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Paris comprises the Department of the Seine. It was re-established by the Concordat of 1802 with much narrower limits than it had prior to the Revolution, when, besides the city of Paris and its suburbs, it comprised the archdeanery of Josas (including the deaneries of Châteaufort and Montlhéry) and the archdeanery of Brie (including the deaneries of Lagny and Vieux-Corbeil). The deanery of Champeaux, enclosed within the territory of the Diocese of Sens, was also dependent on the Archdiocese of Paris, which had then 492 parishes. The Concordat gave to the dioceses of Versailles and Meaux the archdeaneries of Josas and Brie, which had nearly 350 parishes, and reduced the Archdiocese of Paris to 42 urban and 76 suburban parishes. According to the Concordat it had eight suffragans: Amiens, Arras, Cambrai, Orléans, Meaux, Soissons, Troyes and Versailles. The re-establishment under the Restoration of the Archdioceses of Reims and Sens removed the Dioceses of Troyes, Amiens, and Soissons from the jurisdiction of Paris, but the Dioceses of Blois and Chartres, created in 1882, were attached to the Province of Paris. In 1841 Cambrai, having become a metropolitan see, ceased to be a suffragan of Paris, Arras being made its suffragan.


The Gaul Camulogenus burnt Lutetia in 52 B. C. , while defending against Cæsar the tribe of the Parisii , whose capital it was. The Romans erected a new city on the left slope of Mt. Lucotilius (later Mont Ste-Geneviève). That the Romanization of Paris was very quickly accomplished is proved:

  • (1) by the altar (discovered in 1710 under the choir of Notre-Dame) raised to Jupiter under Tiberius by the Nautœ Parisiaci , on which are represented several deities borrowed from the Roman pantheon;
  • (2) by the remains of a pedestal (found in 1871 on the site of the old Hôtel-Dieu), which doubtless supported a statue of Germanicus, and on which is represented Janus Quadrifrons , the Roman symbol of peace.

At the end of the third century Lutetia was destroyed by the barbarians, but an important military camp was at once installed in this district. Cæsar Julian, later emperor and known as Julian the Apostate, defended Lutetia against fresh invasions from the north over the road from Senlis to Orléans. There, in 360, he was proclaimed Augustus by his soldiers, and Valentian I also sojourned there. The ruins found in the garden of the Musée de Cluny have, since the twelfth century, been regarded as the ruins of the Thermœ , but in 1903-04 other thermœ were discovered a little distance away, which must be either those of the palace of Julian the Apostate, or, according to M. Julian, those of the communal house of the Nautœ Parisiaci . Ruins have also been discovered of an arena capable of holding from 8000 to 9000 persons.


Paris was a Christian centre at an early date, its first apostles being St. Denis and his companions, Sts. Rusticus and Eleutherius. Until the Revolution the ancient tradition of the Parisian Church commemorated the seven stations of St. Denis, the stages of his apostolate and martyrdom:

  • (1) the ancient monastery of Notre-Dame-des-Champs of which the crypt, it was said, had been dedicated to the Blessed Virgin by St. Denis on his arrival in Paris;
  • (2) the Church of St-Etienne-des-Grès (now disappeared), which stood on the site of an oratory erected by St. Denis to St. Stephen;
  • (3) the Church of St-Benoît (disappeared), where St. Denis had erected an oratory to the Trinity (Deus Benedictus );
  • (4) the chapel of St-Denis-du-Pas near Notre-Dame (disappeared), on the site of the tribunal of the prefect Sicinnius, who tried St. Denis;
  • (5) the Church of St-Denis-de-la-Châtre, the crypt of which was regarded as the saint's cell (now vanished);
  • (6) Mont-martre, where, according to the chronicle written in 836 by Abbot Hilduin, St. Denis was executed;
  • (7) the basilica of St-Denis (see below).

