Abbé (from Latin abbas, in turn from Greek ἀββᾶς, abbas, from Aramaic abba, title of honour, literally "the father, my father," emphatic state of abh, "father") is the French word for abbot. It is the title for lower-ranking Catholic clergymen in France.
A concordat passed between Pope Leo X and Francis I of France (between 1515 and 1521), gave the kings of France the right to nominate 255 commendatory abbots (abbés commendataires) for almost all French abbeys, who received income from a monastery without needing to render a service.
Since the mid-16th century, the title abbé has been used for all young clergymen with or without consecration. Their clothes consisted of a black or dark violet robes with a small collar; they were tonsured.
- A'Becket, John J (1913). "Abbé". In Herbermann, Charles. Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.