Ancient Diocese of Dax

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The Diocese of Dax or Acqs was a Roman Catholic ecclesiastical territory in south-west France, established in the 5th century.[1] It was suppressed after the French Revolution, by the Concordat of 1801. Its territory now belongs to the Diocese of Aire and Diocese of Bayonne.

It is not certain that the patron of the diocese, the martyr St. Vincent, was a bishop. His cult existed in the time of Charlemagne, as is proved by a note of the Wolfenbüttel manuscript of the Hieronymian Martyrology. The oldest account of his martyrdom is in a breviary of Dax, dating from the second half of the thirteenth century, but the author knows nothing of the martyr's period.[2]

Excavations near Dax proved the existence of a Merovingian seminary on the site of a church dedicated to St. Vincent by Bishop Gratianus. Gratianus, present at the Council of Agde (506), is the first historically known bishop. Among the other bishops of the see were St. Revellatus (early sixth century), St. Macarius (c. 1060), Cardinal Pierre Itier (1361), Cardinal Pierre de Foix (1455), founder of the University of Avignon and the Collège de Foix at Toulouse.

The synodal constitutions of the ancient Diocese of Dax, published by the Abbé Degert, are of great historical interest for the study of the ancient constitutions and customs of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Degert in the course of this publication succeeded in rectifying certain errors in the episcopal lists of the Gallia christiana.

About 1588 St. Vincent de Paul made his first studies with the Cordeliers of Dax, but good secondary education at Dax dates only from the establishment of the Barnabites in 1640.


  1. ^ Dax from
  2. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Goyau, Pierre-Louis-Théophile-Georges (1913). "Diocese of Dax". Catholic Encyclopedia 16. New York: Robert Appleton Company.