Roman Catholic Diocese of Meaux
|Diocese of Meaux|
Diocèse de Meaux
|Metropolitan||Archdiocese of Paris|
|Area||5,931 km2 (2,290 sq mi)|
(as of 2013)|
|Cathedral||Cathedral Basilica of St Stephen in Meaux|
|Patron saint||Saint Stephen|
43 (religious Orders)
|Metropolitan Archbishop||Cardinal André Vingt-Trois|
Albert-Marie Joseph Cyrille de Monléon Bishop Emeritus (1999-2012)|
Yves-Marie-Henri Bescond Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus (1979-1986)
|Website of the Diocese|
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Meaux (Lat. Meldensis), is a diocese of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic church in France. The diocese comprises the entire department of Seine-et-Marne. It was suffragan of the Archdiocese of Sens until 1622, and subsequently of Archdiocese of Paris.
The Concordat of 1801 gave to the Diocese of Meaux the department of Marne, which was separated from it in 1821 and 1822 by the establishment of the archiepiscopal See of Reims and the episcopal See of Châlons.
The current Bishop is Albert-Marie Joseph Cyrille de Monléon (born 20 January 1937, in Paris, France), who was installed on 10 October 1999 following his move from the post of Bishop of Pamiers. However, on Thursday, August 9, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI accepted the resignation from the pastoral government of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Meaux in accordance with Canon 401.1 of the Latin=rite 1983 Code of Canon Law, and appointed as the next Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Meaux, Auxiliary Bishop Jean-Yves Nahmias, who had been serving as Titular Bishop of Termini Imerese and as an Auxiliary Bishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Paris in Paris, France, under Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois. Monsignor Jean-Yves Nahmias was born on September 16, 1957 in Saint-Mand, France, bordering Paris, in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Créteil in Créteil, France. After his studies at the University of Paris I, he graduated with a License in Financial Law; he has been a member of G.F.U. (Groupes de Formation Universitaire). He completed his studies in philosophy and theology first for two years at the Pontifical Gregorian University at the Vatican in Rome, Italy, then as a student of the French Seminary in Rome, and then in the Institute of Theological Studies in Brussels, Belgium, where then-Father Nahmias obtained a Licentiate in Sacred Theology in 1991. Bishop Nahmias was ordained to the presbyterate (the Roman Catholic priesthood) on June 24, 1989, and was incardinated for service to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Paris. After his priestly ordination, Bishop Nahmias served as Parochial Vicar (Assistant Pastor) at the Parish of Notre-Dame de la Croix, Paris, and as a Chaplain in Public Schools Jean-Baptiste-Clément, Etienne Dolet and Martin Nadaud (1990-1994). In addition, from 1992 to 1996, was in charge of the Diocesan Service for Vocations, and since 1993, Director of Opera for Vocations. Later, he was the Parochial Vicar at the Parish Saint-Ambroise (Saint Ambrose), and a Chaplain in Public Schools Voltaire and Alain-Fournier (1994-1996); Rector of the Archdiocesan Seminary of Paris and the Diocesan Delegate for the Seminarians (1996-2001); and finally, as the Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Paris under Cardinals Jean-Marie Lustiger and Andre Vingt-Trois (2001-2006). Father Nahmias was appointed as Titular Bishop of Termini Imerese and Auxiliary Bishop of Paris on June 1, 2006 by Pope Benedict XVI, and was consecrated to the episcopacy on September 8, 2006. He serves as President of Radio Notre-Dame. Within the French Bishops' Conference, he serves on the Board for Communication.
The present Diocese of Meaux is made up of the greater part of the former Diocese of Meaux, a large part of the former Diocese of Sens, a part of the former Diocese of Paris, and a few parishes of the former Dioceses of Troyes, Soissons and Senlis. Hildegar, who lived in the ninth century, says in his "Life of St. Faro" (Burgundofaro), that this bishop was the twentieth since St. Denis. According to the tradition accepted by Hildegaire, St. Denis was the first Bishop of Meaux, and was succeeded by his disciple Saint Saintin, who in turn was succeeded by St. Antoninus; and another saint, named Rigomer, occupied the See of Meaux at the close of the fifth century. In 876 or 877, Hincmar showed Charles the Bald a document which he claimed had been transcribed from a very old copy and according to which St. Antoninus and Saint Saintin, disciples of Saint Denis, had brought to Pope Anacletus the account of the martyrdom of St. Denis, and on their return to Gaul had successively occupied the See of Meaux.
