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MINORCA


332


MINOR


churches and other ecclesiastical establishments arc subject to the same protective measures, and enjoy the same privileges, as minors.

D'Annibale. Summula, I, n. 33: Fkkuahis, Prompia Bibli- otheca, s. v. £tas: the Cauonists on lib. I, Decret, tit. Ixi. See also bibliography to Age, Canonical.

A. BOUDINHON.

Minorca, Diocese of (Minoricensis), suffragan of \':ilenci;i. comprises the Island of Minorca, the sec- ond in size of the Balearic Islands, which are posses- sions of Spain. The civil capital is Port Mahon; the ecclesiastical, Ciudadcla. The origin of the Dioce.se of Minorca is not known, but it certainly existed in the fifth century, as its bishop, Macarius, together with Eliasand Opilio, Bishops of Majorca and Iviza, came to Carthage in 4S4 t;) make profession of his faith. Baronius published from a Vatican Mi^., a letter of Severus, Bishop of Minorca in the fifth century. Da- meto translates and inserts it. The learned Antonio Roig, a native of Minorca, rector of Felanitx, pub- lished in 1787 a Latin treatise commenting upon it and defending its authenticity. But the account of the expedition imdertaken, under the direction of a cer- tain Theodore, to convert the Jews who were in pos- session of Minorca, and the events therein related, are of a legendary character.

The \'andals took possession of Minorca, as well as of Corsica, Sardinia, and SicUy, and during their do- minion the Diocese of Minorca was imder the jurisdic- tion of the metropolitan .See of Sardinia. The Bull of Pope Romanus, dated 897, in which among other ter- ritories assigned to the Bishop of Gerona we find the islands of Majorca and Minorca, shows that the inva- sion of Spain by the Mohammedans brought the exist- ence of the Diocese of Minorca to an end. It was not re-established until the eighteenth century. When Minorca was recovered, in 1783, from the English, who obtained possession of it in tlie War of the Span- ish Succession (1701-14), the re-establishment of the diocese was considered. Pius \T by the Bull of 23 July, 1795, erected the new Diocese of Minorca. Its first bishop, Antonio Vila, a native of Minorca, took possession of the see on 2 September, 1798. He was a man of leammg, and the author of " El noble bien educado" (Madrid, 1776), "Vida y Virtudes del in- victo mdrtir . . . S. Juan Nepomuceno" (Madrid, 1777), and "El Vasallo instruido" (Madrid, 1792). The last-named won for its author his canonry in the cathedral of Minorca. He also worked on an ency- clopedic dictionary of which twenty volumes in folio are still preserved in the cathedral of Albarraci'n. On 25 July, 1802, Bishop Vila was transferred to the Dio- cese of Albarraci'n, where he died 30 October, 1809. D. Pedro Antonio Juano was appointed to succeed him in 1814, and was followed by the famous D. Jaime Creus y Martf, canon of Urgel, president of the Junta Suprema of Catalonia during the War of Independ- ence, deputy in the Cortes of Cadiz, and a member of the Royal Council. Having been raised to the dig- nity of Archbishop of Tarragona, he was succeeded by D. Antonio de Ceruelo and the Dominican Fray An- tonio Diaz Merino, who, since 182.5, had been an active collaborator in the "Biblioteca de Religion". la 1837 Fray Antonio was exiled first to Cadiz and then to France, and died at Marseilles in 1844. His .succes- sor, D. Mateo Jaume was present at the Vatican Coun- cil. Since then the see has been filled in succession by D.Manuel Mercador (1875-90), D.Juan Comes yVidal, founder of the Academia de la Juventud Catolica (26 July, 1906), D. .Salvador Castellote y Pinazo (1901-6), and D. Juan Torres y Ribas, the present bishop.

