Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vercelli

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vercelli (in Latin, Archidioecesis Vercellensis) is a Latin rite Metropolitan see in northern Italy, one of the two archdioceses which, together with their suffragan dioceses, form the ecclesiastical region of Piedmont.

Archdiocese of Vercelli

Archidioecesis Vercellensis
Vercelli Cathedral
Ecclesiastical provinceVercelli
Area1,658 km2 (640 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics (including non-members)
(as of 2012)
174,200 (96.9%)
DenominationCatholic Church
RiteRoman Rite
Established3rd century
CathedralCattedrale-Basilica di S. Eusebio
Secular priests87 (diocesan)
16 (Religious Orders)
Current leadership
ArchbishopMarco Arnolfo[1]
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vercelli in Italy.svg

The archbishop's seat is in Basilica Cattedrale di S. Eusebio, a minor basilica dedicated to its canonized first bishop, in Vercelli, Piemonte (Piedmont). The city also has two Minor basilicas: Basilica di S. Andrea and Basilica di S. Maria Maggiore[2][3]

Ecclesiastical provinceEdit

The suffragan dioceses under the Metropolitan of Vercelli are:


  • 300: Established as Diocese of Vercelli / Vercellen(sis) (Latin adjective)
  • Lost territories on 1474.04.18 to establish Diocese of Casale Monferrato and on 1772.06.01 to establish Diocese of Biella
  • Gained territory (back) on 1803.06.01 from the suppressed Diocese of Biella
  • Promoted on 1817.07.17 as Metropolitan Archdiocese of Vercelli / Vercellen(sis) (Latin), having lost territory to (re-)establish Diocese of Biella
  • Lost territory on 1874.08.01 to suffragan daughter Diocese of Casale Monferrato

According to an ancient lectionary the Gospel was first preached in Vercelli in the second half of the third century by Saints Sabinianus (Savinian) and Martialis, bishops from Gaul, when they were returning to their dioceses. The episcopal see was not established till after the Peace of Constantine. The first bishop was Saint Eusebius (354–370), a Sardinian lector of the Roman Church and a strenuous opponent of Arianism. From Vercelli the Gospel spread through the valley of the Po and its environs; towards the end of the fourth century, perhaps even during the episcopate of Saint Eusebius, new dioceses were erected. From Eusebius to Nottingo (830) there were forty bishops, whose images were preserved in the Eusebian basilica, predecessor of the present cathedral, so called because Saint Eusebius, who dedicated it to the martyr Saint Theonestus, was interred in it. He introduced the common and monastic life among his clergy, from whom bishops for the surrounding territory were often selected.

In 1817 the Diocese of Vercelli, then suffragan of the archbishopric of Turin (but previously of the archbishopric of Milan) was made an archdiocese, the first archbishop being Giuseppe di Grimaldi. Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, SDB, Secretary of State (2006 onwards) served as archbishop of Vercelli (1991–1995).