According to Louis Duchesne, the first Bishop of Meaux historically known is Medovechus, who was present at two church councils in 549 and 552. Of the bishops of Meaux the following may be mentioned (following Mgr. Allou's chronology):
- St. Faro (626-72), whose Sister St. Fara founded the Abbey of Faremoutiers, and who himself built at Meaux the monastery of St-Croix
- St. Hildevert (672-680);
- St. Pathus, who died about 684 before being consecrated;
- St. Ebrigisilus (end of the seventh century);
- St. Gilbert of Meaux (first half of the eleventh century);
- Durand de St-Pourçain (1326–1334), commentator on the "Book of Sentences", known as the "resolutive doctor";
- Philippe de Vitry (1351–1361), friend of Petrarch and author of the "Metamorphoses d'Ovide Moralisées";
- Pierre Fresnel (1390–1409), several times ambassador of Charles VI;
- Pierre de Versailles (1439–1446), charged with important missions by Pope Eugene IV, and who, when commissioned by Charles VII in 1429 to examine Joan of Arc, had declared himself convinced of the Divine mission of the Maid of Orléans;
- Guillaume Briçonnet (1516–1534), ambassador of Francis I to Leo X, and during whose episcopate the Reformation was introduced by Farel and Gérard Roussel, whom he had personally called to his diocese for the revival of studies;
- Cardinal Antoine du Prat (1534–1535), who had an active share in the drawing up of the concordat between Francis I and Leo X;
- The controversial writer and historian Jean du Tillet (1564–1570);
- Louis de Brézé, twice bishop, first from 1554 to 1564, then from 1570 to 1589, during whose episcopate the diocese was greatly disturbed by religious wars;
- Dominique Séguier (1637–1659), the first French bishop to establish "ecclesiastical conferences" in his diocese;
- Jacques Bossuet (1681–1704);
- Cardinal Henri-Pons de Thiard de Bissy (1705–1737), celebrated for his conflict with the Jansenists;
- Louis-Mathias, Count de Barral (1802–1805), later Grand Almoner of Empress Josephine and Archbishop of Tours, who took a prominent part in 1810 and 1811 in the negotiations between Napoleon and Pius VII.
In 1562 most of the inhabitants of Meaux had become Protestants, and Joachim de Montluc, sent by the king, proceeded with rigour against them. They were still sufficiently powerful in 1567 to attempt to carry off, in the vicinity of Meaux, Catherine de' Medici and Charles IX; and so for that reason, shortly after St. Bartholomew's day, Charles IX ordered the massacre of the Protestants of Meaux. At the château of Fontainebleau, built by Francis I, was held the theological conference of 4 May 1600, between the Catholics (Cardinal du Perron, de Thou, Pithou) and the Calvinists (du Plessis Mornay, Philippe Canaye, Isaac Casaubon).
Pope Eugene III stayed some days at Meaux in 1147. In 1664 Blessed Eudes preached for two months at Meaux, Mme Guyon passed the first six months of 1695 at the Visitation convent of Meaux, where Bossuet had frequent conferences with her, but failed to make her abandon her mystic views. The celebrated Père Loriquet (1767–1845) was superior from 1812 to 1814 of the preparatory seminary of Châage, in the Diocese of Meaux.
A number of saints are found in the history of this diocese:
- St. Autharius, a relative of St. Faro, who received St. Columbanus in his domain at Ussy-sur-Marne, and father of Blessed Ado, who founded about 630 the two monasteries of Jouarre, and of St. Ouen who founded the monastery of Rebais in 634 and subsequently became Bishop of Rouen;
- The anchorite St. Féfre or Fiacre, and the missionary St. Chillen, both Irishmen, contemporaries of St. Faro (first half of the seventh century);
- St. Aile (Agilus), monk of Luxeuil who became in 634 the first Abbot of Rebais;
- St. Telchilde, died about 660, first Abbess of Jouarre;
- St. Aguilberte, second Abbess of Jouarre, a sister of St. Ebrigisilus (end of seventh century);
- St. Bathilde, wife of Clovis II, foundress of the abbey of Chelles, died in 680;
- St. Bertille, first Abbess of Chelles, and St. Etheria, first Abbess of Notre-Dame of Soissons (658), both of them pupils at the abbey of Jouarre;
- St. Vincent Madelgaire (or Mauger), founder of the monasteries of Haumont and Soignies;
- His wife, St. Waldetrude, foundress of the monastery of Mons;
- St. Aldegonde, sister of St. Waldetrude, first Abbess of Maubeuge;
- St. Landry, Abbot of Soignies, claimed by some as a Bishop of Meaux;
- St. Adeltrude and St. Malberte, nuns of Maubeuge, the last three being children of St. Vincent Madelgaire and St. Waldetrude (seventh century).
