Roman Catholic Diocese of Aire and Dax

Coordinates: 43°41′55″N 1°02′35″W / 43.69861°N 1.04306°W / 43.69861; -1.04306
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Diocese of Aire et Dax

Dioecesis Aturensis et Aquae Augustae

Diocèse d'Aire et Dax
Ecclesiastical provinceBordeaux
MetropolitanArchdiocese of Bordeaux
Area9,364 km2 (3,615 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2012)
264,000 (70%)
DenominationCatholic Church
Sui iuris churchLatin Church
RiteRoman Rite
EstablishedName Changed: 3 June 1857
CathedralCathedral of St-Jean-Baptiste, Aire
Co-cathedralCathedral of Nôtre Dame in Dax
Patron saintNotre-Dame de Buglose
Current leadership
BishopNicolas Jean-Marie Souchu
Metropolitan ArchbishopJean-Paul James
Bishops emeritusHerve Gaschignard (2012-2017)
Website of the Diocese
Cathedral of Nôtre Dame, Dax

The Diocese of Aire and Dax (Latin: Dioecesis Adurensis et Aquae Augustae; French: Diocèse d'Aire et Dax) is a Latin Church ecclesiastical territory or diocese of the Catholic Church in France. It comprises the département of Landes, in the région of Gascony in Aquitaine.

It was a suffragan diocese of the Archdiocese of Auch under the Ancien Régime, but was not re-established until 1822, when it was again made a suffragan of the re-established Archdiocese of Auch, and was assigned the territory of the former Diocese of Aire and Diocese of Acqs (Dax).[1] It is now a suffragan in the ecclesiastical province of the metropolitan Archdiocese of Bordeaux.

It has been known since 1857 as the Diocese of Aire and Dax.[2] It is a co-cathedral diocese, with cathedras in the Cathedral St-Jean-Baptiste d' Aire[3] and in Nôtre Dame de Dax.

On April 6, 2017, the resignation letter of recent Bishop Herve Gaschignard was officially accepted by Pope Francis following allegations that Gaschignard engaged in inappropriate behavior with young people.[4][5]


The first reference to a bishop of Aire, on the river Adour, in history is to Marcellus, represented at the Council of Agde, 506.[1] Aire was also the home of St. Philibert; it numbered among its bishops during the second half of the sixteenth century François de Foix, Count of Candale, an illustrious mathematician, who translated Euclid and founded a chair of mathematics at the University of Bordeaux,[1] though he never visited his diocese.

In 1572, on the death of Bishop Christophe de Candale, the Capitular Vicar of Aire submitted a status report (pouillé) to King Charles IX, providing a picture of the diocese at that time. There were two Archdeacons, that of Marsan and that of Chalosse. In addition to the two archdeacons, the Cathedral Chapter was composed of ten Canons and seven Prebendaries, two semi-Prebendaries, the Master of the Children of the Choir, and the Basse-Contre. The Statutes of the Chapter were confirmed by Bishop Tristan d'Aure in 1459 or 1460.[6]

Religious establishments included:

  • the Abbaye du Mas d'Aire[7] (O.S.B.: four religious, a Prior, a Sacristan, a Chamberlain and an Almoner; eleven other positions vacant)
  • the Abbaye de St-Jean de la Castelle (Premonstratensians: six religious priests, a child servant, and a soldier, though there were places for 18-20 religious and four novices)
  • the Abbaye of Saint-Loubouer (Collegiate church: Abbot, eight Canons, Cantor)
  • the Collegiate Church of Pimbo (Abbot, seven Canons and a Cantor)
  • the Abbaye of Pontaut (Cistercians: Abbot, seven religious and a soldier)
  • the Convent of Augustine Religious at Geune.[8]
  • the Priory of Mongaillard (O.S.B.)
  • the Commanderie of St-Antoine
  • the Abbaye of Saint-Sever[9] (O.S.B.) (Abbot commendatory: Archbishop of Turin, thirteen religious, a vicar, and a soldier)
  • the Jacobins, or Frères Prêcheurs de Ste-Ursule (six religious)
  • the Priory of Nervis
  • the Collegial Church of Saint-Girons (Abbot and eight Canons)
  • the Commanderie of the Holy Spirit.[10]
  • the Priory of Roquefort (O.S.B.)
  • the Commanderie de Bessaut
  • the Commanderie de St-Antoine de Gelonies
  • the Priory of Mont-de-Marsan (O.S.B.)
  • the Priory of Sen a Labrit.[11]


