Roman Catholic Diocese of Dax

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The Diocese of Dax or Acqs was a Roman Catholic ecclesiastical territory in Gascony in south-west France. According to tradition it was established in the 5th century.[1] It was suppressed after the French Revolution, by the Concordat of 1801 between First Consul Napoleon Bonaparte and Pope Pius VII. Its territory now belongs to the Diocese of Aire and Diocese of Bayonne.


It is not certain that the patron of the diocese, the martyr St. Vincent, was a bishop. His cult, at least, existed in the time of Charlemagne, as is proved by a note (in a later hand) of the Wolfenbüttel manuscript of the Hieronymian Martyrology.[2] The oldest account of his martyrdom is in a breviary of Dax, dating from the second half of the thirteenth century, but the author knows nothing of the martyr's time period or the reasons for his death.[3]

Excavations near Dax proved the existence of a Merovingian cemetery on the site of a church which, it is claimed, was dedicated to St. Vincent by Bishop Gratianus.[4] Gratianus, present at the Council of Agde (506), is the first historically known bishop. Among the other bishops of the see were St. Revellatus (early sixth century), St. Macarius (c. 1060), Cardinal Pierre Itier[5] (1361), Cardinal Pierre de Foix (1455), founder of the University of Avignon and the Collège de Foix at Toulouse.

The synodal constitutions of the ancient Diocese of Dax, published by Abbé Antoine Degert, are of great historical interest for the study of the ancient constitutions and customs of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Degert in the course of this publication succeeded in rectifying certain errors in the episcopal lists of the Gallia christiana and of Father Eubel in Hierarchia catholica.

During the Great Schism, Dax, which was part of Aquitaine, belonged to the Kings of England (in 1378 Richard II). King Richard chose to support the popes of the Roman Obedience rather than the popes of the Avignon Obedience, who were French and likely to support the King of France in what is now called the Hundred Years' War.[6] All of the cardinals of the Avignon obedience were deprived of their offices and benefices in the Kingdom of Richard II of England, by act of Parliament and decree of the King [7] Dax was required to adhere to the Obedience of Rome.

About 1588 St. Vincent de Paul made his first studies with the Cordeliers of Dax, but good secondary education at Dax dates only from the establishment of the Barnabites in 1640. His learning, however, was sufficient to allow him to study at the University of Toulouse.

On 3 June 1857, the title "Bishop of Dax" was added to the titulature of the Bishop of Aire.[8]

Bishops of Dax[edit]

Early bishops[edit]

  • Vincentius[9]
  • Gratianus
  • Carterius (541)[10]
  • Liberius (549)[11]
  • Faustianus[12]
  • Nicetius
  • Illidius
  • Revelatus[13]

Sede Vacante (lasting nearly four centuries, due to Arab invasions and Northmen, until ca. 850)[14]

  • Oltherius (second half of ninth century)[15]

Bishops of Gascony[edit]

Bishops of Dax, 1000–1200[edit]

  • Macarius[19] (ca. 1061)
  • Gregory de Montaner, O.S.B.[20] ( –1068)
  • Bernard de Mugron, O.S.B.[21] (by 1068 – 25 July 1097)
  • Raymond de Sentes[22] (before 1100 – 28 March 1117)
  • Guillaume de Heugas[23] (1117–1143)
  • Arnaud-Guillaume de Sort[24] (ca. 1143 – after 20 November 1167)
  • Guillaume Bertrand[25] (ca. 1168–1203)


  •  ? Jean de Caunar[26] (1203)
  • Fortanerius de Mauléon (1204 – February 1215)
  • Guilelmus de Salies (1217 – October 1233)
  • Arnaud Raymond de Tartas[27] (1234–?)
  • Navarre de Miossenx, O.Cist.[28] (1239 – 3 November 1272)

Sede Vacante (1272–1278)[29]

