Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Poitiers

Archdiocese of Poitiers
Archidioecesis Pictaviensis
Archidiocèse de Poitiers

Country France
Ecclesiastical province Poitiers
Area 13,098 km2 (5,057 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2013)
670,000 (84.7%)
Denomination Roman Catholic
Rite Roman Rite
Established 8 December 2002
Cathedral Cathedral Basilica of St Peter in Poiters
Patron saint St Hilary of Poitiers
Current leadership
Pope Francis
Metropolitan Archbishop Pascal Wintzer
Emeritus Bishops Albert Rouet Archbishop Emeritus (2002–2011)
Website of the Archdiocese

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Poitiers (Lat: Archidioecesis Pictaviensis) is an archdiocese of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic church in France. The archepiscopal see is in the city of Poitiers. The Diocese of Poitiers includes the two Departments of Vienne and Deux-Sèvres. The Concordat of 1802 added to the see besides the ancient Diocese of Poitiers a part of the Diocese of La Rochelle and Saintes.

Erected in the third century, as a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Bordeaux, the diocese was elevated to an archdiocese in 2002. The archdiocese is the metropolitan of the Diocese of Angoulême, the Diocese of La Rochelle, the Diocese of Limoges, and the Diocese of Tulle.

The Cathedral Church of Saint-Pierre had a Chapter composed of the bishop and twenty-four canons. The officers of the Chapter were: the Dean, the Cantor, the Provost, the sub-Dean, the sub-Cantor, and the three archdeacons (who are not prebends). The Abbé of Nôtre-Dame-le-Grand was also a member of the Chapter ex officio.[1]

Before the Revolution, the diocese had three archdeacons: the Archdeacon of Poitiers, the Archdeacon of Briançay (or Brioux), and the Archdeacon of Thouars.[2]

The current archbishop is Pascal Wintzer, who was appointed in 2012.


Louis Duchesne holds that its earliest episcopal catalogue represents the ecclesiastical tradition of Poitiers in the twelfth century. The catalogue reckons twelve predecessors of Hilary of Poitiers, among them Nectarius, Liberius, and Agon, and among his successors Sts. Quintianus and Maxentius. Duchesne does not doubt the existence of the cults of these saints but questions whether they were bishops of Poitiers. In his opinion, Hilary (350 – 367 or 368) is the first bishop of whom we have historical evidence.[3] In this he concurs with the Benedictine editors of Gallia christiana.[4]

Notable bishops

Among his successors were Pientius (c. 544 – 560);[5] Fortunatus (c. 599); Peter (1087–1115), exiled by William IX, Count of Poitiers, whose divorce he refused to sanction; Gilbert de la Porrée (1142–54); William Tempier (1184–97), who, as Barbier de Montault has shown, was irregularly venerated as a saint in certain parts of the diocese since he died subsequent to the declaration of Pope Alexander III which reserved canonizations to the Holy See; Blessed Gauthier de Bruges (1278–1306); Arnauld d'Aux (1306–12), made cardinal in 1312; Guy de Malsec (1371–75), who became cardinal in 1375; Simon de Cramaud (1385–91), indefatigable opponent of the antipope Benedict XIII, and who again administered the diocese (1413–23) and became cardinal in 1413;[6] Louis de Bar (1394–95), cardinal in 1397; Jean de la Trémouille (1505–07), cardinal in 1507; Gabriel de Gramont (1532–34), cardinal in 1507; Claude de Longwy de Givry (1538–52), became cardinal in 1533; Antonio Barberini (1652–57), cardinal in 1627; Abbé de Pradt (1805–09), Chaplain of Consul Napoleon Bonaparte and afterwards Archbishop of Mechlin, Louis Pie (1849–80), cardinal in 1879.

St. Emmeram was a native of Poitiers, but according to the Bollandists and Duchesne the documents which make him Bishop of Poitiers (c. 650) are not trustworthy; on the other hand Bernard Sepp (Analec. Boll., VIII) and Dom Chamard claim that he did hold the see, and succeeded Didon, bishop about 666 or 668 according to Dom Chamard.

Education at Poitiers

As early as 312 the Bishop of Poitiers established a school near his cathedral; among its scholars were Hilary, St. Maxentius, Maximus, Bishop of Trier, and his two brothers St. Maximinus of Chinon and St. John of Marne, Paulinus, Bishop of Trier, and the poet Ausonius. In the sixth century Fortunatus taught there, and in the twelfth century students chose to study at Poitiers with Gilbert de la Porrée.

