Roman Catholic Diocese of Nice

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Diocese of Nice
Dioecesis Nicensis
Diocèse de Nice
NIKAIA-steReparate Pano.jpg
Country France
Ecclesiastical province Marseille
Metropolitan Archdiocese of Marseille
Area 4,283 km2 (1,654 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2013)
778,000 (64.3%)
Denomination Roman Catholic
Sui iuris church Latin Church
Rite Roman Rite
Established 3rd Century
Cathedral Cathedral Basilica of St Mary and St Reparata in Nice
Patron saint Saint Reparata
Current leadership
Pope Francis
Bishop André Marceau
Metropolitan Archbishop Georges Pontier
Apostolic Administrator Guy Marie Alexandre Thomazeau
Emeritus Bishops Louis Sankalé Bishop Emeritus (2005-2013)
Jean Marie Louis Bonfils Bishop Emeritus (1998-2005)
Website of the Diocese

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Nice is a diocese of the Latin Church of the Roman Catholic Church in France. The diocese comprises the Départment of Alpes-Maritimes. The diocese is a suffragan of the archdiocese of Marseille.

Bishop Louis Albert Joseph Roger Sankalé, appointed on March 28, 2005, tendered his resignation on August 8, 2013. On Thursday, March 6, 2014, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Sankalé, and appointed Bishop André Marceau, who until then had been serving as bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Perpignan-Elne, France, as Bishop of Nice. He will be formally installed as Bishop at a later date.[1]


By tradition, Nice was evangelized by St. Barnabas, sent by St. Paul, or else by St. Mary Magdalen, St. Martha, and St. Lazarus. St. Bassus, a martyr under Emperor Decius, is believed to have been the first Bishop of Nice. The See of Nice in Roman Gallia Narbonensis existed in 314, since the bishop sent delegates to the Council of Arles in that year. The first bishop historically known is Amantius, who attended the Council of Aquileia in 381.

Cimiez, near Nice, had also an episcopal see around 260, held in the middle of the fifth century by St. Valerianus; a papal rescript of St. Leo the Great, issued after 450 and confirmed by pope Saint Hilarus in 465, united the sees of Nice and Cimiez. This newly formed see remained a suffragan of Embrun up to the French Revolution.

St. Anselm, a former monk of Lérins, is mentioned as Bishop of Nice (1100–07).

Bishops of Nice bore the title of Counts of Drap, making them prince-bishops, since the donation of property situated at Drap, made in 1073 by Pierre, Bishop of Vaison, a native of Nice, to Raymond I, its bishop, and to his successors.

Charlemagne, when visiting Cimiez (devastated by the Lombards in 574), caused St. Syagrius to build on its ruins the monastery of St. Pontius, the largest Alpine abbey of the Middle Ages.

The diocese was re-established by the Concordat of 1801 as suffragan of Aix. While the Countship of Nice from 1818 to 1860 was part of the Sardinian States, the see became a suffragan of Genoa. When Nice was annexed to France in 1860, certain parts which remained Italian were cut off from it and added to the Diocese of Vintimille. In 1862 the diocese was again a suffragan of Aix. The arrondissement of Grasse was separated from the Diocese of Fréjus in 1886, and given to Nice which since unites the three former diocese of Nice, diocese of Grasse and diocese of Vence.


  • Jean-Baptiste Colonna d'Istria † (11 Jul 1802 Ordained - 29 Jul 1833 Retired)
  • Dominique Galvano † (24 Nov 1833 Ordained - 17 Aug 1855 Died)
  • Jean-Pierre Sola † (3 Jan 1858 Ordained - Oct 1877 Retired)
  • Matthieu-Victor-Félicien Balaïn, O.M.I. † (10 Mar 1878 Ordained - 3 Sep 1896 Installed, Archbishop of Auch)
  • Henri-Louis Chapon † (29 Sep 1896 Ordained - 14 Dec 1925 Died)
  • Louis-Marie Ricard † (22 Jun 1926 Installed - 21 Oct 1929 Died)
  • Paul-Jules-Narcisse Rémond † (8 Jul 1930 Installed - 24 Apr 1963 Died)
  • Jean-Julien-Robert Mouisset † (24 Apr 1963 Succeeded - 30 Apr 1984 Retired)
  • François de Sales Marie Adrien Saint-Macary † (30 Apr 1984 Succeeded - 14 Nov 1997 Appointed, Coadjutor Archbishop of Rennes (, Dol, e Saint-Malo))
  • Jean Marie Louis Bonfils, S.M.A. (28 Aug 1998 Appointed - 28 Mar 2005 Retired)
  • Louis Albert Joseph Roger Sankalé (28 Mar 2005 Succeeded - 6 Mar 2013 Resigned)

Sources and references[edit]

See also[edit]

Coordinates: 43°42′53″N 7°15′26″E / 43.71472°N 7.25722°E / 43.71472; 7.25722