The memorials of the saint's activity in Paris have thus survived, but even the date of his apostolate is a matter of controversy. The legend stating St. Denis came to Gaul in the time of St. Clement, dates only from the end of the eighth century. It is found in the "Passio Dionisii", written about 800, and in the "Gesta Dagoberti", written at the Abbey of St-Denis at the beginning of the ninth century. Still later than the formation of this legend Abbot Hilduin identified St. Denis of Paris with Denis the Areopagite (see DIONYSIUS THE PSEUDO-AREOPAGITE), but this identification is no longer admitted, and history is inclined to accept the opinion of St. Gregory of Tours, who declares St. Denis one of the seven bishops sent by Pope Fabian about 250. It is certain that the Christian community of Paris was of some importance in the third century. Recent discoveries seem to prove that the catacombs of the Gobelins and of St. Marcellus on the left bank were the oldest necropolis of Paris; here have been found nearly 500 tombs, of which the oldest date from the end of the third century. Doubtless in this quarter was situated the church spoken of by St. Gregory of Tours as the oldest in the city; here was the sarcophagus of the virgin Crescentia, granted that our hypothesis agrees with a legend referring to this region the foundation of the chapel under the patronage of Pope St. Clement, in which Bishop St. Marcellus was buried in the fifth century. This bishop, who was a native of Paris, governed the Church of Paris about 430; he is celebrated in popular tradition for his victory over a dragon, and his life was written by Fortunatus.


Paris was preserved from the invasion of Attila through the prayers and activity of St. Genevieve, who prevailed on the Parisians not to abandon their city. Clovis, King of the Franks, was received there in 497 after his conversion to Christianity, and made it his capital. The coming of the Franks brought about its great religious development. At the summit of the hill on the left bank Clovis founded, in honour of the Apostles Peter and Paul, a basilica to which the tomb of St. Genevieve drew numbers of the faithful, and in which St. Clotilde, who died at Tours, was buried. On the right bank were built as early as the fifth century two churches consecrated to St. Martin of Tours - one near the present Notre-Dame, the other further in the country, in the place where the Church of St-Martin-des-Champs now stands. Childebert (died 558), son of Clovis, having become King of Paris in 511, added to the religious prestige of the city. After his campaign in Spain, he made peace with the inhabitants of Saragossa on condition that they would deliver to him the sacred vessels and the stole of St. Vincent, and on his return, at the instance of St. Germain (q. v.), built a church in honour of St. Vincent, which later took the name of Germain himself. The present church of St-Germain-des-Prés still preserves some columns from the triforium, which must date from the first building. After the death of Caribert, son of Clotaire I (567), Paris was not divided among the other sons of Clotaire, but formed a sort of municipal republic under the direction of St. Germain. Owing to this exceptional situation Paris escaped almost entirely the consequences of the civil wars with which the sons of Clotaire, and later Fredegunde and Brunhilde, disturbed Merovingian France. Mgr Duchesne concedes a certain authority to an ancient catalogue of the bishops of Paris, preserved in a sacramentary dating from the end of the ninth or the beginning of the tenth century. After St. Germain other bishops of the Merovingian period were: St. Céran (Ceraunus, 606-21), who collected and compiled the Acts of the Martyrs, and during whose episcopate a council of seventy-nine bishops (the first national council of France) was held at the basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul; St. Landry (650-6), who founded under the patronage of St. Christopher the first charity hospital (Hôtel-Dieu ) of Paris, and who caused the monk Marculf to compile, under the name of "Recueil de Formules", the first French and Parisian code, which is a real monument of the legislation of the seventh century; St. Agilbert (666-80), who was the brother of St. Theodechilde, first Abbess of Jouarre, and who had, during his youth in England, instructed in Christianity the King of the Saxons; St. Hugues (722-30), nephew of Charles Martel, previously Archbishop of Rouen and Abbot of Fontenelle.