To 1000[edit]

  • 506, 533 : Marcellus[12]
  • 585 : Rusticus
  • 614 : Palladius
  • ca. 620–630 : Philibaud
  • ca. 633–675 : Ursus
  • ca. 788 : Asinarius
  • ca. 977 : Gombaud

1000 to 1300[edit]

  • ca. 1017 : Arsius-Racca
  • 1060 : Raymond le Vieux
  • 1060–1092 : Peter I.
  • 1092–1099 : Peter II.
  • 1100–1115 : Wilhelm
  • 1116–1147 : Bonhomme
  • 1148–ca. 1176 : Vital de Saint-Hermes
  • ca. 1176–1179 : Odon d’Arbéchan
  • ? : Bertrand de Marsan
  • ? : Guillaume Bernard
  • 1211 : Vital de Beufmort
  • 1211 : Jourdain
  • ? : Gauthier
  • 1224–1237 : Auger
  • 1237–1266 : Pierre III. et Raymond de Saint-Martin
  • 1266–1295 : Pierre IV. de Betous
  • 1295–1307 : Martin


1500 to 1800[edit]

  • 1512–1516 : Antoine du Monastey
  • 1516 – 22 December 1521 : Arnaud-Guillaume d’Aydie
  • 24 April 1523 – 1530 : Charles de Gramont
  • 9 March 1530 – 6 February 1538 : Gabriel de Saluces
  • 1538–1560 : Jacques de Saint-Julien
  • 1560–4 September 1570 : Christophe de Foix-Candale
  • 1576–5 February 1594 : François de Foix-Candale (never consecrated)[19]
  • Vacant[20]
  • 4 December 1606 – 1621 : Philippe Cospéan[21]
  • 1621 – 17 January 1625 : Sébastien Bouthilier
  • 1625–1649 : Gilles Boutault
  • 1650–1657 : Charles-François de Bourlemont
  • 1657 – 12 October 1672 - Bernard de Sariac
  • 12 January 1673 – 18 December 1684 : Jean-Louis de Fromentières
  • 1693 – 29 March 1698 : Armand Bazin de Bezons
  • 1698–1706 : Louis-Gaston Fleuriau d’Armenonville
  • 1706 – 30 June 1710 : François-Gaspard de la Mer de Matha
  • 1710–1723 : Joseph-Gaspard de Montmorin de Saint-Hérem
  • 1723–1734 : Gilbert de Montmorin de Saint-Hérem
  • 1735–1757 : François de Sarret de Gaujac
  • 1758–1783 : Playcard (or Playcourt) de Raigecourt[22]
  • 1783–1801 : Sébastien-Charles-Philibert de Cahuzac de Caux[23]

From 1800 — Bishops of Aire and Dax[edit]

Hervé Gaschignard, the most recent Bishop whose resignation was accepted by Pope Francis on April 6, 2017