The capital. Port Mahon, which has a population of 18,445, is on the east coast and has the best port in the Mediterranean. The saying, " Junio, Julio, Agosto y Puerto Mahon, Los mejores puertos del Mediterraneo son ' ' (Jime, July, August, and I'ort Mahon are the best harbours in the Mediterranean), is attributed to the


famous Andrea Doria. At the entrance st and the for- tresses of .San Felipe, buill bv Philip 1 1 , la Mola, and Isabel 11. The Isia di'l Hcv'Uslaiid of the King), so called from the fac't thai Alhmso III laiulcl there when he visited .Minorca in 1287, is in the centre. In the thir- teenth cenlury the famous military hospital was built on this island. Port Mahon hasa school forsecondary in.struction and a custcvin-house of the first oriler.

Among the public buildings the most noteworthy are the court-house anil the parish church built by order of Alfon.so III. The latlcrhas a magnificent or- gan. A handsome facade ornaments the entrance to the cemetery. Ciudadela, the ei)iscopal city, is be- licvcil 1.1 !>(■ the Jamnona of the (Carthaginians, founded by tliiii- ciiilain Jamna, or Jama. Many traces of an earlier Celtii' civilization are to be found here, among which may be mentioned the talayots (Cyclopean con- structions of huge blocks of stone in the shape of a tower with a high entrance), obelisks, dolmens, cov- ered galleries, and corneillons, or Celtic cemeteries. Many Roman inscriptions, vases, and coins are also to be fotmd. The city is fairly well laid out and well kept, and has a population of 8,000. It has a fortre.ss and other defensive works. On the Paseo del Borne there is an obelisk about 72 feet in height, erected to the memory of the heroes of 9 July, 1558, when the Turks attacked Ciudadela. The defenders of the city on this occasion were commanded by Negrete y Ar- quimbau, and the monument was erected on the initia- tive of the Franciscan, Jose Niu, who died caring for the victims of the cholera epidemic of 1865.

The cathedral of Minorca had, from the time of its foundation in 1287, all the magnificence rec(uisite for the only parish church of Ciudadela, then the capital of the island. A memorial tablet of the year 1362 says that Juan Corf;a held a benefice in this church. Constructed in the (iothic style of architecture, with a single nave, it presents an imposing appearance. The belfry is square, finished with an octagonal spire. In the beginning of the last century the main entrance was enriched with a mass of Gra;co-Roman arcliitecture, but the original Gothic portal is still preserved behind tliis. When the Turks attacked the city they fired the church. Bishop Comes y Vidal restored it, .adding numerous small windows, and restoring the main al- tar. Other church buildings of note are the chapel of the convent of the Poor Clares (ogival style) and the church of .San Agustfn, verj' spacious and elegant. The latter has two towers on each side of the portico, colossal frescoes, now in a bad state of preservation, and rich gildings ; it is used at present for the chapel of the diocesan seminary which was installed by Bishop Jaume in the ancient convent ilel Socorro. This sem- inary (San Ildefonso) was founded by the learned Franciscan Niu, in 1858. Lastly, there may be men- tioned the church of San Francisco, in the Gothic style.

Crunica general de Espana; Fulgosio, Cr6nica de las ialaa Baleares (Madrid, 1867); Biograjiu eclesidstica completa (Ma- drid, 1848-68): DE LA FuENTE, Historia eclesiiistica de Espana (Barcelona, 1855), III: Pifehrer and Coadhado, Espana, sua monumentos y arles: Islas Baleares (Barcelona, 1888).

Ramon Ruiz Amado.

iminor Clerks Regulax. See Francis Caracciolo,

Saint.

Minorites. See Franciscan Order; Friars

MiNDU.

Minor Orders (Lat. Ordines Minores). — The lower degrees of the hierarchy are designated by the name of minor orders, in opposition to the "major" or "sacred" orders. .\t the present time the ranks of the clergy are entered by the tonsure (q. v.), after which all the orders without omission are received in succession. Moreover, ecclesiastics, as a general rule, no longer remain in the lower orders, the liturgi- cal functions of which are discharged either by tlie clergy in the higher orders, as in exorcism, or by the