  • Arnaud de Ville[30] (5 April 1278 – 11 March 1305)
  • Garsias Arnaud de Capenne[31] (1305, before 12 September – 8 January 1327)
  • Bernard de Liposse[32] (19 January 1327 – February 1359)[33]
  • Pierre la Colre (15 March–15 April, 1359)[34]
  • Pierre Itier (10 May 1359 – 1362)[35] (resigned on becoming Cardinal)
  • Bernard d'Albret [de Lebreto], O.Min. (Bishop-elect)[36] (1 June–?, 1362)
  • Jean de Saya[37] (18 January 1363 – 8 June 1375) (transferred to Agen)[38]
  • Jean de Hanecourt [or Haricuria] (bishop-elect, died before consecration) (9 June–August, 1375)[39]
  • Jean Bauffès[40] (27 August 1375 – 4 December 1391) (transferred to Vich)[41]
  • Joannes Guterii (Obedience of Rome)[42] (March 1380 – late in 1393)
  • Pierre Troselli, O.P. (Obedience of Avignon)[43] (4 December 1391 – 9 March 1405? or 1412?)
  • Pierre du Bosc (Obedience of Rome)[44] (5 December 1393 – 19 June 1400)


  • Petrus Ameil de Brénac, O.E.S.A., Patriarch of Alexandria (Obedience of Rome), Administrator of Dax[45] (19 June 1400 – 4 May 1401)
  • Garsias-Arnaud de Navailhes (Obedience of Rome)[46] (4 May 1401 – 1407)
  • Pélegrin du Fau (1407 – 22 July 1408)[47]
  • Petrus de Anglada, O.P. (Obedience of Rome) (23 August 1409 – 1423)
  • Nicolaus Duriche, O.P. (Obedience of Avignon) (27 May 1412 – 1423)[48]
  • Francesco Piccolpasso (29 March 1423 – 26 February 1427)[49] (transferred to Pavia)[50]
  • Bernard de la Planche (26 February 1427 – 1439) (deposed, as a supporter of Antipope Felix V)[51]
  • Garsias Arnaldi de Sega (de l'Exègne)[52] (25 September 1439 – 9 December 1444)[53]
  • Beltrandus (1445? – 5 July 1451)[54] (transferred to the diocese of Oloron)
  • Pierre de Foix, O.Min. (5 July 1451 – 30 May 1459)
  • Jean de Foix (1459 – 9 May 1466) (transferred to Comminges)[55]
  • Bertrand de Borie (12 May 1466 – 1499)[56]
  • Arnaldus (Garsias Arnaud) de Borie (8 April 1499 – 1501)
  • Petrus de Caupena (6 February 1502 – 1514)
  • Jean de la Martonie (1514–1519)
  • Gaston de la Martonie (1 April 1519 – October 1555)[57]
  • François de Noailles[58] (28 September 1556 – 1562) (resigned[59])
  • Gilles (Aegidius) de Noailles (1562–1600)[60] resigned