The Carlovingian period opened with the episcopate of Déodefroi (757-75), who received Pope Stephen at Paris. Special mention must be made of Æneas (appointed bishop in 853 or 858; died 870), who wrote against Photius, under the title "Libellus adversus Græcos", a collection of texts from the Fathers on the Holy Ghost, fasting, and the Roman primacy. As the Carlovingians most frequently resided on the banks of the Meuse or the Rhine, the bishops of Paris greatly increased their political influence, though confronted by counts who represented the absent sovereigns. The bishops were masters of most of the Ile de la Cité and of a considerable portion of the right bank, near St-Germain-l'Auxerrois. As early as the ninth century the property of the chapter of Notre-Dame, established (775-95) by Bishop Erchenrade, was distinct from that of the diocese, while the cloister and the residences of the canons were quite independent of the royal power. Notre-Dame and the Abbey of St-Germain-des-Prés were then two great economic powers which sent through the kingdom their agents ( missi negociantes ), charged with making purchases. When the Normans entered Paris in 845 or 846, the body of St. Germain was hurriedly removed. They established themselves in the abbey, but left on payment of 7000 livres, whereupon the saint's body was brought back with great pomp. Another Norman invasion in 850 or 856 again occasioned the removal of St. Germain's body, which was restored in 863. Other alarms came in 865 and 876, but the worst attack took place on 24 Nov., 885, when Paris was defended by its bishop, the celebrated Gozlin, a Benedictine and former Abbot of St-Germain-des-Prés, and by Count Eudes of Paris, later King of France. The siege lasted a year, of which an account in Latin verse was written by the monk Abbo Cernuus. Gozlin died in the breach on 16 April, 886. His nephew Ebles, Abbot of St-Germain, was also among the valiant defenders of the city. The Parisians called upon Emperor Charles the Fat to assist them, and he paid the Normans a ransom, and even gave them permission to ascend the Seine through the city to pillage Burgundy; the Parisians refused to let them pass, however, and the Normans had to drag their boats around the walls. After the deposition of Charles the Fat, Eudes, who had defended Paris against the Normans, became king, and repelled another Norman attack, assisted by Gozlin's successor, Bishop Anscheric (886-91). After the death of Eudes the Parisians recognized his brother Robert, Count of Paris and Duke of France, and then Hugh the Great. Hugh Capet, son of Hugh the Great, prevented Paris from falling into the hands of the troops of Emperor Otto II in 978; in 987 he founded the Capetian dynasty.


"To form a conception of Paris in the tenth and eleventh centuries", writes M. Marcel Poète, "we must picture to ourselves a network of churches and monasteries surrounded by cultivated farm-lands on the present site of Paris." Take, for example, the monastery of St. Martin-des-Champs, which in 1079 was attached to the Order of Cluny; about this monastery and its hospice was grouped a real agricultural colony, while all trades were practised in the monastic school. The same was true of the monastery of Sts. Barthélemy and Magloire, which was celebrated at the beginning of the Capetian period, and was dependent on the Abbey of Marmoutiers (see TOURS). But a still more famous monastic establishment was the Abbey of St-Germain-des-Prés. Its estates of Issy and of Celle-St-Cloud were vast possessions, and the polyptych (record of the monastic possessions), drawn up at the beginning of the ninth century under the direction of Abbot Irminon, shows how these estates, which extended into Indre and Normandy, were administered and cultivated. The first Capetians generally resided at Paris. Louis the Fat quarrelled with Bishop Etienne de Senlis (1124-42). The bishop placed the royal domain under interdict, whereupon the king confiscated the temporalities of the diocese, but the intervention of the pope and of St. Bernard put an end to the difference, and to seal the reconciliation, the king invited the bishop to the coronation of his son, Louis VII. The episcopal court of Peter Lombard (1157 or 1159 to 1160 or 1164) contributed to the scholarly reputation of the Church of Paris. The University of Paris did not yet exist, but, from the beginning of the twelfth century, the monastic schools of Notre-Dame were already famous, and the teaching of Peter Lombard, known as the Master of the Sentences, added to their lustre. Louis VI declared in a diploma that he had passed "his childhood in the schools of Notre-Dame as in the maternal bosom". At Notre-Dame William of Champeaux (q. v.) had taught dialectics, been a professor, and become an archdeacon, and had Abelard as a disciple before he founded the school of St-Victor in 1108. Until about 1127 the students of Notre-Dame resided within the chapter enclosure. By a command of Alexander III the principle of gratuitous instruction was asserted. In a letter written between 1154 and 1182 Philippe de Harvengt says: "There is at Paris such an assemblage and abundance of clerics that they threatened to outnumber the laity. Happy city, where the Holy Books are so assiduously studied and their mysteries so well expounded, where such diligence reigns among the students, and where there is such a knowledge of Scripture that it may be called the city of letters!" At the same period Peter of Blois says that all who wish the settlement of any question should apply to Paris, where the most tangled knots are untied. In his letter to Archbishop William of Sens (1169), St. Thomas à Becket declares himself ready to submit his difference with the King of England to the judgment of the scholars at Paris.