A council convoked in 845 at Meaux by Charles the Bald adopted important measures for the re-establishment of discipline in the three ecclesiastical provinces of Sens, Bourges, and Reims. Other councils were held at Meaux in 962, 1082, 1204, 1229 (ended in Paris), where the Count of Toulouse was reconciled with the Church; in 1240 a council was held in which the sentence of excommunication was pronounced against Frederick II by Joannes of Palestrina, legate of Gregory IX; there was held an important council in 1523. Four councils were held at Melun, in 1216, 1225, 1232, 1300. The city of Provins was famous in the Middle Ages for its burlesque ceremonies (fête de fous, fête do l'âne, fête des Innocents) held in the church. The cathedral of St-Etienne de Meaux is a fine Gothic edifice begun about 1170. The church of Champigny has a magnificent crypt dating from the thirteenth century.
The principal pilgrimages of the diocese are:
- Notre Dame de Lagny, dating from 1128;
- Notre Dame du Chêne de Preuilly, dating from the foundation of the Cistercian Abbey (1118);
- Notre Dame du Chêne at Crouy-sur-Ourcq, dating from the beginning of the seventeenth century;
- Notre Dame de Bon Secours near Fontainebleau (the pilgrimage was established in 1661 by d'Auberon, an officer of the great Condé);
- Notre Dame de la Cave at Champigny;
- Notre Dame de Pitié at Verdelot;
- Notre Dame de Melun at Melun;
- Notre Dame du Puy at Sigy. The head of St. Veronica at Pomponne has long been the object of a pilgrimage, greatly furthered by the Jesuits in 1670;
- The cloak (chape) of St. Martin of which a large portion is preserved at Bussy-St-Martin, also attracts pilgrims.
- "The Catholic Church in Seine and Marne / The bishop and his staff" (in French). eglisecatho-meaux.cef.fr. Retrieved October 7, 2010.
- Benedictines of Saint-Maur (1744). Gallia christiana, in provincias ecclesiasticas distributa: Carnotensis (in Latin). Tomus octavus (VIII). Paris: ex Typographia Regia. pp. 1592–1754.
- Eubel, Conradus (ed.) (1913). Hierarchia catholica, Tomus 1 (second ed.). Münster: Libreria Regensbergiana. pp. 333-334. (in Latin)
- Eubel, Conradus (ed.) (1914). Hierarchia catholica, Tomus 2 (second ed.). Münster: Libreria Regensbergiana. p. 189 (in Latin)
- Eubel, Conradus (ed.) (1923). Hierarchia catholica, Tomus 3 (second ed.). Münster: Libreria Regensbergiana.
- Gauchat, Patritius (Patrice) (1935). Hierarchia catholica IV (1592-1667). Münster: Libraria Regensbergiana. Retrieved 2016-07-06. p. 237 (in Latin)
- Ritzler, Remigius; Sefrin, Pirminus (1952). Hierarchia catholica medii et recentis aevi V (1667-1730). Patavii: Messagero di S. Antonio. Retrieved 2016-07-06. p. 263 (in Latin)
- Ritzler, Remigius; Sefrin, Pirminus (1958). Hierarchia catholica medii et recentis aevi VI (1730-1799). Patavii: Messagero di S. Antonio. Retrieved 2016-07-06. p. 284. (in Latin)
- Allou, Auguste (1875). Chronique des évêques de Meaux suivie d'un état de l'ancien diocèse et du diocèse actuel (in French). Meaux: A. Cochet.
- Du Plessis, Michel Toussaint Chrétien (1731). Histoire De L'Eglise De Meaux, Avec Des Notes Ou Dissertations; Et Les Pieces Justificatives (in French). 2 vols. Paris: Chez Julien-Michel Gandouin.
- Néret, Léon-Henri (1905). Martyrs et confesseurs de la foi du diocèse de Meaux, 1792-1799 (in French). Meaux: G. Lépillet.
- David M. Cheney, Catholic-Hierarchy: Diocese of Meaux. Retrieved: 2016-07-07.
- The Catholic Encyclopedia: Meaux
- (French) Église catholique de Meaux: Home page
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "article name needed". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton.