabile (strong contender) in the 2005 conclave that brought Pope Benedict XVI to the Chair of St. Peter.

Ecclesiastical history

Saint Mark's Basilica, the main-Cathedral of the Patriarch of Venice.

Early History

Saint Peter of Castello, the co-Cathedral of the Patriarch of Venice.

Venice, the Palace of Patriarchate, the see of the Patriarch of Venice.

For the earlier history of this title, see also Patriarch of Grado.

The Venetian islands at first belonged to the diocese of Altino or the diocese of Padua, under jurisdiction of the Archibishop of Aquileia, believed to be the successor of St. Mark.

It is certain that during the Longobard invasion (568-572) many bishops of the invaded mainland escaped under protection of the Byzantine fleet in the eastern lagoons. The Archbishop himself took refuge in Grado, where he was claimed as Patriarch, during the Three-Chapter Controversy. At the end of the invasion, many of the ancient diocese of the mainland were restored by the Lombards, while the Exiles supported the new sees in the lagoons. Two patriarchs emerged from the war and from the schism (at least solved in 698): Patriarchate of Aquileia on the mainland and Patriarchate of Grado.

Between the exiled bishops during the invasion there was Bishop Tricidius of Padua, that took refuge on the island of Metamaucus. When Tricidius returned to Padua there still remained a bisphoric see at Metamaucus for exiles and the Venetian islands remained under his jurisdiction until 774. In that year, with the consent of pope Adrian I and the Patriarch of Grado John IV, an episcopal see was erected on the island of Olivolo (afterwards called Castello) with jurisdiction over Gemini, Rialto, Luprio and Dorsoduro. The first bishop, Obelerius, was invested and enthroned by the doge of Venice Maurice Galbaio and ordained by the Patriarch. After Obelerius' death, the doge named Christopher from Damiata in 798, a member of the Greek party (that is, the partisans of the Eastern Emperor). Patriarch John, a member of the Frankish party (the partisans of Charlemagne) refused to consecrate him, due to his extreme youth. A subsequent confrontation led to the murder of Patriarch John. John was succeeded by his nephew Fortunato from Trieste, who placed himself under the protection of the Frank-Lombard Kingdom and to a confused period, during which the chair of Olivolo was a long struggle. The same Dutchy was invaded by the Franks, that besieged the capital Metamaucus and were defeated and expelled only in 810.

The victorious Greek party, leaded by the new ducal family of Parteciaci, in 812 moved the ducal see from Metamaucus to the more secure Rialto, at the center of the lagoon. A new city was created by the merger of the central islands, including Olivolo: that city was Venice.

Finally, after the death of Patriarch Fortunato in 825, Orso, son of the doge John I Pateciacus, became bishop of the city. Under him, the relics of the Evangelist St. Mark were transferred from the Muslim dominated Alexandria of Egypt and brought to Venice. Two Venetian merchants were said to have wrapped the relics in pork so as to avoid detection by the Muslim customs officials. Meanwhile, Venice (as well as Aquileia and Grado) had had a tradition that St. Mark himself had preached the Gospel in the lagoon area. The possession of the relics of the saint lent greater weight to the tradition and the Venetian state capitalized on it making the symbol of St. Mark, the winged lion, its very own. The Basilica of St. Mark was until the 19th century the private chapel of the Doge. The Basilica became autonomous from the diocese, with churches under its jurisdiction and a special officer, the Primicerius of St. Mark to represent the bisphoric power of the Doge. Meanwhile, the bishop's cathedral remained St. Peter's in Castello.

Medieval History

In 1074 Bishop Henry, from the noble family of Contarini, was the first to bear the title of Bishop of Castello, indicating the complete merger of the island of Olivolo with Venice. That is, Olivolo had by then become a simple neighborhood of Venice. The growth of Venice was balanced by the crisis of the other coastal cities of the Dutchy. Patriarchs of Grado began to reside in Venice more and more until in 1105 they definitely transferred to the city, with their own church at St. Silvestrus. For the next three centuries, three bishops resided in Venice: the Patriarch of Grado, the Primicerius of St. Mark and the Bishop of Castello, each one with his own jurisdiction.

The city gathered relics, especially from the East, and especially after the conquest of Constantinople. After 1204, the icon of the Madonna called Nicopoeia, which is still in St. Mark's, arrived.