Charles VII of France erected a university at Poitiers, which was his temporary capital, since he had been driven from Paris, in 1431.[7] The new foundation stood in opposition to Paris, where the city was in the hands of the English and the majority of the faculty had accepted Henry VI of England.[8] With a Bull of 28 May 1431, on the petition of Charles VII, Pope Eugene IV approved the new university and awarded it privileges similar to those of the University of Toulouse.[9] In the reign of Louis XII there were in Poitiers no less than four thousand students — French, Italians, Flemings, Scots, and Germans. There were ten colleges attached to the university. In 1540, at the Collège Ste. Marthe, the famous Classicist Marc Antoine Muret had a chair; Gregory XIII called him to Rome to work on his edition of the Septuagint, pronouncing him the torch and the pillar of the Roman School.[10] The famous Jesuit Juan Maldonado and five of his confrères went in 1570 to Poitiers to establish a Jesuit college at the request of some of the inhabitants.[11] After two unsuccessful attempts, the Jesuits were given the Collège Ste. Marthe in 1605. François Garasse was professor at Poitiers (1607–08), and had as a pupil Guez de Balzac. Garasse was well known for his violent polemics. He died of the plague at Poitiers in 1637.[12] Among other students at Poitiers were Achille de Harlay, President de Thou, the poet Joachim du Bellay, the chronicler Brantome Descartes, François Viète the mathematician, and Francis Bacon. In the seventeenth century the Jesuits sought affiliation with the university and in spite of the opposition of the faculties of theology and arts their request was granted. Jesuit ascendancy grew; they united to Ste. Marthe the Collège du Puygareau. Friction between them and the university was continuous, and in 1762 the general laws against them throughout France led to the Society being expelled from Poitiers and from France. Moreover, from 1674 the Jesuits had conducted at Poitiers a college for clerical students from Ireland.

In 1806 the State reopened the school of law at Poitiers and later the faculties of literature and science. These faculties were raised to the rank of a university in 1896. From 1872 to 1875 Cardinal Pie was engaged in re-establishing the faculty of theology. As a provisional effort he called to teach in his Grand Séminaire three professors from the Collegio Romano, among them Père Schrader, the commentator of the Syllabus, who died at Poitiers in 1875.


To 1000

  • ? Agon
  • Hilary of Poitiers 349–367
  • Pascentius
  • Quintianus
  • Gelasius
  • Anthemius
  • Maigentius
  • Adelphius 533
  • Daniel 541
  • Pientius 555 or 557–561
  • Pescentius 561
  • Marovée (Maroveus) 573–594[13]
  • Plato 594–599[14]
  • Venantius Fortunatus 599–610
  • Caregisile 614
  • Ennoald 614–616
  • Johannes (John) I 616–627
  • Dido (Desiderius) 629–669
  • Ansoald
  • Eparchius
  • Maximinus
  • Gaubert
  • Godon de Rochechouart c.757
  • Magnibert
  • Bertauld
  • Benedict (Benoit)
  • Johannes (John) II
  • Bertrand I
  • Sigebrand c.818
  • Friedebert
  • Ebroin c.839
  • Engenold c.860
  • Frotier I
  • Hecfroi
  • Frotier II c.900
  • Alboin c.937
  • Peter I 963–975 (former Archdeacon and Provost of S. Peter's)[15]
  • Gislebert c.975 (previously Archdeacon of Poitiers)[16]

1000 to 1300

  • Isembert I c. 1021 (nephew of Bishop Gislebert)[17]
  • Isembert II c. 1047-1086 (nephew of Bishop Isembert)[18]
  • Peter II 22 February 1087 – 1117 (previously Archdeacon of Poitiers)[19]
  • Wilhelm I Gilbert 1117–1124
  • Wilhelm II Adelelme 1124
  • Grimoard 1140
  • Gilbert de La Porrée 1142
  • Calo 1155
  • Laurent 1159
  • Jean aux Belles Mains 1162
  • William Tempier 1184
  • Ademar du Peirat 1197
  • Maurice de Blaron 1198–1214[20]
  • Guillaume Prévost 1214–1224[20]
  • Philipp Balleos 1224–1234[20]
  • John de Melun 1235–1257[20]
  • Hugo de Châteauroux 1259–1271[20]
  • Gauthier de Bruges 1279–1306[20]

1300 to 1500

  • Arnaud d'Aux (card.) 1306–1312[20]
  • Fort d'Aux 1314–1357[20]
  • Johann V de Lieux 1357–1362[20]
  • Aimery de Mons 1363–1371[20]
  • Guy de Malsec (Gui de Maillesec) 1371–1375[20]
  • Bertrand de Maumont 1376–1385[20]
  • Simon de Cramaud 1385–1391[20]
  • Louis of Bar 1391–1395[20]
  • Ythier de Mareuil 1395–1403[20]
  • Gérard de Montaigu 1403–1409[20]
  • Peter III Trousseau 1409–1413[20]
  • Louis of Bar 1423–1424 (Administrator)
  • Hugo de Combarel 1424–1440[20]
  • Guillaume V Gouge de Charpaignes 1441–1448[20]
  • Jacques Juvénal des Ursins 1449–1457[20]
  • Léon Guérinet 1457–1462[20]
  • Johann VI du Bellay 1462–1479[20]
  • Guillaum VI de Cluny 1479–1481[20]
  • Peter IV d'Amboise 1481–1505[20]

