Bishopric of Lavant
Bistum Lavant
1228 - 1962

St Andrä
Austrian until ?
Council of Princes until ?
Established 949
Prince of the Empire 1446
Renamed to Maribor 1962

The Bishopric of Lavant was a Roman Catholic diocese based in the valley of Lavant in Lower Styria, Slovenia. In 1962 it was renamed the Bishopric of Maribor.

History of the Bishopric (1228 - 1962)Edit

The original seat of the bishopric was in eastern Carinthia at St Andrä. A collegiate chapter was founded by Archbishop Eberard II of Truchsees of Salzburg on 20 August 1212 with the permission of the Pope and Emperor. The canons followed the Rule of St Augustine and were selected by the chapter of Salzburg. Due to the Lavant's isolation, sometime around 1223 the Archbishop asked the Pope to found a new bishopric at St Andrä. After the request was examined my commissioners and the Pope gave his consent, the bishopric was founded in 1228. Archbishop Eberard appointed his court chaplain Ulrich of Haus, a former priest of Haus in Styria, the first bishop.

The deed of foundation of the bishopric gave no borders to the diocese, and in 1290 it was mentioned as being quite small with only 27 parishes. The bishops acted, however, as vicar-general of the Archbishops in some isolated districts and also as the deputy ruler in secular affairs of the Bishops of Freisach. The tenth bishop, Theodoric Wolfhauer (1317 - 1332), attained temporarily the rank of Prince of the Empire, and was present at the Battle of Mühldorf in 1322. It was from only the twenty-second bishop, Theobald Schweinpeck (1446 - 1463), that the bishops were permanently made Imperial Princes (in 1446).

Lavant was home several prominent prince-bishops in the following centuries. John I of Roth, also Bishop of Wroclaw, was a noted humanist. George II of Agricola (1570 - 1584) was from 1572 also the Bishop of Seckau. George III Stobäus of Palmburg (1584 - 1618) was an ardent supporter of the Counter-Reformation. Maximilian Gandalf of Khünburg (1654 - 1665), Archbishop of Salzburg from 1668, did much to secure the financial resources of the diocese. The regulations of the Emperor Joseph II attached several bishoprics to the diocese of Lavant. In 1788 the Archbishop of Laibach ceded several parishes in the south to Lavant.

In 1803 the secular territories of the Bishopric were secularised to Austria. The borders of the diocese changed greatly in the circumscription of 1 June 1859. The valley of Lavant and the Völkermarkt district in Carinthia were ceded to the Bishopric of Gurk. The district of Maribor was transferred from Seckau to Lavant, and the see of the bishopric was moved to Maribor from St Andrä, although the name of the bishopric did not change. His successors Jakob Ignaz Maximilian Stepischnegg (1862 - 1889) and Mihael Napotnik (1889 - 1922) were zealous in their promotion of spiritual life, through the founding and reform of parishes and the establishment of several clubs. On 5 March 1962 the Bishopric was renamed the Bishopric of Maribor and was made suffragan to the Archbishopric of Ljubljana.

See alsoEdit