In 1225 Marco II Michel finally secured the exemption of the clergy from lay jurisdiction, except in cases involving real property. Jacopo Albertini (1311) became attached to the schism of Antipope Nicholas V and Holy Roman Emperor Louis IV the Bavarian, whom he crowned with the Lombard Iron Crown in 1327, and was therefore deposed. Under Nicolo' Morosini (1336) the dispute between the clergy and republican government concerning the mortuary tithes was settled, though it began afresh under Paolo Foscari in 1367, only to end in 1376.

During the Schism of the West, Venice adhered to the Roman obedience.

Patriarchate's History

Saint Peter's Charir, the oldest throne of the diocese of Venice in the co-cathedral of Saint Peter of Castello. It is likely an ancient Muslim gravestone transported from Antioch by merchants.

In 1451, upon the death of Domenico Michel, Patriarch of Grado, Pope Nicholas V suppressed the patriarchate and the Bishopric of Castello, incorporating them both in the new Patriarchate of Venice by the Papal Bull "Regis aeterni." Thus Venice succeeded to the whole metropolitan jurisdiction of Grado's eccelsiastical province, including the sees of Dalmatia.

In 1466 the territory of the Patriarchate was expanded by merging the suppressed Diocese of Equilio (nowadays Jesolo).

The election of the patriarch belonged to the Senate of Venice, and this practice sometimes led to differences between the republic and the Holy See. Likewise, parishioners elected their parish priests, by the right of patronage. Girolamo Quirini, O.P. (1519-54), had many disputes with the clergy, the Government, and the Holy See. To avoid these disputes, the Senate decreed that in future only senators should be eligible. Those elected after this were frequently laymen. Giovanni Trevisano, O.S.B. (1560), introduced the Tridentine reforms, founding the seminary, holding synods and collecting the regulations made by his predecessors (Constitutiones et privilegia patriarchatus et cleri Venetiarum). In 1581 the visita Apostolica was sent to Venice; a libellus exhortatorius was published, in which the visita highly praised the clergy of Venice.

In 1751 the Pope abolished the Patriarchate of Aquileia by creating two new Archbishops in Udine and Gorizia. With this act the Patriarchate of Venice became sole heir to the throne of St. Mark in northeastern Italy.

After 1797 and the fall of the Republic of Venice under the rule of Napoleon, the bisphoric rule of the Doge on the Basilica and St. Mark's relics was lacking. Then in 1807, by favor of the Viceroy of Italy, the Neapolitan Nicola Gambroni was promoted to the patriarchate and of his own authority transferred the patriarchal seat to the Basilica of St. Mark, uniting the two chapters. He also reduced the number of parish churches from seventy to thirty. The work of enlarging the choir of the basilica brought to light the relics of St. Mark (1808). In 1811 Napoleon I intruded into the See of Venice Stefano Bonsignore, Bishop of Faenza, but in 1814 that prelate returned to his own see.

In 1819 the Diocese of Torcello and Diocese of Caorle were merged in the Patriarchate of Venice, while the dioceses of the Venetian territory were placed under its metropolitan jurisdiction. Cardinal Giuseppe Sarto, afterwards Pius X, succeeded in 1893; he was refused recognition by the Italian Government, which claimed the right of nomination formerly employed by the Hapsburg Emperor of Austria and in earlier times by the Venetian Senate, but after eleven months this pretension was abandoned.

Lenten Stational Churches

According to [1]

Ash Wednesday - S. Marco

Thursday - S. Rafaele Arcangelo (Anzolo Rafael)

Friday - Sti Giovanni e Paolo (Santi Zanipolo)

Saturday - Santa Maria Zobenigo

First Week of Lent

Saint Mark's Basilica, the main altar: it retains inside the body of the apostle St. Mark the Evangelist.

Sunday - Sti Zacaria ed Atanasio

Monday - Sti. Bartolomeo e Francesco da Paola

Tuesday - S. Simeone (S. Simon Grando)

Wednesday - Sta. Maria Gloriosa (ai Frari)

Thursday - S. Eustachio (San Stae)

Friday - Sti. Apostoli

Saturday - S. Giuseppe di Castello (S. Isepo de Castello)

Second Week of Lent


The Pala d'Oro, a tenth century Byzantine pall beside the main altar of Saint Mark's Basilica.

