The former Catholic diocese of Maillezais in north-west France was erected in 1317, by Pope John XXII. Maillezais is now found in the department of Vendée.
In 1631 Pope Urban VIII, with a view to a more active struggle against Protestantism, transferred the residence of the Bishop of Maillezais to Fontenay-le-Comte; in 1648 the see itself was suppressed by Pope Innocent X. Its territory was annexed to the Aunis district and the Isle of Ré, both of which had been detached from the Diocese of Saintes in order to form the diocese of La Rochelle; this condition lasted until 1821.
The abbey of Maillezais
The Benedictine monastery of Maillezais was founded in about 989 by Gauzbert, Abbot of St-Julien de Tours, at the request of William IV, Duke of Aquitaine, and his wife Emma.
Abbot Pierre (about 1100), who followed Richard Cœur de Lion to the Third Crusade, composed two books on the construction and transfer of the Abbey of Maillezais.
Rabelais was a Franciscan at Fontenay-le-Comte and a monk in the monastery of Maillezais and was honoured with the friendship of Geoffroy d'Estissac (1518–43), Bishop of Maillezais.
Among its bishops were Guillaume de Lucé (1421–38) and Thibaud de Lucé (1438-55), political counsellors of Charles VII, King of France.
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company.