1500 to 1800

  • Jean de La Trémoïlle 1505
  • Claude de Husson 1510
  • Louis de Husson 1521
  • Gabriel de Grammont 1532
  • Claude de Longwy de Givry 1541
  • Jean d'Amoncourt 1551
  • Charles de Pérusse des Cars 1560
  • Jean du Fay 1571
  • Geoffroy de Saint-Belin 1577
  • Henri-Louis Chasteigner de La Roche-Posay 1612 - 1651
  • Gilbert Clérembault de Palluau 1657
  • Hardouin Fortin de La Hoguette 1680–1685
  • François-Ignace de Baglion de Saillant 1686–1698
  • Antoine Girard de Borna 1698–1702
  • Jean-Claude de La Poype de Vertrieu 1702–1732
  • Jean-Louis de Foudras de Courtenay 1732–1749
  • Jean-Louis de La Marthonie de Caussade 1749–1759
  • Martial-Louis de Beaupoil de Saint-Aulaire 1759–1802

From 1800

  • Jean-Baptiste-Luc Bailly 1802–1804
  • Dominique-Georges-Frédéric Dufour de Pradt 1804–1808
  • Jean-Baptiste de Bouillé 1817–1842
  • Joseph-Aimé Guitton 1842–1849
  • Louis-François-Désiré-Edouard Pie 1849–1880
  • Jacques-Edmé-Henri Philadelphe Bellot des Minières 1880–1888
  • Augustin-Hubert Juteau 1889–1893
  • Henri Pelgé 1894–1911
  • Louis Humbrecht 1911–1918
  • Olivier de Durfort de Civrac 1918–1932
  • Edouard Mesguen 1933–1956
  • Henri Vion 1956–1975
  • Joseph Rozier 1975–1994
  • Albert Rouet (first Archbishop) 1994–2011
  • Pascal Wintzer since 2012


  1. Pouille, p. 148, 160.
  2. Pouille, pp. 31-32.
  3. Duchesne, pp. 79-82.
  4. Gallia christiana II, p. 1138.
  5. Martha Gail Jenks (1999). From Queen to Bishop: A Political Biography of Radegund of Poiters. Berkeley-Los Angeles: University of California, Berkeley. pp. 130, 139, 158.
  6. Kaminsky, Howard (1974). "The Early Career of Simon de Cramaud". Speculum. 49: 499–534. JSTOR 2851753. (registration required (help)).
  7. Jos. M. M. Hermans; Marc Nelissen (2005). Charters of Foundation and Early Documents of the Universities of the Coimbra Group. Leiden: Leuven University Press. p. 76. ISBN 978-90-5867-474-6.
  8. Hastings Rashdall (1895). The Universities of Europe in the Middle Ages. Volume II. Oxford: Clarendon Press. pp. 191–193.
  9. Fournier, Statuts pp. 283-285.
  10. Charles Dejob (1881). Marc-Antoine Muret: un professeur français en Italie dans la seconde moitié du XVIe siècle (in French). Paris: E. Thorin.
  11. Paul Schmitt (1985). La Réforme catholique: le combat de Maldonat (1534-1583) (in French). Paris: Editions Beauchesne. pp. 350–359. ISBN 978-2-7010-1117-2.
  12. Charles Nisard (1860). Les gladiateurs de la république des lettres (in French). Tome second. Paris: Michel Levy Frères. pp. 207–321.
  13. Raymond Van Dam (2011). Saints and Their Miracles in Late Antique Gaul. Princeton University Press. pp. 30–40. ISBN 1-4008-2114-2.
  14. He had been Gregory of Tours' Archdeacon, and Gregory took part in his installation as Bishop of Poitiers: Duchesne, p. 83. Gallia christiana II, pp. 1148-1149.
  15. Gallia christiana II, pp. 1160-1161.
  16. Gallia christiana II, pp. 1161-1162.
  17. Gallia christiana II, p. 1162-1164.
  18. Gallia christiana II, p. 1164-1167.
  19. Gallia christiana II, p. 1167-1170.
  20. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 Laurent Vallière, Karine Corre, Christiane Lemè, and Edouard Bouyé, Diocèse de Poitiers, Fasti ecclesiae Gallicanae: Répertoire prosopographique des évêques, dignitaires et chanoines de France de 1200 à 1500, vol. 10 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2008), 429.


Coordinates: 46°34′47″N 0°20′58″E / 46.579701°N 0.349421°E / 46.579701; 0.349421

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/14/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.