  • Jean-Jacques du Sault (25 May 1598 – 25 May 1623)[61]
  • Philibert du Sault (25 May 1623 – 11 November 1638)
  • Jacques Desclaux (11 April 1639 – 4 April 1658)
  • Guillaume Le Boux, Orat. (26 May 1659 – 15 December 1666) (transferred to Périgueux)[62]
  • Hugues de Bar (7 March 1667 – 1671) (transferred to Lectoure)[63]
  • Paul-Philippe de Chaumont Quitry (14 December 1671 – 1684)[64]
    • Leo de La Lanne[65]
    • Jean Marie de Prugues[66]
  • Bernard d’Abbadie d’Arbocave (5 May 1692 – 14 December 1732)[67]
  • François d’Andigné (2 September 1733 – 28 May 1736)
  • Louis-Marie de Suarès d’Aulan (6 May 1737 – 23 January 1772)
  • Charles-Auguste Le Quien de La Neufville (27 January 1772 – 24 October 1801)[68]
    • Jean-Jacques Saurine (Constitutional Bishop of Landes and Basses-Pyrénées) (1791–1802)[69]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ David M. Cheney, Diocese of Acqs (Dax). Retrieved: 2016-08-01. [self-published source]
  2. ^ He is called a bishop, but his See is not named.
  3. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Pierre-Louis-Théophile-Georges Goyau (1913). "Diocese of Dax" . In Herbermann, Charles (ed.). Catholic Encyclopedia. 16. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Goyau takes his information directly from Louis Duchesne (1910). Fastes épiscopaux de l'ancienne Gaule: II. L'Aquitaine et les Lyonnaises. Paris: Fontemoing. pp. 140–142. second edition (in French). Duchesne concludes that the martyr Vincent might have belonged to the time of the Roman persecutions, or to the fourth, or to the fifth century.
  4. ^ The Merovingians were pagans, however, until after the conversion of Clovis, and they did not arrive in the area of Gascony until 531.
  5. ^ Pierre Itier had previously been Bishop of Sarlat: Jean, Tarde (1887). de Garard, Gaston (comte) (ed.). Les chroniques de Jean Tarde [1561-1636]: chanoine théologal et vicaire général de Sarlat (in French). Paris: Oudin. p. 356., citing a document in the Archives de la Dordogne which states, Dominus P(etrus) divina misericordia nunc Albanensis episcopus S.R.E. Cardinalis, tunc episcopus Sarlatensis...
  6. ^ Richard G. Davies, "Richard II and the Church," in: Anthony Goodman and James L. Gillespie, ed. (2003). Richard II: The Art of Kingship. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-926220-5., pp. 94-96. R. N. Swanson (2002). "Chapter 2. A Matter of Loyalty". Universities, Academics and the Great Schism. Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press. pp. 21–44. ISBN 978-0-521-52226-7.
  7. ^ Thomas Rymer, Foedera, Conventiones, Literae et cujuscunque generis Acta Publica inter Reges Angliae et alios quosvis... (Londini: A. & J. Churchill, 1708) VII, 222, 231-232, 271-273, and 294.
  8. ^ David M. Cheney, Catholic-Hierarchy: Diocese of Aire et Dax, retrieved: 2016-08-03.[self-published source]
  9. ^ Louis Duchesne (1910). Fastes épiscopaux de l'ancienne Gaule: II. L'Aquitaine et les Lyonnaises. Paris: Fontemoing. pp. 140–142.
  10. ^ Degert, pp. 35-37. Carterius was present at the IV Council of Orléans in 541.
  11. ^ Degert, pp. 37-39. Liberius was present at the V Council of Orléans.
  12. ^ Duchesne, p. 97, no. 4. Faustianus is mentioned only by Gregory of Tours (died 594), Historia Francorum, VII. 31, VIII. 2, and VIII. 20.
  13. ^ Degert, p. 42. Revelatus is known only from the Breviary of Dax. A breviary is a prayer book, containing special prayers for Masses for local saints. It contains inspiring stories of these saints, proving they are worthy of the cult, and inspiring imitation of their virtues. It is a devotional book. It is hagiography. It is not history.
  14. ^ Degert, pp. 43-47.
  15. ^ Degert, pp. 47-48, based on what he admits is dubious evidence. Duchesne, p. 97, no. 6, states that Oltherius is mentioned in a charter of the Abbey of Sainte-Marie de Cagnote of the year 895, which he knows from Gallia christiana, based on some papers of [Dom Claude] d'Etiennot [de la Serre]. In other words, Duchesne has never seen any evidence. Cf. J. Depoin, "Un historien du Vexin: Dom Claude Estiennot", Mémoires de la Socété historique Pontoise, 28 (1907), pp. 183-190.