The long episcopate of Maurice de Sully (1160-96), the son of a simple serf, was marked by the consecration of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame (see below) and the journey to Paris of Pope Alexander III (1163). Hughes de Monceaux, Abbot of St-Germain, requested the pope to consecrate the monastery church. Maurice de Sully, Bishop of Paris, having accompanied the pope to the ceremony, was invited by the abbot to withdraw, and Alexander III declared in a sermon, afterwards confirmed by a Bull, thenceforth the Church of St-Germain-des-Prés was dependent only on the Roman pontiff, and subsequently conferred on the abbot a number of episcopal prerogatives. In time the Abbey of St-Germain became the centre of a bourg, the inhabitants of which were granted municipal freedom by Abbot Hughes de Monceaux about 1170. Eudes de Sully (1197-1208), the successor of Maurice, courageously opposed King Philip II, when he wished to repudiate Ingeburge and wed Agnes de Méran. Philip II was a benefactor of Paris, and the university was founded during his reign (1215). (See PARIS, UNIVERSITY OF.) The thirteenth century, and especially the reign of St. Louis, was a period of great industrial and commercial prosperity for Paris, as is shown by the "Livre des Mestiers" of Etienne Boileau and the invectives of Petrarch. Bishop Guillaume d'Auvergne (1227-49) received from St. Louis the Crown of Thorns, which was borne in procession to Paris on 18 August, 1239. Under St. Louis the Parliament was permanently established at Paris and the Bishop of Paris declared a conseiller-né . Under Philip the Fair occurred at Paris the trial of the Templars (q. v.) which ended (1314) with the execution of Jacques de Molai (q. v.).


The troubles of the Hundred Years' War throw into relief the character of Pierre de la Forest, Bishop of Paris (1350-2), later Archbishop of Rouen and cardinal. After the Battle of Poitiers (1356), at which John II was taken prisoner, the dauphin Charles (afterwards Charles V) convoked at Paris the States General of 1356, 1357, and 1358. At these assemblies the provost of merchants, Etienne Marcel, and Robert Le Coq, Bishop of Laon, were the leaders of a violent opposition to the royal party. The result of the assassination of Etienne Marcel was the dauphin's victory. Having become king as Charles V, the latter made himself a magnificent residence at the Hôtel St-Paul, rebuilt the Louvre, and began the construction of the Bastille. During his reign the cardinalitial purple was first given to the bishops of Paris. Etienne de Paris (1363-8) and Aimeri de Maignac (1368-84) received it in turn. The revolt of the Maillotins (1381) and the wars between the Burgundians and Armagnacs during the first twenty years of the fifteenth century filled Paris with blood. After the Treaty of Troyes (1420) Paris received an English garrison. Because of his sympathy with Charles VI, John Courtecuisse, a theologian of Gallican tendencies who became bishop in 1420, was compelled to go into exile at Geneva, where he died in 1423. The attack of Joan of Arc on Paris in 1430 was unsuccessful. The Treaty of Arras between Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, and Charles VII, restored Paris under the dominion of the kings of France. Louis XI (q. v.), successor of Charles VII, was much beloved by the citizens of Paris. The poet Jean du Bellay, friend of Francis I and several times ambassador, was Bishop of Paris from 1532 to 1551, and was made cardinal in 1535. With him the Renaissance was established in the diocese, and it was at his persuasion that Francis I founded for the teaching of languages and philology the Collège Royal, which later became the Collège de France (1529). In 1533 du Ballay negotiated between Henry VIII and Clement VII in an attempt to prevent England's break with the Holy See, and, when in 1536 the troops of Charles V threatened Picardy and Champagne, he received from Francis I the title of Lieutenant-General of the Kingdom and placed Paris in a state of defence. Du Bellay was a typical prelate of the Renaissance, and was celebrated for his three books of Latin poetry and his magnificent Latin discourses. For a time he had for his secretary, Rabelais, whom he is said to have inspired to write "Pantagruel". He was disgraced under Henry II, resigned his bishopric in 1551, and went to Rome, where he died. The consequences of the rise of Protestantism and of the wars of religion in regard to Paris are treated under SAINT BARTHOLOMEW'S DAY; LEAGUE, THE; FRANCE.


