Augustus Marie Martin

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Right Rev. Augustus Marie Martin
Bishop of Natchitoches
Bishop Augustus Martin.jpg
Church Roman Catholic Church
See Natchitoches
In office November 30, 1853—September 29, 1875
Predecessor none
Successor Francis Xavier Leray
Ordination September, 1825
Consecration November 30, 1853
Personal details
Born (1803-02-01)February 1, 1803
Saint-Malo, Brittany, France
Died September 29, 1875(1875-09-29) (aged 72)
Natchitoches, Louisiana, United States

Augustus Marie Martin (February 1, 1803—September 29, 1875) was a French-born prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He was the first Bishop of Natchitoches, Louisiana (1853–1875).


Martin was born in Saint-Malo, Brittany, and studied under Jean-Marie de Lamennais.[1] As a seminarian, he was employed at the Grand Almonry of France in Paris under Cardinal Gustave Maximilien Juste de Croÿ-Solre.[1] He was ordained to the priesthood in September, 1825.[2] He served as pastor in Bleurais and Vern before being assigned as chaplain of the Royal College of Rennes where he served until 1839, when he accepted an invitation from Bishop Célestine Guynemer de la Hailandière to join the Diocese of Vincennes in Indiana.[3]

After arriving in the United States, Martin served as pastor of St. Vincent's Church in Logansport and the Vincennes Cathedral (1839–1843) and as vicar general of the diocese (1843–1846), in addition to engaging in the missions of Indiana.[3] During this time he became a confidant of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin, who founded the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods in the diocese in 1840. The two corresponded often, exchanging letters back and forth.[4]

His health failing, he was then transferred to Louisiana, where he appointed to St. Martin's Church at Attakapas. In 1847 he became pastor of St. Joseph's in Baton Rouge, St. John's at the Plains, and St. Magdalen's in Manchac,[3] and was transferred to St. Francis of Assisi Church in Natchitoches in 1849.[3] He was made vicar forane of north Louisiana under Archbishop Blanc in 1850.

On July 29, 1853, Martin was appointed the first Bishop of the newly erected Diocese of Natchitoches by Pope Pius IX.[2] He received his episcopal consecration on the following November 30 from Archbishop Antoine Blanc, with Bishops Michael Portier and James Oliver Van de Velde, S.J., serving as co-consecrators, at the St. Louis Cathedral.[2] During his 22-year-long tenure, he recruited priests and religious from Europe for the diocese, established a seminary to train native clergy, founded numerous missions, and erected a cathedral.[5] He guided the diocese during the Civil War (1861–1865), and attended the Second Plenary Council of Baltimore (1866) and First Vatican Council (1869–1870).

Martin later died in Natchitoches, aged 72.


  1. ^ a b "Natchitoches". Catholic Encyclopedia. 
  2. ^ a b c "Bishop Augustus Marie Martin". 
  3. ^ a b c d Clarke, Richard Henry. "Right Rev. Augustus Mary Martin, D.D.". Lives of the Deceased Bishops of the Catholic Church in the United States. 
  4. ^ Guerin, Mother Theodore (1937). Journals and Letters of Mother Theodore Guerin. Providence Press. 
  5. ^ "History". Roman Catholic Diocese of Alexandria in Louisiana. Archived from the original on 2010-08-08. 

Episcopal succession[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Bishop of Natchitoches
Succeeded by
Francis Xavier Leray