  16. ^ Degert, pp. 48-54.
  17. ^ Degert, pp. 54-57. Some evidence, at least, concerning him is forged.
  18. ^ Degert, pp. 65-68. Raymond 'the Younger' was the nephew of Raymond 'the Elder', his predecessor.
  19. ^ Degert, pp. 66–69. Macarius was Bishop of Dax for less than three years, one of which was 1061).
  20. ^ Degert, pp. 69–73. Gregory had been raised at Cluny, by Saint Hugh. He was appointed Abbot of Saint-Severus in the diocese of Aire, thanks to the patronage of Sancho Guillaume, Duke of Gascony; then he became Abbot of Soule. He died on 11 January 1072).
  21. ^ Degert, pp. 74–80. He had been a monk of Saint-Severus in the diocese of Aire (Adurensis): Gallia christiana I, pp. 1173–1175.
  22. ^ Degert, pp. 81–90. The successor was not Archdeacon Raymond-Arnaud, as in Gallia christiana I, p. 1044; Arnaud-Raymond died of violence before the death of Bernard de Mugron.
  23. ^ Degert, pp. 91–98.
  24. ^ Degert, pp. 98–104.
  25. ^ Degert, pp. 104–109. Guillaume Bertrand was the third son of the Vicomte de Bayonne.
  26. ^ Degert, pp. 109–111.
  27. ^ Degert, pp. 128–130.
  28. ^ Degert, pp. 130–138.
  29. ^ There was a prolonged struggle in the Chapter of the Cathedral of Dax, of which there were nine members, between the supporters of Arnaud de Ville (5 votes) and Pierre de Camone, O.Min. (3 votes). One voted for Raymond de Barde of Auch. De Ville had a majority, but not a canonical majority or a consensus. The matter was appealed to Rome, where Gregory X assigned the matter to Cardinal Giacomo Savelli for investigation. Pierre de Camone came to die, and his followers then turned to Garsias Arnaud de Capenne. Arnaud de Ville was cited to appear personally before John XXII, but the Pope died before he could make the journey. Nicholas III appointed three cardinals to examine Arnaud, and, upon their favorable report, he was appointed Bishop. Digert, pp. 139–140.
  30. ^ Degert, pp. 138–148.
  31. ^ Degert, pp. 148–160. Bishop Garsias was elected by the Chapter of the Cathedral, and confirmed by Pope Clement V.
  32. ^ Degert, pp. 161–170.
  33. ^ Gallia christiana I, p. 1051, and Gams, p. 543, attempt to insert a Bishop Matthew and a Bishop Bertrand after Bishop de Liposse. 'Bishop' Matthew was only Abbot of Charoux, and his 'Constitutions' are mythical: Degert, p. 171. Bishop Bertrand is really Bishop Bernard de Liposse.
  34. ^ Eubel, I, p. 97. Degert, pp. 171–172. Pierre la Colre had been Vicar General of the Diocese of Bordeaux, as well as Canon and Sacristan of the Cathedral of Dax. He was buried in the church of Lunello in the diocese of Nîmes, which is probably the place of his death.
  35. ^ Degert, pp. 173–174. Pierre Itier had previously been Bishop of Sarlat. He was created Cardinal Priest on 17 September 1361, and assigned the titulus of Santi Quattro Coronati in Rome.
  36. ^ Degert, pp. 174–176. Bishop Bernard d'Albret was the fourth son of Bernard Ezi II d'Albret and Mathe d'Armagnac. He died in the same year, 1362, and was never consecrated.
  37. ^ Degert, pp. 176–183.
  38. ^ Eubel, I, p. 77. Jean de Saya had already been Bishop of Lombès (1362–1363) before his transfer to Dax.
  39. ^ Degert, pp. 183–184. Eubel, I, p. 97.
  40. ^ Degert, pp. 184–188.
  41. ^ Eubel, I, p. 526. Jean Bauffès remained loyal to the popes of Avignon, Gregory XI and Clement VII.
  42. ^ Degert, pp. 188–199.
  43. ^ Degert, pp. 199–202. Doctor of Theology. Troselli was suspended on 9 March 1405 by Benedict XIII (Pedro de Luna) of the Avignon Obedience, and Nicolas Duriche, O.P., was appointed Vicar-General.
  44. ^ Appointed by Boniface IX (1389–1404). Eubel, I, p. 97. Degert, pp. 202–206.
  45. ^ Degert, pp. 206–207.
  46. ^ Degert, pp. 207–210. He resided in the diocese, and held a synod on 18 September 1401.
  47. ^ Degert, pp. 210–212. Du Fau, from Orthez in the diocese of Dax, Canon of Saint-André de Bordeaux, was appointed by Gregory XII (Obedience of Rome).
  48. ^ Degert, pp. 216–219.
  49. ^ Eubel, I, p. 97. Degert, pp. 219–222.