With Cardinal Pierre de Gondi (died 1598), who occupied the See of Paris from 1568, began the Gondi dynasty which occupied the see for a century. As ambassador to Pius V, Gregory XIII, and Sixtus V, Pierre de Gondi always opposed the League and favoured the accession of Henry of Navarre. After the episcopate of his nephew Cardinal Henri de Gondi (1598-1622), Paris became an archiepiscopal see, and was given to Jean François de Gondi. As early as 1376 Charles V had sought the erection of Paris to archiepiscopal rank, but, out of regard for the archbishops of Sens, the Holy See had then refused to grant the petition. Louis XIII was more successful, and by a Bull of October, 1622, Paris was made a metropolitan see with Chartres, Meaux, and Orléans as suffragans. Jean François de Gondi did much to further the development of religious congregations (see BÉRULLE, PIERRE DE; ORATORY, FRENCH CONGREGATION OF THE; OLIER, JEAN-JACQUES; ST-SULPICE, SOCIETY OF; VINCENT DE PAUL, SAINT), and, during the civil disturbances of the Fronde, laboured for the relief of the suffering populace, whose tireless benefactor was St. Vincent de Paul. The archbishop's coadjutor was his nephew Jean François Paul de Gondi, Cardinal de Retz (q. v.), who often played the part of a political conspirator. In 1662 the See of Paris was for a very brief period occupied by the Gallican canonist Pierre de Marca, earlier Archbishop of Toulouse. He was succeeded by Hardouin de Péréfixe de Beaumont (1662-71), during whose episcopate began the sharp conflicts evoked by Jansenism. He had been tutor to Louis XIV and was the biographer of Henry IV. Harlay de Champvallon (1671-95) is the subject of a separate article. Louis Antoine de Noailles (1695-1729), made cardinal in 1700, played an important part in the disputes concerning Quietism and Jansenism. After an attempt to reconcile Bossuet and Fénelon he took sides against the latter, successively approved and condemned Quesnel's book, and did not subscribe to the Bull "Unigenitus" until 1728. In the eighteenth century the See of Paris was made illustrious by Christophe de Beaumont (1746-81), earlier Bishop of Bayonne and Archbishop of Vienne, who succeeded in putting an end to the opposition lingering among some of the clergy to the Bull "Unigenitus". The parliamentarians protested against the denial of the sacraments to impenitent Jansenists, and Louis XV, after having at first forbidden the Parliament to concern itself with this question, turned against the archbishop, exiled him, and then endeavoured to secure his resignation by offering him tempting dignities. But it was especially against the philosophes that this prelate waged war; pamphlets were written against him, among them the "Lettre de Jean Jacques Rousseau à monseigneur l'archévêque de Paris". Antoine Le Clerc de Juigné (died 1811), who succeeded Beaumont in 1781, was president of the clergy at the States General of 1789. He went into exile during the Revolution, and at the Concordat resigned his see at the pope's request.


