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Diocese in Southern Spain. The city of Jaén, capital of the province of the same name, is situated in north-eastern Andalusia on the lower part of the north-eastern slope of Monte Jabalcuz about 1800 feet above sea-level. In 1900 the population was 26,434. During the period 1013-90 the city of Jaén, the Romans' Aurgi, was the capital of the independent Moorish Kingdom of Djayyan, and was reconquered from the Moors by St. Ferdinand III of Castile and Leon in April, 1246. According to local tradition the first bishop was St. Euphrasius, supposed to be one of the seventy disciples. He is said to have been sent to Southern Spain, together with St. Torquatus and five other pupils of the Apostles, by Sts. Peter and Paul, and to have settled at Iliturgis (now Andújar), where he is reputed to have suffered martyrdom in the year 68 [cf. Henschenius, "De adventu in Hispaniam Sanctorum Torquati etc." in "Acta SS., " III, May (Brussels, 1680), 442-4; Terrones y Robres, "Vida, martirio, translación y milagros de S. Eufrasio, obispo y patrón de Andújar" (Granada, 1657)]. Other predecessors of the bishops of Jaén are, according to local investigations, the bishops of Cazlona (Episcopi Castulonenses), who were active in the period 298-656, and finally four of the bishops of Baeza (Episcopi Beatienses), flourishing between the seventh and the thirteenth centuries. The list of the bishops proper of Jaén does not begin until 1248, when the see was transferred from Baeza to Jaén. The last Bishop of Baeza was Fray Domingo, O.P. (1227-48); the first Bishop of Jaén was Pedro I Martinez (1249-50). The most notable among the sixty-four bishops who have governed the Diocese of Jaén are: St. Pedro III Pascual (1296-1300) and Gonzalo de Zunyiga (1422-56), who both died as martyrs in Moorish prisons; the sixty-fourth bishop, Juan José Laguarda y Fenollera (1906-9), was appointed Bishop of Barcelona at the consistory of 29 April, 1909, since which date the See of Jaén has been vacant.


The Diocese of Jaén is suffragan of Granada: it is bounded on the north by the Diocese of Ciudad Real, on the east by the Archdiocese of Toledo, on the south by the Archdiocese of Granada and the Diocese of Guadix, on the west by the Diocese of Cordova. According to the latest official diocesan statistics (1 January, 1905) it contains about 395,000 inhabitants, 12 deaneries (arciprestazgos) divided into 136 parishes, 136 parish churches, and 6 dependent churches. There are four male religious congregations with 4 monasteries, 10 cloistered female congregations with 27 houses, and 11 uncloistered with 29 houses. The chapter of the cathedral at Jaén has 12 canonries, besides which the old chapter (6 canonries) still exists at Baeza. There is also the theological seminary of San Felipe Neri at Baeza in addition to the diocesan seminary (Seminario Conciliar) at Jaén. Other educational institutions are the Colegio del Santisimo Sacramento for theological studies, and the Colegio de San Eufrasio for the education of choir-boys, both at Jaén. The massive Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin stands in the highest part of the city of Jaén. It was begun in 1532 by Pedro de Valdelvira, and is a fine specimen of early Spanish Renaissance. In a shrine by the high altar is preserved the famous Santo Rostro or Santa Faz, a handkerchief of Saint Veronica, which is annually exhibited to the people on Good Friday and on the Feast of the Assumption.


DE XIMENA JURADO, Catalogo de los obispos de las iglesias catedrales de la diocesis de Jaén (Madrid, 1654); DE RUS PUERTA, Historia eclesiatica del reino y obispado de Jaén (Jaén, 1634), the first part of which is alone printed, the second part being in the National Library at Madrid (MS. Q 58); DEL BILCHES, Santos y Santuarios del obispado de Jaén y Baeza (Madrid, 1653); GAMS, Kirchengesch. von Spanien, III (Ratisbon, 1876), i, 48 sq., 160, 426 sq.

About this page

APA citation. Reinhold, G. (1910). Jaén. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.

MLA citation. Reinhold, Gregor. "Jaén." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 8. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. <>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by John Fobian. In memory of Christopher Johnson.

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

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