Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Diocese of Jassy

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Catholic Encyclopedia (1913), Volume 8
Diocese of Jassy

by Siméon Vailhé


(Jassiensis).

Diocese in Rumania. The town of Jassy stands in a very fertile plain on the River Bahluiu, a tributary of the Pruth, and has 80,000 inhabitants. Among its most remarkable monuments are the church of the Three Saints and the monastery of the Three Hierarchs. Although the more or less independent principality of Moldavia was established about 1348, Jassy did not become its capital until the sixteenth century, but subsequently remained such until 1859, when Wallachia was united with Moldavia to constitute the Kingdom of Rumania. Its name Jassy (Ruman, Iasi, pronounced Yash) seems to be derived from the Slavonic Askytorg, found for the first time in a Russian geography of the fourteenth century (Xénopol, "Histoire des Roumains de la Dacie trajane", I, 236, note). Often occupied by the Russians, Poles, and Austrians, it is principally celebrated for the religious conferences held there in 1642 between the Greek and the Russian Church, and for the treaty of 1792 concluded between Porte and Russia.

The Latin Diocese of Jassy dates from 27 June, 1884. Thanks to the labours of the Franciscan and Dominican friars, Urban V was able to establish in 1370 at Sereth the seat of the diocese, transferred to Bacau at the beginning of the fifteenth century. Abandoned in 1497 on account of the Moslem persecutions, the See of Bacau was re-established in 1611, and had a succession of twenty prelates until 1789, when it was suppressed. The Catholics of Moldavia were then placed under the spiritual direction of Apostolic prefects, generally chosen from the Conventuals in charge of the mission. In 1884 Leo XIII raised to a diocese the Apostolic Vicariate of Moldavia, with Jassy as residence. This see has about 90,000 Catholics, of which a few hundred are Uniats (Rumanians, Ruthenians, and even Armenians). There are 50 priests, 11 of which number are secular, and 39 regular (Conventuals and Jesuits); 28 parishes with as many churches, and 94 chapels without resident priests; 11 chapels for male or female religious; a theological seminary at Jassy and two preparatory seminaries at Jassy and at Halaucesti; several day-schools for boys and girls; two boarding-schools for girls directed at Jassy and Galatz by Sisters of Notre Dame of Sion, 143 in number. The Orthodox metropolitan see, whose bishop sometimes recognized the jurisdiction of the Bulgarian patriarchs of Achrida and sometimes that of the Greek patriarchs of Constantinople, was established about 1392. Since the proclamation of Rumanian ecclesiastical autonomy the Orthodox Bishop of Jassy depends on the metropolitan primate at Bucharest.

Jorga, Hist. de l'Eglise roumaine, II (Bucharest, 1909), 324, 335-7, in Romanic; Xenopol, Hist. des Roumains de la Dacie trajane (Paris, 1896); Echos d'Orient (Paris). VI. 46-50; VII, 321-8; VIII, 5-12, 72-7, 129-37; Missiones Catholicoe (Rome, 1907), 121-3.

S. VAILHÉ