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Lucca

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ARCHDIOCESE OF LUCCA (LUCENSIS).

Lucca, the capital of the like named province in Tuscany, Central Italy, is situated on the River Serchio in a fertile cultivated plain. Its chief industries are the quarrying and dressing of marble, and the production of silk, wool, flax, and hemp. Its olive oil enjoys a world-wide fame. Noteworthy among the church buildings is the cathedral, which dates back to the sixth century; it was rebuilt in the Roman style in the eleventh century, consecrated by Alexander II (1070), and again restored in the quattrocento, when the beautiful columns of the upper arches were added. In the apse are three large windows painted by Ugolino da Pisa. Of the sculptural adornments we may mention Civitali's equestrian statue of St. Martin dividing his cloak with the beggar; the Deposition by Nicolò Pisano, and the Adoration of the Magi by Giovanni da Pisa - all three on the façade. Within are pictures by Tintoretto and Parmigianino, and a Madonna by Frà Bartolommeo. But the most celebrated work is the Volto Santo, an ancient crucifix carved in wood, with Christ clothed in the "colobium", a long sleeveless garment. Throughout the Middle Ages this image was regarded as a palladium by the Lucchesi, who, on their journeys to every country, distributed facsimiles, thus giving rise to the legends of St. Liberata and St. Wilgefortis, of the "heilige Kummernis" of the Germans and the "Ontkommer" of the Dutch; Professor Schnürer of the University of Fribourg (Switzerland), has in preparation a study on this subject. San Frediano is the only example of Lombard architecture preserved without notable alteration, excepting the façade, which is of the year 1200. S. Maria foris Portam, S. Michele, S. Romano, and the other churches (fully eighty in number), all possess valuable works of art. In the church of S. Francesco (quattrocento) is the tomb of the Lucchese poet, Guidiccioni. Among the profane edifices is the Palazzo Pubblico, formerly the ducal palace, begun by Ammanati in 1578, continued by Pini in 1729, and further enlarged by Prince Bacciochi in the nineteenth century; adjoining are the library, with many valuable manuscripts, and a picture gallery. The Manzi palace also contains a collection of paintings. There is a magnificent aqueduct of 459 arches, constructed by Nattolini (1823-32). The archives of the capitol and the archiepiscopal palace are important for their many private documents of the early Middle Ages. Ruins of a Roman amphitheatre of imperial times still exist. The territory of Lucca is rich in mineral and thermal springs. The celebrated baths of Lucca are about fifteen miles from the city.

Lucca was a city of the Ligurians, and is first mentioned in 218 B.C., when the Roman general Sempronius retired thither after an unsuccessful battle with Hannibal. In 177 B.C. a Roman colony was established there. In 56 B.C. Cæsar, Pompey, and Crassus renewed the triumvirate at Lucca. During the Gothic wars the city was besieged and taken by Totila (550). Hoping for assistance from the Franks, the Lucchesi obstinately resisted the attack of Narses, surrendering only after a siege of seven months (553). It later fell into the hands of the Lombards, was thenceforward a place of great importance, and became the favourite seat of the Marquesses of Tuscany. In 981 Otto bestowed on its bishop civil jurisdiction over the entire diocesan territory; but in 1081 Henry IV made it a free city and conferred other favours upon it, especially in the way of trade. This was the origin of the Republic of Lucca, which lasted until 1799. From 1088 to 1144 Lucca was continually at war with her rival Pisa, and either by conquest or purchase increased her possessions. In 1160 the Guelph marquess finally surrendered all right of jurisdiction. Lucca was generally on the side of the pope against the emperor, and hence joined the League of S. Ginesio (1197). In the thirteenth century, despite her wars with Pisa, Florence, and the imperial cities, Lucca increased her power and commerce. But in 1313 the city was taken by Uguccione della Faggiuola, Lord of Pisa. The Lucchesi, however, under the most dramatic circumstances, freed themselves and chose for captain their fellow-citizen, Castruccio degli Antelminelli, known as Castracane (1316), the restorer of the military art, who had been imprisoned by Uguccione. Castruccio drove out the Pisans, obtained for life the title of Defender of the People, and received from Louis the Bavarian the hereditary title of Duke of Lucca. His descendants, however, were deprived of the title by the same prince (1328-9). Castruccio adorned and fortified the city whose territory now extended from the Magra to Pistoia and Volterra.

