Louis Laneau

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Most Reverend

Louis Laneau
Vicar Apostolic of Siam
Audience with Narai, 1685-10-18 (b).jpg
Louis Laneau (on the right, forefront) was closely involved in the contacts with king Narai. Here, Chevalier de Chaumont presents a letter from Louis XIV to King Narai.
ChurchCatholic Church
DioceseVicar Apostolic of Siam
SuccessorLouis Champion de Cicé
Consecration25 March 1674
by Pierre Lambert de la Motte
Personal details
Born31 May 1637
Mondoubleau, France
DiedMarch 16, 1696(1696-03-16) (aged 58)

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.


Laneau was born in Mondoubleau, France and was ordained a priest in La Société des Missions Etrangères.[1] On 4 July 1669, Laneau was appointed Vicar Apostolic of Siam and Titular Bishop of Metellopolis [1] On 25 March 1674, he was consecrated bishop by Pierre Lambert de la Motte, Vicar Apostolic of Cochin with Bishop François Pallu, Vicar Apostolic of Fo-Kien, serving as co-consecrator.[1] As Vicar Apostolic of Siam, he was head of the French Roman Catholic mission in Indochina with its 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 imprisoned by the resentful Siamese.[7]

Laneau was only freed from the Siamese jails in April 1691. He would die in Ayutthaya on 16 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. ^ a b c Catholic Hierarchy: "Bishop Louis Laneau, M.E.P." retrieved November 9, 2015
  2. ^ Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs Archived 2009-06-21 at the Wayback Machine
  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