Bishops and archbishopsEdit

Bishops of VercelliEdit

  • St. Eusebius of Vercelli (343 – 1 Aug 371 Died)
  • ...
  • Saint Simenus (370–396), who baptized and consecrated Saint Ambrose
  • Saint Honoratus (396), who administered the Viaticum to Saint Ambrose
  • Saint Justinianus (living in 451)
  • Saint Æmilianus (about 500) built an aqueduct for the city at his own expense
  • Saint Flavianus (541), who decorated the apse of the original basilica
  • Saint Celsus (638–665)
  • Norgaudus (844), who restored common life among the canons
  • Liutuardus (880–899), who had been archchancellor of Charles the Fat (deposed later) and was slain during the invasion of the Hungarians (899), like
  • Regenbertus (904–924), even though only a bishop, Pope Anastasius III granted him the pallium for life
  • Atto II of Vercelli, (924–960), son of Aimone, Count of Vercelli, reformer of ecclesiastical discipline, and chancellor for Lothair II; he ordered schools to be set up in every parish of the diocese
  • Petrus I (978–997) a German attached to Otto II with whom he fought the Saracens in southern Italy; defeated and enslaved, he was sent to Egypt. He returned only to be killed by Arduino, the marquess of Ivrea who hoped to be King of Italy himself; he burnt the cathedral of Vercelli and scattered those buried there
  • Leo I (999–1024), another German prelate who became chancellor of Holy Roman Emperors Otto III and Henry II;
  • Anselmo Avogadro (1124–1127) the first bishop of Vercelli to also hold the title of count
  • Gisulfus II Avogadro (1132–1151) re-established common life among the canons in 1144
  • Uberto Crivelli (Dec 1182 – 9 May 1185), also Archbishop of Milan Uberto Crivelli (1182–1185) held both Vercelli and Milan at the same time, until elected Pope Urban III
  • Saint Albert Avogadro (1185–1204), a Canon Regular at Mortara, then elected bishop of Bobbio, but translated to Vercelli; made Prince of the Holy Roman Empire (Reichsfürst) in 1191; founder of the cathedral chair of theology, elected Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem (1204–1214); approved the Rule of the Carmelite Order
  • Ugo di Sessa (1214–1235)
  • Martino Avogadro de Quaregna (1243–1268)
  • Rainerio Avogadro (1305–1310) originally refused his election; he opposed the partisans of Fra Dolcino
  • Uberto Avogadro (1310–1326), sixth and last of a long line of Avogadro count-bishops of Vercelli

Archbishops of VercelliEdit

  • Giuseppe Maria Pietro Grimaldi (1 October 1817 – 1 January 1830 Died)
  • Alessandro d’Angennes (24 February 1832 – 8 May 1869 Died)
  • Celestino Matteo Fissore (27 October 1871 – 5 April 1889 Died)
  • Lorenzo Carlo Pampirio, O.P. (24 May 1889 – 26 December 1904 Died)
  • Teodoro Valfrè di Bonzo (27 March 1905 – 13 September 1916 Appointed, Apostolic Nuncio to Austria)
  • Giovanni Gamberoni (22 March 1917 – 17 February 1929 Died)
  • Giacomo Montanelli (17 February 1929 – 6 May 1944 Died), former Coadjutor Archbishop (1928.11.23 – 1929.02.17)
  • Francesco Imberti (10 October 1945 – 5 September 1966 Retired)
  • Albino Mensa (12 October 1966 – 4 June 1991 Retired)
  • Tarcisio Pietro Evasio Bertone, S.D.B. (4 June 1991 – 13 June 1995 Appointed, Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith)
  • Enrico Masseroni (10 February 1996 – 27 February 2014 Retired)[4]
  • Marco Arnolfo (27 Feb 2014 – present)


As per 2012, it pastorally served 174,200 Catholics (96.9% of 179,800 total) on 1,658 km² in 117 parishes with 103 priests (87 diocesan, 16 religious; i.e. a priest for every 1,691 Catholics), 13 deacons, 302 lay religious (20 brothers, 282 sisters) and 2 seminarians.


The 118 parishes are divided between the Lombard province of Pavia and the Piedmontese provinces of Alessandria, Biella, Novara and Vercelli.[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "RINUNCE E NOMINE". Sala Stampa (in Italian). 2014-02-27. Retrieved 2018-01-23.
  2. ^ Cheney, David M. "Archdiocese of Vercelli". Retrieved March 25, 2018.self-published
  3. ^ Chow, Gabriel. "Metropolitan Archdiocese of Vercelli". Retrieved March 25, 2018.self-published
  4. ^ Archbishop Masseroni died on 30 September 2019.
  5. ^ Source: Parishes of the diocese of Vercelli (retrieved:2016-10-02)

Sources and external linksEdit



  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainBenigni, Umberto (1912). "Vercelli". In Herbermann, Charles (ed.). Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 15. New York: Robert Appleton Company.