On the death of Castruccio, Louis conferred Lucca on Francesco, a relative and enemy of Castruccio. The Lucchesi, however, placed themselves under John of Bohemia; the latter, in 1333, pawned the city to the Rossi of Parma, who ceded it to Mastino della Scala (1335), by whom it was sold to the Florentines for 100,000 florins (1341). This displeased the Pisans, who occupied the city (1342). It was liberated by Charles IV (1360), who gave it an imperial vicar. From 1370 it was free. In 1400 Paolo Guinigi obtained the chief power, which he exercised with moderation and justice. At the instigation of the Florentines, who sought possession of the city, Guinigi was betrayed into the hands of Filippo Maria Visconti (1430), who caused him to be murdered at Pavia. With the aid of Piccinino, Lucca maintained her freedom against the Florentines. After that the security of this little state, governed by the people, was undisturbed except by the revolt of the straccioni (the lowest class) in 1521, and the conspiracy of Pietro Fatinelli (1542), who aspired to power. But in 1556 the Martinian law (Martino Bernardini) restricted participation in the government to the sons of citizens, and in 1628 this limitation was further accentuated, until in 1787 only eighty families enjoyed the right to public office. Among the institutions of this republic the discolato deserves mention. It was similar to the ostracism of the Athenians. If a citizen, either through wealth or merit, obtained excessive favour among the people, twenty-five signatures were sufficient to banish him. In 1799 Lucca was joined to the Cisalpine Republic. In 1805 Napoleon made it a dukedom for his cousin Felice Bacciochi. In 1814 it was occupied by the Neapolitans, and later by the Austrians. In 1817 it was given to Maria Luisa, widow of the King of Etruria, whose son Carlo Ludovico ceded it to Tuscany in 1847. Illustrious citizens of Lucca were Pope Lucius III (Allucingoli); the jurist, Bonagiunta Urbiciani (thirteenth century); the physician, Teodoro Borgognoni; the historian, Tolomeo de' Fiadoni; the women poets, Laura Guidiccioni and Chiara Matraini; the philologist, L. Fornaciari (nineteenth century); the painters, Berlinghieri and Orlandi (thirteenth century); the sculptor, Matteo Civitali (first half of the fifteenth century).

There is a legend that the Gospel was preached at Lucca by St. Paulinus, a disciple of St. Peter, and the discovery in 1197 of a stone, recording the deposition of the relics of Paulinus, a holy martyr, apparently confirmed this pious belief. On the stone, however, St. Paulinus is not called Bishop of Lucca, nor is there any allusion to his having lived in Apostolic times ("Analecta Bollandiana", 1904, p. 491; 1905, p. 502). The first bishop of certain date is Maximus, present at the Council of Sardica (343). At the Council of Rimini (359), Paulinus, Bishop of Lucca, was present. Perhaps the above-mentioned legend arose through a repetition of this Paulinus. Remarkable for sanctity and miracles was St. Fridianus (560-88), son of Ultonius, King of Ireland, or perhaps of a king of Ulster (Ultonia), of whom in his "Dialogues" (III, 10) St. Gregory the Great relates a miracle. On St. Fridianus see Colgan, "Acta Sanct. Scot.", I (1645), 633-51; "Dict. Christ. Biog.", s.v.; Fanucchi, "Vita di San Frediano" (Lucca, 1870); O'Hanlon, "Lives of Irish Saints", under 18 Nov.; "Analecta Bolland.", XI (1892), 262-3, and "Bolland. Bibl. hagiogr. lat." (1899), 476. In 739, during the episcopate of Walprandus, Richard, King of the Angles and father of Saints Willibald, Wunibald, and Walburga, died at Lucca and was buried in the church of S. Frediano. Under Blessed Giovanni (787) it is said the Volto Santo was brought to Lucca. Other bishops were Anselmo Badagio (1073), later Pope Alexander II, who was succeeded as bishop by his nephew Anselm of Lucca, a noted write; Apizio (1227), under whom Lucca was deprived of its episcopal see for six years by Gregory IX; the Franciscan Giovanni Salvuzzi (1383), who built the episcopal palace; Nicolò Guinigi (1394), exiled by his relative Paolo Guinigi, Lord of Lucca. In 1408 Gregory XII went to Lucca to come to a personal agreement with the antipope, Benedict XIII, and was there abandoned by his cardinals. Worthy of mention also are the writer, Felino Maria Sandeo (1499), nephew of Ariosto; Cardinals Sisto della Rovere (1508), Francesco Sforza Riario (1517), and Bartolommeo Guidiccioni (1605), under the last-named of whom the Diocese of San Miniato was formed and separated from Lucca; Cardinal Girolamo Bonvisi (1657); Bernardino Guinigi (1723), the first archbishop (1726); the learned Gian Domenico Mansi (1764-9); and finally the present cardinal archbishop, Benedetto Lorenzelli (1904), last nuncio to Paris before the separation. The Archdiocese of Lucca has no suffragans; it has 246 parishes with 230,000 souls.


Sources

MANSI, Diario sacro della Chiesa di Lucca (Venice, 1753); TOMMASI, Sommario della storia di Lucca (1847); CAPPELLETTI, Le Chiese d'Italia, XV (Venice, 1857). See, for further bibliography, CHEVALIER, Topo-bibl., s.v. Lucques.

About this page

APA citation. Benigni, U. (1910). Lucca. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09405a.htm

MLA citation. Benigni, Umberto. "Lucca." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 9. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09405a.htm>.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. October 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York.

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