Mons. Francesco Saverio Fontana.

He was born in Gioia del Colle in the province of Bari on 12 March 1667.
He was appointed bishop of the Diocese of Campagna and Satriano on 17 September 1714 and, unlike his predecessors, he did not want to reside in the seat of Sant'Angelo le Fratte, immediately choosing that of Campagna as a permanent residence. He was a caring bishop and attentive to art and sacred furnishings, so much so that in 1720 he visited the abbey of Santa Maria La Nova - after having learned that many centuries earlier he had lived his novitiate Sant'Antonino - and considered the very bad condition in which it was, he had it restored at his own expense by equipping it with precious sacred furnishings. In 1772, after the renovation works, he instituted the procession of the Monday in Albis.
His actions to embellish our places of worship continued and a great witness is the cathedral of Santa Maria della Pace with the execution of paintings made by Maestro Paolo de Matteis 1 .
After having participated in the Council of Trent, summoned by Pope Paul III to fulfill the new theological guidelines dictated, he worked on the constitution and realization of the seminary. On July 12, 1722, the Civic University decided to donate the Calvello and Carapiglia estates to him to ensure him an income and be able to carry out his activities 2 .
On 21 December 1722, Msgr. Fontana issued the bull of erection of the diocesan seminary of Campagna, in agreement with the Mayor and the elect of the city, establishing the chairs of Italian, Latin, Greek, Hebrew and those of philosophical, theological and mathematical sciences 3 .
Paradoxically, however, all this was not enough to save him from conspiracies and attacks by the Chapter and local lords, so much so that he was forced to move (almost in exile) to the residence of Sant'Angelo le Fratte, a destination chosen in memory of the its predecessors. Alas, even here it ran into problems with the Duke of Satriano, Pietro Laviano 4 , due to various possessions and rights usurped by the same to the detriment of church property.
These events marked him a lot in his years of life until he died in the aforementioned seat on 30 September 1736.

Text by Cristian Viglione.
Revisions: Francesco Pezzuti.

1. Valentino Izzo - Telling the Campaign ... Illustrious people. Vol. P - Year 2005
2. Valentino Izzo - Telling the Campaign ... Illustrious people. Vol. P - Year 2005
3. Valentino Izzo - Telling the Campaign ... Illustrious people. Vol. P - Year 2005
4. Valentino Izzo - Telling the Campaign ... Famous people. Vol. P - Year 2005

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