Diocese in the Province of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, erected 11 Feb., 1895. The see, founded by Leo XIII , 21 May, 1893, at Nictheroy, and transferred to Petropolis 11 Feb., 1895, was retransferred to Nictheroy in 1908. The city of Petropolis was founded by the Emperor of Brazil in 1845, as a colony for German immigrants and named in honour of Dom Pedro; it is a delightful summer resort. In 1894 it was made the capital of the State of Rio de Janeiro. Nictheroy is situated on the Bay of Rio de Janeiro. In 1834, when the city of Rio de Janeiro was formed into a "municipio neutro" and separated from the rest of the state, Nictheroy became the capital of the province and remained so until 1894. The first bishop, François de Rogo Maia, b. at Pernambuco, 29 Sept., 1849, was elected in Sept., 1893. The second bishop, Jean-François Braga, b. at Pelotas, Diocese of St. Pierre de Rio Grande, 24 Aug., 1867, cons. 24 Aug., 1902; transferred to the See of Curityba, 1907. The present bishop, Augustin-François Bennassi, b. at Rio de Janeiro, 17 Nov., 1868, was elected 13 March, 1908, and cons. 10 May following. Statistics: area, 15,548 square miles; Catholic population, 1,000,300 ( Protestants, about 9,000); 123 parishes, 100 filial churches or chapels, 89 secular and 35 regular priests, 3 colleges, and one technical school.
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