- Roman Catholic Diocese of Avezzano
The diocese of Avezzano is a Roman Catholic ecclesiastical territory in central Italy, carrying this name since 1986. Before it was known as the diocese of Marsi. It is a suffragan of the archdiocese of L'Aquila.
According to legend, the Gospel was preached to the Marsican region in Apostolic times by Saint Mark, and Saint Rufinus, their bishop, was martyred about 240. The episcopal see was originally at Santa Savina, but, as this place was isolated and therefore insecure, Pope Gregory XIII permitted, in 1580, the removal of the bishop's residence to Pescina, where the cathedral was completed in 1596.
Among the bishops of the diocese was Saint Berardo of the family of the Counts of the Marsi. He was educated at Montecassino, and became pontifical governor of the Campagna. On account of his justice and of his severity in that office, he was imprisoned by Pietro Colonna, but Pope Paschal II made him a cardinal, and bishop of his native town.
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