DIOCESE OF SAINT STEPHEN

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Saint Stephen the Deacon
and Protomartyr


Saint Willibrord,
First Bishop of Utrecht

The diocese is the Patriarchal See of the Anglo-Italian Imperial Patriarchate, Anglican Rite Roman Catholic Church. The See of Saint Stephen originated with the Diocese of the Southwest (est. 1978 via Episcopal Church, with San Antonio, Texas, USA, as the See city; brought into the fullness of the historic Catholic Faith via Old Roman Catholicism in 2006; became a Metropolitan Archdiocese in 2009). Through Leonine privilege and special favour granted on behalf of the Roman Pontiff, the Imperiak Patriarchate retains autonomy of ecclesiastical government (M.P. 2011). Renamed for its celestial patron without territorial limits as Patriarachal See of the Old Holy Roman Church of the English Rite (Anglican Rite Roman Catholic Church) shortly after the Archdiocese was consecrated to Saint Stephen, Deacon and Protomartyr.

The Patronage of Saint Stephen derives from the commonality of Stephen the Deacon and Protomartyr to the early churches associated with the temporal patrimony of the Patriarchate, viz., the Basilica of Arles, the Abbey of St. Stephen in Würzburg, and the Church of St. Stephen. The ancient Basilica of Arles, in the city that eventually developed into a Burgundian kingdom within the Holy Roman Empire, is important not only for its Imperial history, but also as the line of the Margraves of Tuscany from the time of Bosone d'Arles, brother of Hugh d'Arles, King of Tuscany. Matilda di Canossa was also a descendant of the Arles line. The fifth-century Basilica of Arles was dedicaded to Saint Stephen, specifically as the granddaughter of Hugh, King of Italy, and her family succeeded the House of Arles in Tuscany. Also, Saint Augustine of Canterbury was consecrated bishop and named Bishop of England, founding the Catholic Anglican Church, in Arles. In addition, the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa was crowned in Arles by the Archbishop of Arles. As the site of the key line of the ancient Margraviate of Tuscany and Vice-Kingship of Italy that was ceded to the Church and as the site of the consecration of the founding archbishop of the Catholic Anglican Church, the Basilica of Arles dedicated to Blessed Stephen hold a pre-eminent place in the history of the Imperial Patriarchate. The Basilica of Arles also has importance to the Elector of Trier, who holds also the office of Governor-General of the Patriarchate. From the 13th century, the Prince Archbishop and Elector of Trier also held the office of Arch-Chancellor of Gaul, which referred primarily to the Kingdom of Arles and the eventual Kingdom of Burgundy that succeeded it. The Abbey of St. Stephen in Würzburg was founded in 1013 by the Bishop of Würzburg, to which the Archfather succeeds as ecclesiastical Elector and Duke of Franconia. The Church of Saint Stephen in Mainz was built by Willigis, Archbishop of Mainz in 990 and was to be a place of prayer for the Holy Roman Empire. The Patriarchate holds the ecclesiastical electoral of Mainz in the Holy Roman Empire. Like W�rzburg, Mainz was part of the Duchy of Franconia. Each area of the temporal patrimony of the See of St. Stephen has its own patron, dear to the history of the regions. Yet, St. Stephen provides a common and important linkage between the diverse states of the Patriarchate.

 

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