Sunday - Ss. Salvatore (S. Salvador)

Monday - S. Silvestro

Tuesday - S. Cristoforo (Madonna dell'Orto)

Wednesday - Sti. Cassiano e Cecilia (S. Cassan)

Thursday - Sta. Maria della Salute

Friday - S. Giobbe profeta

Saturday - Sti. Ermagora e Fortunato (S. Marcuola)

Third Week of Lent

Sunday - S. Nicolò di Tolentino

Monday - S. Maria di M. Carmini

Tuesday - S. Francesco a Vigna

Wednesday - S. Giacomo di Luprio (S. Giacomo dell'Orio)

Thursday - San Pantaleone (S. Pantalon)

Friday - S. Eufemia della Giudecca

Saturday - S. Giovanni Battista in Bragora

Fourth Week of Lent

Sunday - Sti. Geremia e Lucia

Monday - S. Canziano (S. Canzian)

Tuesday - Ss. Redentore alla Guidecca (Ss. Redentor alla Giudecca)

Wednesday - S. Paolo Apostolo (S. Polo)

Thursday - S. Martino

Friday - S. Alvise

Saturday - S. Nicolò dei Mendicoli

Fifth Week of Lent

Passion Sunday - S. Pietro in Castello

Monday - Sti. Gervaso e Protasio (S. Trovaso)

Tuesday - S. Felice (S. Felise)

Wednesday - Sta. Maria del Rosario (i Gesuati)

Thursday - S. Gerolamo

Friday - Sti Stefano e Agostino

Saturday - S. Elena

Holy Week

Palm Sunday - S. Marco

Monday - S. Luca Evangelista

Tuesday - Sta. Maria Formosa

Wednesday - S. Marco


Holy Thursday - S. Marco

Good Friday - S. Marco

Holy Saturday - S. Marco


Octave of Easter - S. Marco

List of bishops of Olivolo

  • Obelerius (775-...)
  • Christpher I Damiata (797-810) - deposed
    John (804) - usurper
  • Christpher II (810-813)
  • Christpher I Damiata (813-...) - reinstated
  • Orso I Parteciacus (825-...)
  • Maurice (...-...)
  • Domenicus I (...-...)
  • John (unknown - 876) - excommunicated by Pope John VIII
  • Lorenzo I (880 - 909)
  • Domenico II (909 - ...)
  • Domenico III (...- ...)
  • Peter I Tribunus (929-938)
  • Orso II (938-945)
  • Domenico IV Talonicus (945-955)
  • Peter II Marturio (955-963)
  • George (963-966)
  • Marino Cassianico (966-992)
  • Domenico V Gradenigo (992-1026)
  • Domenico VI Gradenigo (1026-1044)
  • Domenico VII Contarini (1044-1074)

List of bishops of Castello

  • Henry Contarini (1074-1108)
  • Vitale I Michiel (1108-1120)
  • Bonifacio Falier (1120-1133)
  • John I Polani (1133-1164)
  • Vitale II Michiel (1164-1182)
  • Philip Casolo (1182-1184)
  • Mark I Nicolai (1184-1225)
  • Mark II Michiel (1225-1135)
  • Peter III Pino (1235-1255)
  • Walter Agnusdei (1255-1258)
  • Thomas I Arimondo (1258-1260)
  • Thomas II Franco (1260-1274)
  • Bartolomew I Querini (1274-1292)
  • Simeon Moro (1292-1293)
  • Bartholomew II Querini (1293-1303)
  • Ramberto Polo (1303-1311)
  • Galasso Albertini (1311)
  • Giacomo Albertini (1311-1329)
  • Angelo I Dolfin (1329-1336)
  • Nicholas Morosini (1336-1367)
  • Paul Foscari (1367-1375)
  • John II (1375-1378) - deposed
  • Nicholas II Morosini (1379)
  • Angelo II Correr (1379-1390) - become Pope Gregory XII
  • John III Loredan (1390)
  • Francis I Falier (1390-1392)
  • Leonard Dolfin (1392-1401)
  • Francis II Bembo]] (1401-1417)
  • Mark III Lando (1417-1426)
  • Peter IV Donato (1426-1428)
  • Francis III Malipiero (1428-1433)
  • Lorenzo II Giustiniani (1433-1451) - become Patriarch of Venice