  50. ^ Piccolopasso was appointed to the diocese of Pavia on 26 February 1427 by Pope Martin V: Eubel, I, p. 390.
  51. ^ Eubel, II, p. 91, note 1. Degert, pp. 222–227.
  52. ^ He had been Provost of the Collegiate Church of S. Severinus near Bordeaux.
  53. ^ Garsias Arnaldi was transferred to the diocese of Bayonne on 9 December 1444: Eubel, II, p. 101.
  54. ^ Eubel, II, p. 206. He died in the same year.
  55. ^ Eubel, II, p. 135.
  56. ^ Bishop de Borie assisted at the coronation of Jean III d'Albret and Queen Catherine as rulers of Navarre at Pamplona on 10 January 1094. He resigned in favor of his nephew in 1499.
  57. ^ Dufourcet, p. 225.
  58. ^ Philippe Tamizey de Larroque (1865). Lettres inédites de François de Noailles, évêque de Dax (in French). Paris: Auguste Aubry. Jean-Baptiste Gabarra (1888). Un Evêque de Dax, François de Noailles (in French). Dax: H. Labèque.
  59. ^ On 13 April 1563 Noailles was cited to appear before the Roman Inquisition on charges of heresy and favoring Calvinism. He was a close friend of Cardinal Odet de Châtillon, who had become a Calvinist in 1561. Antoine Degert (1904). "Évêques gascons devant l' Inquistion Romaine". Revue de Gascogne. n.s. 4 (45): 410–437, at pp. 423–426ff. François had resigned in anticipation of being named Bishop of Beauvais, in succession to Cardinal Odet; François would be replaced by his brother Gilles as Bishop of Dax. King Charles IX and Catherine de Medicis were agreed, desirous of using Cardinal Odet as a bridge to the Huguenots. (Degert, p. 431) But Pope Pius IV was disagreeable, and Cardinal Odet was excommunicated and deprived in September 1562.
  60. ^ Ambassador of Henri IV in England.
  61. ^ Gauchat, Hierarchia catholica IV, p. 89. Gallia christiana I (1715), p. 1058. Du Sault had been Dean of the church of S. Severinus near Bordeaux, his home town. He was appointed Bishop of Dax by King Henri IV, and approved by Pope Clement VIII on 25 May 1598. He was granted the pallium on 2 August 1599. In his senility he was given a Coadjutor, Philibert du Sault.
  62. ^ Le Boux was nominated to the See of Perigord by King Louis XIV on 1 May 1666, and his bulls of confirmation and consecration were issued by Pope Alexander VII on 15 December 1666: Gauchat, Hierarchia catholica IV, p. 277, with note 6. He died in August 1693.
  63. ^ Ritzler, Hierarchia catholica V, p. 240. The transfer was approved by Pope Clement X on 2 May 1672.
  64. ^ Chaumont was nominated by Louis XIV on 17 May 1671, and was approved by Clement X on 14 December 1671.
  65. ^ La Lanne, whose brother was President of the Parliament of Bordeaux, was nominated in 1684 by King Louis XIV, but never confirmed by Pope Innocent XI. Ritzler, V, p. 93, note 2. Dufourcet, p. 227, claims that he made his entry into Dax on 13 December 1685. But without his bulls of confirmation he could not be consecrated or installed. He was nominated by King Louis XIV to be Bishop of Bayonne on 1 November 1688, but not confirmed by Pope Innocent XII until 10 March 1692. He died on 6 August 1700. Ritzler, V, p. 112, note 4.
  66. ^ De Prugues was nominated in 1688, and died in Paris in 1690, never having been confirmed by Pope Innocent XI or Pope Innocent XII. Ritzler, V, p. 93, note 2. Dufourcet, p. 227, claims that he made his entry into Dax on 13 May 1689.
  67. ^ Bernard d'Abbadie was nominated Bishop of Dax by Louis XIV on 15/16 August 1690, when he was parish priest of the church of Mazeclac in the diocese of Lectoure, He was consecrated on 26 October 1692: Gallia christiana I, p. 1062. He died at the age of 86 on 14 December 1732.
  68. ^ Le Quien was nominated by King Louis XV on 24 November 1771. He died on 28 October 1805.
  69. ^ Dufourcet, pp. 229–230 (with errors). Saurine was consecrated in Paris on 27 February 1791, by Bishop Gobel (one of Bishop Talleyrand's consecrands). Pisani, pp. 430–441; 445. He made his submission to Pope Pius VII, and on 29 April 1802 was granted the Archbishopric of Strasbourg. See: Gams, p. 316.

Books and articles[edit]

Reference books[edit]



Coordinates: 43°43′N 1°03′W / 43.71°N 1.05°W / 43.71; -1.05