Within the present boundaries of the archdiocese the number of priests forming the active clergy at the time of the Revolution was about 1000, of whom 600 were in Parisian parishes, 150 in those of the suburbs, and 250 were chaplains. There were 921 religious, belonging to 21 religious families divided among 38 convents. Immediately after the adoption of the Civil Constitution of the clergy 8 new parishes were created in Paris and 27 were suppressed. Out of 50 Parisian pastors 26 refused to take the oath; out of 69 first or second curates 36 refused; of the 399 other priests haying spiritual powers, 216 refused. On the other hand among the priests who, not exercising parochial duties, were not called upon to swear, 196 declared that they would take the oath and 14 refused. On 13 March 1791, Gobel (born 1727), Bishop of Lydda, Coadjutor Bishop of Basle, and a member of the Constitutional Assembly, was elected bishop by 500 votes. Loménie de Brienne, Archbishop of Sens, and Jarente, Bishop of Orléans, though both had accepted the civil constitution of the clergy, refused to give Gobel canonical institution, and he received it from the famous Talleyrand, Bishop of Autun. Gobel surrounded himself with married clerics such as Louis de Saint Martin, Colombart, and Aubert, and through the Marquis of Spinola, Minister of the Republic of Genoa, endeavoured to obtain from the Holy See a sum of money in exchange for his submission. At the beginning of 1793 he was at the head of about 600 "sworn" priests, about 500 of whom were employed in parishes. On 7 November, 1793, he solemnly declared before the Convention that his subordinates and he renounced the duties of ministers of Catholic worship, whereupon the Convention congratulated him on having "sacrificed the grotesque baubles of superstition". On the same day Notre-Dame was dedicated to the worship of Reason, Citizeness Aubry, a comédienne , impersonating that goddess and Gobel presiding at the ceremony. Finally, the Commune of Paris decided that all churches should be closed, and that whosoever requested that they be reopened should be regarded as a suspect. In March, 1794, Gobel was condemned to death as an atheist by the followers of Robespierre, and was executed after lengthy spiritual interviews with the Sulpician Emery and after he had addressed to Abbé Lothringer a letter in which he declared his repentance. In the absence of Juigné, the legitimate bishop, the Catholic faithful continued to obey a council formed of the Abbés de Malaret, Emery, and Espinasse, under the leadership of the former vicar-general, Charles Henri du Valk de Dampierre, who was in hiding. Public worship was restored by the Law of Ventose, Year III, and by the law of 2 Prairial, Year III (30 March, 1795), fifteen churches were reopened. As early as 1796 about fifty places of worship had been reopened in Paris; sixteen or seventeen, of which eleven were parochial churches, were administered by priests who had accepted the Constitution. More than thirty others of which three were parochial churches, were administered by priests who were in secret obedience to the legitimate archbishop, and the number of Constitutional priests had fallen from 600 to 150.