List of Patriarchs of Venice

For the earlier patriarchs in the area, see List of Aquileia Bishops and patriarchs and Patriarch of Grado
  • St. Lawrence Justinian (1451-1456); Bishop of Castello from 1433-1451.
  • Maffio Contarini (1456-1460)
  • Andrea Bondimerio, OSA (1460-1464)
  • Gregorio Correr (1464)
  • Giovanni Barozzi (1465-1466), transferred from Bergamo, made cardinal shortly after his death
  • Maffeo Cardinal Gherardi or Girardi, OSB (1466-1492), named cardinal 1489
  • Tomaso Dona, OSD (1492-1504)
  • Antonio Soriano, Carthus. (1504-1508)
  • Alvise Contarini (1508)
  • Antonio Contarini (1508-1524)
  • Girolamo Quirino, OSD (1524-1554)
  • PierFrancesco Contarini (1554-1555)
  • Vincenzo Diedo (1556-1559)
  • Giovanni Trevisano (1560-1590)
  • Lorenzo Cardinal Priuli (1591-1600), named cardinal 1596; restored cathedral; founded archdiocesan seminary
  • Matteo Zane (1600-1605)
  • Francesco Cardinal Vendramin (1605/1608-1619), named cardinal 1615
  • Giovanni Tiepolo (1619-1631)
  • Federico Baldissera Bartolomeo Cardinal Cornaro (1631-1644), transferred from Padua, named cardinal 1626 (see below)
  • GianFrancesco Morosini (1644-1678)
  • Alvise Sagredo (1678-1688)
  • GianAlberto Cardinal Badoaro (1688-1706), cardinal
  • Piero Barbarigo (1706-1725)
  • Marco Gradenigo (1725-1734), transferred from Verona
  • Francesco Antonio Correr, OFM Cap. (1734-1741)
  • Alvise Foscari (1741-1758)
  • Giovanni Bragadin (1758-1775)
  • Fridericus Maria Giovanelli (1776-1800)
  • Ludovico Cardinal Flangini Giovanelli (1801-1804), named cardinal 1789
    • vacant (1804-1807)
  • Nicolò Saverio Gamboni (1807-1808), cathedral moved from St. Peter in Castello to Basilica of St. Mark
    • vacant (1808-1815)
  • Francesco Maria Milesi (1815-1819), erected new seminary; patriarchate reorganized 1818
  • Ján Ladislaus Pyrker, O. Cist. (1820-1827)
  • Giacomo Cardinal Monico (1827-1851), cardinal 1833
  • PierAurelio Mutti, OSB (1852-1857)
  • Angelo Ramazzotti (1858-1861), made cardinal shortly after his death
  • Giuseppe Luigi Cardinal Trevisanato (1862-1877)
  • Domenico Cardinal Agostini (1877-1891)
  • Giuseppe Melchiorre Cardinal Sarto (1893-1903), elected Pope in Papal conclave, 1903
  • Aristide Cardinal Cavallari (1904-1914)
  • Pietro Cardinal La Fontaine (1915-1935)
  • Adeodato Giovanni Cardinal Piazza (1936-1948)
  • Carlo Agostini (1949-1952), made cardinal shortly after his death
  • Angelo Giuseppe Cardinal Roncalli (1953-1958), elected Pope in Papal conclave, 1958
  • Giovanni Cardinal Urbani (1958-1969)
  • Albino Cardinal Luciani (1970-1978), elected Pope in Papal conclave, 1978 (August)
  • Marco Cardinal Cé (1979-2002)
  • Angelo Cardinal Scola (2002-Present)

See also

  • Archbishop of Udine

Giovanni Tiepolo, b. 1571 - d. 1631, patriarch of Venice - See JSTOR: The Venetian Upper Clergy in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth ... An example of this occurs in his analysis of the writings of the patriarch of Venice, Giovanni Tiepolo (d. 1631), which deal with the veneration of the ... [2]

Federico Baldissera Bartolomeo Cornaro, b. 1579 - d. 1653, Cardinal, patriarch of Venice 1631-1644 [3], [4]

Sources and references


pt:Patriarca de Veneza ru:Патриарх Венеции