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Roman Catholic Diocese of Langres

Coordinates: 47°51′35″N 5°20′05″E / 47.8598°N 5.33469°E / 47.8598; 5.33469
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Diocese of Langres

Dioecesis Lingonensis

Diocèse de Langres
Country France
Ecclesiastical provinceReims
MetropolitanArchdiocese of Reims
Area6,250 km2 (2,410 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2004)
140,000 (72.3%)
Sui iuris churchLatin Church
RiteRoman Rite
Established3rd Century
CathedralCathedral of St. Mammes in Langres
Patron saintSt. Mammes of Caesarea
Current leadership
BishopJoseph de Metz-Noblat
Metropolitan ArchbishopÉric de Moulins-Beaufort

The Diocese of Langres (Latin: Dioecesis Lingonensis; French: Diocèse de Langres) is a Latin Church diocese of the Catholic Church comprising the département of Haute-Marne in France.

The diocese is now a suffragan in ecclesiastical province of the Archdiocese of Reims, having been a suffragan of Lyon until 2002. The current bishop is Joseph Marie Edouard de Metz-Noblat, who succeeded Bishop Philippe Jean Marie Joseph Gueneley on 21 January 2014. The diocese covers a territory of 6,250 km2 and its estimated catholic population is 140,000.


Louis Duchesne considers Senator, Justus and Didier de Langres [fr], who was martyred during the invasion of the Vandals (about 407), the first three bishops of Langres. The See, therefore, must have been founded about the middle of the fourth century.

In 1179, Hugh III, Duke of Burgundy gave the city of Langres to his uncle, Gautier of Burgundy, then bishop, making him a prince-bishop. Later, Langres was made a duchy, which gave the Duke-Bishop of Langres the right of secular precedence over his Metropolitan, the Archbishop of Lyon, at the consecration of the kings of France.

The chief patron saint of the diocese is the martyr Mammes of Caesarea (third century), to whom the cathedral, a monument of the late twelfth century, is dedicated. The diocese of Langres honors as saints some martyrs who, according to legend, died in the persecution of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius. They are the triplets Speusippus, Eleusippus, and Melapsippus; Neo, the author of their Acts; Leonilla, their grandmother; and Junilla, their mother. Other saints honored there include:

  • Valerius (Valier), a disciple of Desiderius, who was martyred by the Vandals in the fifth century
  • the hermit Godo (or Gou), nephew of Vandrillus in the seventh century
  • Gengulphus, martyr in the eighth century
  • Gerard Voinchet (1640–95), canon regular of the Congregation of St. Geneviève in Paris
  • Jeanne Mance (1606–73)
  • Mariet, a priest who died in 1704
  • Joseph Urban Hanipaux, a Jesuit.

The latter three were natives of the diocese and celebrated for their apostolic labors in Canada.

The diocese was also the birthplace of the theologian Nicolas de Clémenges (fourteenth or fifteenth century), who was canon and treasurer of the Church of Langres; of the Gallican canonist Edmond Richer (1560–1631); of the Jesuit Pierre Lemoine [fr], author of an epic poem on St. Louis and of the work La dévotion aisée (1602–71); and of the philosopher Diderot (1713–84). The historian Raoul Glaber, monk of Cluny Abbey who died in 1050, was at the priory of St. Léger in this diocese when he experienced an apparition.

The Benedictine Poulangy Abbey was founded in the eleventh century. Morimond Abbey, the fourth foundation of Cîteaux, was established in 1125 by Odolric, lord of Aigremont, and Simon, Count of Bassigny. The Augustinian priory of the Val des Ecoliers was founded in 1212 at Luzy, near Chaumont, by four doctors of the Paris University who were led into solitude by a love of retreat.

Otho, son of Leopold of Austria and Abbot of Morimond, became Bishop of Freising in Bavaria and returned in 1154 to die a simple monk in Morimond.

The "Scourging of the Alleluia," now no longer observed, was quite celebrated in this diocese in the Middle Ages. On the day when, according to tradition, the Alleluia was omitted from the liturgy, a top on which the word "Alleluia" was written was whipped out of the church, to the singing of psalms by the choirboys, who wished it bon voyage till Easter.

The "Pardon of Chaumont" is very celebrated. In 1475, Jean de Montmirail, a native of Chaumont and a particular friend of Pope Sixtus IV, obtained from him that each time the feast of St. John the Baptist fell on a Sunday, the faithful, who confessed their sins and visited the church of Chaumont, should enjoy the jubilee indulgence. Such was the origin of the great "Pardon" of Chaumont, celebrated sixty-one times between 1476 and 1905. At the end of the Middle Ages, this "Pardon" gave rise to certain festivities. Fifteen mysteries of the life of St. John the Baptist were represented on stages erected throughout the town on the Sunday preceding the "Pardon." The display drew multitudes to the festivities, which were finally called the "deviltries" of Chaumont.[by whom?] In the eighteenth century, the "Pardon" became a purely religious ceremony.

