Louis Laneau

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Louis Laneau (on the right, forefront)[1] was closely involved in the contacts with king Narai. Here, Chevalier de Chaumont presents a letter from Louis XIV to King Narai.

Louis Laneau (May 31, 1637 in Mondoubleau – March 16, 1696 in Ayutthaya) was a French Bishop of the 17th century who was active in the kingdom of Siam (modern Thailand). He was a member of the Paris Foreign Missions Society. He was initially nominated as the replacement of Mgr Ignace Cotolendi in charge of Nankin.


In 1669, Louis Laneau was nominated Bishop of Metellopolis and apostolic vicar of Siam. He was head of a Roman Catholic mission in Indochina, with his headquarters at Ayutthaya.[2] Laneau became bishop of Ayutthaya in 1674.

Monseigneur Laneau worked at propagating the Christian faith and also took care of Annamite Christians and Japanese Christian communities in Siam.[3] The Siamese king Narai warmly welcomed these missionaries, providing them with land for a church, a mission-house and a seminary (St. Joseph's colony).[4] Laneau had a key role in convincing the Siamese king to send an embassy to France.[5]

During the 1688 Siamese revolution, Laneau and his missionaries were taken hostage by the Siamese, as guarantors for the execution of the retreat agreement negotiated between the French and the Siamese.[6] As the French failed to respect several elements of the agreement, Laneau and his missionaries were emprisonned by the resentfull Siamese.[7]

Laneau was only freed from the Siamese jails in April 1691. He would die in Ayutthaya in March 1696.[8]


  • Rencontre avec un sage bouddhiste (English: "Encounter with a Buddhist sage").

A dialogue between a Christian missionary and a Buddhist sage, with a representation of the Christian doctrine with the words and concepts of Buddhism. The book was initially written in Siamese.

  • La Déification des Justes (Latin: "de Deification iustorum", English: "The deification of the Just").

A book written during captivity.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Les Missions Etrangeres, p.54
  2. ^ Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  3. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia
  4. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia
  5. ^ Smithies, p.8
  6. ^ Smithies, p.150
  7. ^ Smithies, p.166-167
  8. ^ Smithies, p.185


  • Smithies, Michael, Three military accounts of the 1688 revolution in Siam, Orchid Press, Bangkok 2002, ISBN 974-524-005-2
  • Les Missions Etrangères. Trois siecles et demi d'histoire et d'aventure en Asie Editions Perrin, 2008, ISBN 978-2-262-02571-7