Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Rennes

Archdiocese of Rennes, Dol and Saint-Malo
Archidioecesis Rhedonensis - Dolensis - Sancti Maclovii
Archidiocèse de Rennes, Dol et Saint-Malo

Country France
Ecclesiastical province Rennes
Area 6,775 km2 (2,616 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2010)
824,000 (87.2%)
Denomination Roman Catholic
Rite Roman Rite
Established United: 13 February 1880
Cathedral Cathedral of St Peter in Rennes
Patron saint Saint Peter
Current leadership
Pope Francis
Metropolitan Archbishop Pierre d'Ornellas
Auxiliary Bishops Nicolas Souchu
Website of the Archdiocese

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Rennes (Lat:Archdiocesis Rhedonensis) is a diocese of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic church in France. The diocese is coextensive with the department of Ille et Vilaine. The Archdiocese has 8 suffragans: Diocese of Angers, Diocese of Laval, Diocese of Le Mans, Diocese of Luçon, Diocese of Nantes, Diocese of Quimper, and the Diocese of Saint-Brieuc and the Diocese of Vannes.

In the Middle Ages the Bishop of Rennes had the privilege of crowning the dukes of Brittany in his cathedral. On the occasion of his first entry into Rennes it was customary for him to be borne on the shoulders of four Breton barons.

The Concordat of 1802 re-established the Diocese of Rennes which since then has included: the ancient Diocese of Rennes with the exception of three parishes given to the diocese of Nantes; the greater part of the ancient Diocese of Dol; the greater part of the ancient Diocese of St. Malo; ten parishes that had formed part of the ancient Diocese of Vannes and Nantes.

On 3 January 1859, the See of Rennes, which the French Revolution had desired to make a metropolitan, became an archiepiscopal see, with the Diocese of Quimper, Diocese of Vannes, and Diocese of St. Brieuc as suffragans. Cardinal Place obtained from Pope Leo XIII permission for the Archbishop of Rennes to add the titles of Dol and St. Malo to that of Rennes.


Tradition names as first apostles of the future Diocese of Rennes, missionaries of the Latin race, but of an uncertain date: Saint Maximinus, Saint Clarus, Saint Justus. On the other hand, when in the fifth and sixth centuries bands of Christian Britons emigrated from Great Britain to Armorica and formed on its northern coast the small Kingdom of Domnonée, the Gospel was preached for the first time in the future Diocese of Dol and Diocese of Aleth. Among these missionaries were St. Armel, who, according to the legend, founded in the sixth century the town of Ploermel in the Diocese of Vannes and then retired into the forests of Chateaugiron and Janzé and attacked Druidism on the very site of the Dolmen of the Fairy Rocks (La Roche aux Fées); St. Méen (Mevennus) who retired to the solitudes around Pontrecoët and founded the monastery of Gael (550), known afterwards as St. Méen's; St. Lunarius and St. Suliacus who dwelt in the woods along the banks of the Rance, and St. Samson and St. Malo.

The earliest historical mention of the See of Rennes dates from 453. One of the four prelates, Sarmatio, Chariato, Rumoridus, and Viventius, who in that year took part in the Council of Angers, was Bishop of Rennes. Athenius, Bishop of Rennes, took part in the Council of Tours in 461. Louis Duchesne is of opinion that the St. Amandus reckoned among the bishops of Rennes at the end of the fifth century is the same as St. Amand of Rodez.

Among other bishops are the famous St. Melanius (Melaine) who in 511 assisted at the Council of Orléans and had a widespread reputation for sanctity. He gave his name to a well-known abbey, which in the twelfth century possessed no less than seventy parish churches.

Famous among the annals of Rennes are: St. Desiderius (Didier) whose episcopate is questioned by Duchesne (c. 682); St. Moderamnus (Moran) who died about 730 in the monastery of Berceto near Lucca; Marbodus, the hymnographer (1035–1123); the Dominican Yves Mayeuc (1507–41); Arnaud d'Ossat (1596–1600), cardinal in 1599, and prominent in the conversion of Henry IV of France; Godefroy Brossais Saint Marc (1848–78), cardinal in 1875; Charles Place (1878–93), cardinal in 1886; Guillaume Labouré (1893–1906), cardinal in 1897.

Le Coz (1760–1815) during the Revolution was constitutional Archbishop of Rennes. Under the Concordat he became Archbishop of Besançon.

Ordinaries (incomplete)

Archbishop Pierre d'Ornellas


 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. 

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