Pierre Lambert de la Motte

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Most Reverend

Pierre Lambert de la Motte
Apostolic Vicar of Cochin
Mgr Lambert de la Motte.jpg
ChurchCatholic Church
DioceseApostolic Vicararite of Cochin
SuccessorGuillaume Mahot
Consecration11 June 1660
by Victor Le Bouthillier
Personal details
Born16 January 1624
Died15 January 1679(1679-01-15) (aged 54)

Pierre Lambert de la Motte, MEP (16 January 1624 – 15 January 1679) was a French bishop. He was a founding member of the Paris Foreign Missions Society and became a missionary in Asia.


Lambert de la Motte was born 16 January 1624 in La Boissière, Calvados. He was ordained a priest on 27 December 1655[1] and was recruited by Alexander de Rhodes, SJ, as a secular clergy volunteer to become a missionary in Asia, together with François Pallu and Ignace Cotolendi. These were sent to the Far East as Apostolic vicars.[2][3][4]

On 29 July 1658 Pope Alexander VII appointed him as the first Apostolic Vicar of Cochin and as titular bishop of Beirut.[1] On 11 June 1660 he was consecrated bishop by Victor Le Bouthillier, Archbishop of Tours.[1] The three bishops left France (1660–62) to go to their respective missions, and crossed Persia and India on foot, since Portugal would have refused to take non-Padroado missionaries by ship, and the Dutch and the English refused to take Catholic missionaries.[5]

Mgr Lambert left Marseilles on 26 November 1660 accompanied by Fathers De Bourges and Deydier,[6] and reached Mergui in Siam 18 months later. Mgr Pallu joined Mgr Lambert in the capital of Siam, Ayutthaya, after 24 months overland, but Mgr Cotolendi died upon arrival in India on 6 August 1662. Siam thus was the first country to receive the evangelization efforts of the Paris Foreign Missions Society, to be followed by new missions later in Cochinchina, Tonkin and parts of China.[5]

The 1665 "Instructions to Missionaries", based on the instructions of Pope Clement IX, written by François Pallu and Pierre Lambert de la Motte.

In 1664, Mgr Lambert together with Mgr Pallu presided a synod in Ayutthaya.[7] They founded in 1665-66 the general seminary in Ayutthaya, Siam[8] (the Seminary of Saint Joseph[9] then Seminary of the Holy Angels, at the origin of the College General now in Penang, Malaysia).

In 1669, Mgr Lambert went to Tonkin together with the secular priests Jacques de Bourges and Gabriel Bouchard to establish a church there, and created the congregation of the Lovers of the Holy Cross (Amantes de la Croix de Jésus-Christ) in 1670.[10]

Mgr Lambert chiefly worked in Siam; he went to Cochinchina in two occasions: from September 1671 to March 1672, and from September 1675 to March 1676.[7]

He died in 1679, in the capital Ayutthaya of Siam.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Cheney, David M., "Bishop Pierre Lambert de la Motte, M.E.P.", Catholic Hierarchy
  2. ^ Viet Nam By Nhung Tuyet Tran, Anthony Reid p.222
  3. ^ An Empire Divided by James Patrick Daughton, p.31
  4. ^ Asia in the Making of Europe, p.229-230
  5. ^ a b Missions étrangères de Paris. 350 ans au service du Christ 2008 Editeurs Malesherbes Publications, Paris ISBN 978-2-916828-10-7 p.4
  6. ^ Spitz, Maternus. "Siam." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 13. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. 8 Nov. 2014
  7. ^ a b Nhóm Nghiên cứu Linh đạo Mến Thánh giá, ed. (2020). "350 Năm Dòng Mến Thánh Giá: Cuộc đời Đức cha Pierre Lambert De La Motte". Catholic Bishops' Conference of Vietnam.
  8. ^ Nicholas Tarling. The Cambridge History of Southeast Asia , p.191
  9. ^ Asia in the making of Europe p.249
  10. ^ Asia in the Making of Europe, p.242-243