In the Diocese of Langres is Vassy, where, in 1562, riots took place between Catholics and Protestants that gave rise to the wars of religion (see Huguenots).

Numerous diocesan synods were held at Langres. The most important were those of 1404, 1421, 1621, 1628, 1679, 1725, 1733, 1741, 1783 and six successive annual synods held by Pierre Louis Parisis, from 1841 to 1846. These held a view to the re-establishment of the synodal organization, and also to impose on the clergy the use of the Roman Breviary (see Prosper Guéranger).

Principal pilgrimages are Our Lady of Montrol near Arc-en-Barrois (dating from the seventeenth century); Our Lady of the Hermits at Cuves; Our Lady of Victories at Bourmont; and St. Joseph, Protector of the Souls in Purgatory, at Maranville.

Suppressed by the Napoleonic Concordat of 1801, Langres was later united to the Diocese of Dijon. The bishop bore the title of Dijon and Langres, but the union was never quite complete. There was a pro-vicar-general for the Haute-Marne and two seminaries at Langres, the petit séminaire from 1809 and the grand séminaire from 1817. The See of Langres was re-established in 1817 by Pope Pius VII and King Louis XVIII. César Guillaume de La Luzerne, its pre-Revolution bishop, was to be re-appointed, but the parliament did not ratify this agreement and the bishops of Dijon remained administrators of the Diocese of Langres until 6 October 1822, when the Papal Bull "Paternae charitatis" definitely re-established the See. The new Bishop of Langres governed 360 parishes of the old Diocese of Langres, 70 of the old Diocese of Châlons, 13 of the old Diocese of Besançon, 13 of the old Diocese of Troyes and 94 of the old Diocese of Toul. For the legends concerning the Apostolic origin of the See of Langres and the mission of St. Benignus see Dijon.


The bishops, until 1016, resided at Dijon and until 1731, exercised spiritual jurisdiction over the territory of the present-day Diocese of Dijon. Following is a list of bishops of Langres.

To 1000[edit]

  • c. 200 Senator
  • c. 240 Justus
  • c. 264 Desiderius (Didier, Dizier)
  • Vacant
  • 284–301 Martin
  • 301–327 Honoratius
  • 327–375 Urban of Langres
  • 375–422 Paulinus I
  • St. Martin (411–420)?
  • 422–448 Fraterne I
  • 448–455 Fraterne II
  • 456–484 Aprunculus, St. Aprunculus, the friend of St Sidonius Apollinaris and his successor as Bishop of Clermont
  • 485–490 Armentaire
  • 490–493 Venantius
  • 493–498 Paulinus II (Paul)
  • 498–501 Patiens
  • 501–506 Albiso
  • 506–539 Gregory of Langres, St. Gregory (509–539), great-grandfather of St. Gregory of Tours, who transferred the relics of St. Benignus
  • 539–572 Tetricus of Langres, St. Tetricus, son of St. Gregory (539–572), whose coadjutor was St. Monderic, brother of Arnoul of Metz
  • 572–583 Papoul
  • 583–595 Mummole le Bon
  • 595–618 Miget (Migetius)
  • 618–628 Modoald
  • 628–650 Berthoald
  • 650–660 Sigoald
  • 660–670 Wulfrand
  • 670–680 Godin
  • 680–682 Adoin
  • 682–690 Garibald
  • 690–713 Héron
  • 713–742 Eustorge
  • Died c. 759 Vaudier
  • 752–772 Erlolf[1]
  • 772–778 Herulphe, Herulphus or Ariolf (759–774), founder of Ellwangen Abbey
  • 778–790 Baldric
  • 790–820 Belto, Betto (790–820), who helped to draw up the capitularies of Charlemagne
  • 820–838 Albéric
  • 838–856 Thibaut I
  • 859–880 Isaac, author of a collection of canons
  • 880–888 Gilon de Tournus
  • 888–890 Argrin, first time
  • 890–894 Thibaut II
  • 894–910 Argrin, second time
  • 910–922 Garnier I
  • 922–931 Gotzelin
  • 932 Lethéric
  • 932–948 Héric or Héry
  • 948–969 Achard
  • 969–980 Vidric
  • 980–1015 Bruno of Roucy who brought in the monks of Cluny to reform the abbeys of the diocese





From 1900[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Odden Per Einar. "Den salige Herulf av Ellwangen (~730-~815)", Den katolske kirke, December 28, 2015
  2. ^ Viton de Saint-Allais, Nicolas (1876). "Nobiliaire Universel de France, ou Recueil général des généalogies historiques des maisons nobles de ce royaume". Bibliothèque nationale de France (in French). Paris: Librairie Ancienne et Moderne Bachelin-Deflorenne. p. 449. Retrieved 25 May 2021.
  3. ^ Richard Vaughan, Philip the Bold, (The Boydell Press, 2009), 164.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-02-03. Retrieved 2022-07-16.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

Sources and external links[edit]

47°51′35″N 5°20′05″E / 47.8598°N 5.33469°E / 47.8598; 5.33469

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Langres". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.