Roman Catholic Diocese of Cahors

Diocese of Cahors
Dioecesis Cadurcensis
Diocèse de Cahors

Country France
Ecclesiastical province Toulouse
Metropolitan Archdiocese of Toulouse
Area 5,216 km2 (2,014 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2013)
169,900 (93.8%)
Denomination Roman Catholic
Sui iuris church Latin Church
Rite Roman Rite
Established 3rd Century
Cathedral Cathedral of St Stephen in Cahors
Patron saint Saint Stephen
Current leadership
Pope Francis
Bishop Laurent Camiade
Metropolitan Archbishop Robert Jean Louis Le Gall
Website of the Diocese

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Cahors, is a diocese of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic church, in France. The diocese comprises the whole of the department of Lot.

In the beginning it was a suffragan of the archdiocese of Bourges and later, from 1676 to the time of the French Revolution, of the archdiocese of Albi. From 1802 to 1822 Cahors was under the Archbishop of Toulouse, and combined the former Diocese of Rodez with a great part of the former diocese of Vabres and diocese of Montauban. However, in 1822 it was restored almost to its pristine limits and again made suffragan to Albi.


According to a tradition connected with the legend of St. Martial, this saint, deputed by St. Peter, came to Cahors in the first century and there dedicated a church to St. Stephen, while his disciple, St. Amadour (Amator), the Zaccheus of the Gospel and husband of St. Veronica, evangelized the diocese. In the seventeenth century these traditions were closely examined by the Abbé Antoine Raymond de Fouillac, a friend of Fénelon, and, according to him, the bones discovered at Rocamadour in 1166, and looked upon as the relics of Zaccheus, were in reality the bones of St. Amator, Bishop of Auxerre.

A legend written about the year 1000 by the monks of Saint-Genou Abbey (in the Diocese of Bourges) relates that Genitus and his son Genulfus were sent to Gaul by Pope Sixtus II (257-59), and that Genulfus (Genou) was the first Bishop of Cahors. But Louis Duchesne repudiated this as legend.

The first historically known Bishop of Cahors is St. Florentius, correspondent of St. Paulinus of Nola (end of the fourth century). The Diocese of Cahors counted among its bishops:

The city of Cahors, visited by Pope Callistus II (1119–24), was the birthplace of Jacques d'Euse (1244–1334), who became pope in 1316 under the title of John XXII, and the tower of whose palace is still to be seen in Cahors. He built a university there, its law faculty being so celebrated as to boast at times of 1200 pupils. Fénelon studied at this institution, which, in 1751, was annexed to the University of Toulouse. In the sixteenth century the Diocese of Cahors was severely tried by religious wars, and the Pélegry College, which gratuitously sheltered a certain number of university students, became noted for the way in which these young men defended Cahors against the Huguenots.

Cahors Cathedral, built at the end of the eleventh and restored in the fourteenth century, has a beautiful Gothic cloister. When, in the Middle Ages, the bishops officiated in this church they had the privilege, as barons and counts of Cahors, of depositing their sword and armour on the altar. In the diocese special homage is paid to St. Sacerdos, Bishop of Limoges, and his mother, Mundana (seventh century); Esperie (Speria), virgin and martyr (eighth century); St. Géraud, Count of Aurillac (beginning of the eleventh century); Blessed Christopher, companion of St. Francis of Assisi and founder of a Franciscan convent at Cahors in 1216, and Blessed Jean-Gabriel Perboyre, born in the village of Mongesty, 1802, and martyred in China, 1840.

The city of Figeac owed its origin to a Benedictine abbey founded by Pepin in 755. The principal places of pilgrimage are: Notre-Dame de Rocamadour, visited by St. Louis (1245), Charles the Fair (1324), and Louis XI (1463), its bell being said to have rung miraculously several times to announce the deliverance of shipwrecked sufferers who had commended themselves to the Blessed Virgin; Notre-Dame de Félines and Notre-Dame de Verdale, both dating back to the eleventh century; Saint-Hilaire Lalbenque, where some highly prized relics of St. Benedict Joseph Labre are preserved.


To 1000

1000 to 1300



From 1800

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Diocese of Cahors". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton. 

Coordinates: 44°26′50″N 1°26′34″E / 44.44722°N 1.44278°E / 44.44722; 1.44278

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