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Goyau, Georges (1907). "Diocese of Aire" . In Herbermann, Charles (ed.). Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 1. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  2. ^ Catholic Hierarchy: see below[self-published source]
  3. ^ Cazauran, Pouillé, pp. 45-49.
  4. ^ [bare URL]
  5. ^ "French bishop fired over 'inappropriate' behavior with youth". Fox News. 6 April 2017.
  6. ^ Cazauran, Pouillé, pp. 17-18 and 47.
  7. ^ Jean Cabanot; Georges Fabre; Françoise Legrand (1985). Aire-sur-l'Adour: l'église et l'abbaye du Mas (in French). Mont-de Marsan: Amis des Églises Anciennes des Landes.
  8. ^ Cazauran, pp. 18-20.
  9. ^ Charles Higounet and Jean-Bernard Marquette, "Les origines de l'abbaye de Saint-Sever: Revision critique," Jean Cabanot, ed. (1986). Saint-Sever, millénaire de l'abbaye: colloque international, 25, 26 et 27 mai 1985 (in French). Mont-de-Marsan, France: Comité d'études sur l'histoire et l'art de la Gascogne. pp. 27–37. ISBN 9782950158406. Jean Cabanot; Georges Pon (2014). Une abbaye au coeur de la Gascogne: Saint-Sever (988-1791) (in French). Dax: Comité d'études sur l'histoire et l'art de la Gascogne, CEHAG. ISBN 978-2-9501584-9-9.
  10. ^ Cazauran, pp. 20-23.
  11. ^ Cazauran, pp. 24-29.
  12. ^ For the meager evidence on the first millennium, see: Louis Duchesne (1910). Fastes épiscopaux de l'ancienne Gaule: II. L'Aquitaine et les Lyonnaises. Paris: Fontemoing. p. 100.
  13. ^ Degert, pp. 92–103.
  14. ^ Degert, pp. 103–108.
  15. ^ Waldeby was later Archbishop of Dublin (1390–1395), Bishop of Chichester (1395–1396), and then Archbishop of York (1397–1398): Eubel, I, pp. 187, 229, 233)
  16. ^ On 13 January 1440, Roger de Castelbon was confirmed as Bishop of Tarbes. He died in 1461: Eubel, II, p. 246.
  17. ^ Eubel, II, p. 80, note 4. Louis d'Albret was only 21 when appointed, and too young to be consecrated a bishop. He was consecrated at the age of 26.
  18. ^ Eubel, II, p. 134.
  19. ^ Cazauran, Pouillé, p. 12. François was the elder brother of Christophe de Foix-Candale, his predecessor. He never visited the diocese, and left temporal affairs in the hands of his Vicars-General, Robert Philippe, François Barbier, and Mathieu de la Tousche. Degert, p. 203. The Chapter of the Cathedral claimed and exercised the spiritualities. The Bishop of Bayonne conducted the ordinations.
  20. ^ The Duc d'Epernon claimed the benefices of his wife's uncle, François de Foix Candale, on behalf of a future son. Henri IV acquiesced, and for a decade the See was vacant. Temporal business was conducted by Epernon's agents, and spiritual business by Vicars-General elected by the Chapter of the Cathedral. Degert, pp. 206–207.
  21. ^ Degert, pp. 206–218.
  22. ^ Raigecourt was in exile from his diocese during his episcopate (at least from 1764-1767), allegedly because of some offensive remarks made about the Royal Court and the Throne: Cazauran, p. 151. Degert, pp. 304–309. He was consecrated at Meaux, with the assistance of the Bishops of Troyes and Condom.
  23. ^ Degert, pp. 310–331. Cahuzac refused to take the oath required by the Civil Constitution of the Clergy. He emigrated to Spain. When Pope Pius VII called for the resignations of all of the bishops of France in 1801, thirty-eight refused, including Cahuzac, and were dismissed. Cahuzac retired to Paderborn, and then to England. He returned with the Bourbons in 1814, but still refused to submit his resignation, unless it was guaranteed that the Diocese of Aure would be restored. He died in Paris on 30 October 1817.
  24. ^ On 11 July 1839 Msgr. Lanneluc, Vicar-General of Toulouse, was named titular Bishop of Agathopolis, and Coadjutor Bishop of Aire, by Pope Gregory XVI. Recueil général des lois, décrets et arrêtés. IX série (in French). Vol. 9. Administration du Journal des Notaires et des Avocats. 1839. p. 212. He succeeded to the bishopric on 29 December 1839: P. Gams, Series episcoporum, p. 481.
  25. ^ His accident, death, and obituary: L'Ami de la religion et du roi: journal ecclésiastique, politique et littéraire (in French). Vol. n.s. Tome I. Paris: A. Le Clère. 1859. pp. 735–736. {{cite book}}: |volume= has extra text (help)


Reference works[edit]


External links[edit]

43°41′55″N 1°02′35″W / 43.69861°N 1.04306°W / 43.69861; -1.04306