The Archdiocese of Paris became more and more important in France during the nineteenth century. Jean Baptiste de Belloy, former Bishop of Marseilles, who was appointed archbishop in 1802, was then ninety-three years old. On 18 April, 1802, he presided at Notre-Dame over the ceremony at which the Concordat was solemnly published. Despite his great age he reorganized worship in Paris, and re-established religious life in its forty-two parishes. In a conciliatory spirit he appointed to about twelve of these parishes priests who had taken the oath during the Revolution. He became cardinal in 1803 and died in 1808. The conflict between Napoleon and Pius VII was then at its height. Napoleon attempted to make Fesch accept the See of Paris, while the latter wished to retain that of Lyons. Cardinal Maury (1746-1817), formerly a royalist deputy to the Constitutional Assembly, also ambassador to the Holy See from the Count of Provence, but who went over to the Empire in 1800 and in 1810 became chaplain to King Jerome, was named Archbishop of Paris by Napoleon on 14 Oct., 1810. The chapter at once conferred on him the powers of vicar-capitular, until he should be preconized by the pope, but, when it became known that Pius VII, by a Brief of 5 November, 1810, refused to recognize the nomination, Maury was actively opposed by a section of the chapter and the clergy. The emperor took his revenge by striking at the vicar-capitular, Astros (q. v.). At the fall of Napoleon, despite his zeal in persuading it to adhere to the deposition of the emperor, Maury was deprived of his faculties by the chapter. In agreement with Rome, Louis XVIII named as Archbishop of Paris (1 Aug., 1817) Alexandre Angélique de Talleyrand-Périgord (1736-1821), who, despite the Concordat, chose to retain his title of Archbishop of Reims until 1816 and who was created cardinal on 28 July, 1817. Talleyrand-Périgord did not take possession of his see until Oct., 1819. He divided the diocese into three arch-deaneries, which division is still in force.

On the death of Talleyrand-Périgord in 1821, his coadjutor Hyacinthe Louis de Quélen (1778-1840), court chaplain, succeeded him. A member of the Chamber of Peers under the Restoration, Quélen, as president of the commission for the investigation of the school situation, vainly endeavoured to prevent the promulgation of the Martignac ordinances against the Jesuits in June, 1828. His friendly relations with Louis XVIII and Charles X drew upon him in 1830 the hostility of the populace; his palace was twice sacked, and the Monarchy of July regarded him with suspicion, but the devotion he showed during a terrible cholera epidemic won many hearts to him. Assisted by Dupanloup he converted the famous Talleyrand, nephew of his predecessor, on his death-bed in 1838. Quélen died 8 Jan., 1840, and was succeeded by Denis-Auguste Affre, (q. v., 1793-1848), who was slain at the barricades in 1848. Marie-Dominique-Auguste Sibour (1792-1862), formerly Bishop of Digne, succeeded Affre; among the prelates consulted by Pius IX with regard to the opportuneness of defining the Immaculate Conception, he was one of the few who opposed it. He was killed in the church of St-Etienne-du-Mont on 3 Jan., 1857, by a suspended priest. After the short episcopate of Cardinal Morlot (1857-62) the see was occupied from 1862 to 1872 by Georges Darboy (q. v.), who was slain during the Commune. Joseph-Hippolyte Guibert (1802-86), previously Bishop of Viviers and Archbishop of Tours, became Archbishop of Paris on 27 Oct., 1871. His episcopate was made notable by the erection of the basilica of Montmartre (see below), and the creation of the Catholic University, at the head of which he placed Mgr d'Hulst. His successor was François-Marie-Benjamin Richard (1819-1907), former Bishop of Belley, who had been coadjutor of Paris since July, 1875, became cardinal 24 May, 1889, and was active in the defence of the religious congregations. Mgr Léon Amette (born at Douville, in the Diocese of Evreux, 1850), coadjutor to Cardinal Richard since February, 1906, succeeded him in the See of Paris, on 28 Jan., 1908.


On the site now occupied by the courtyards of Notre-Dame de Paris there was as early as the sixth century a church of Notre-Dame, which had as patrons the Blessed Virgin, St. Stephen, and St. Germain. It was built by Childebert about 528, and on the site of the present sacristy there was also a church dedicated to St. Stephen. The Norman invasions destroyed Notre-Dame, but St-Etienne remained standing, and for a time served as the cathedral. At the end of the ninth century Notre-Dame was rebuilt, and the two churches continued to exist side by side until the eleventh century when St-Etienne fell to ruin. Maurice de Sully resolved to erect a magnificent cathedral on the ruins of St-Etienne and the site of Notre-Dame. Surrounded by twelve cardinals, Alexander III, who sojourned at Paris from 24 March to 25 April, 1163, laid the corner-stone. Henri de Château-Marçay, papal legate, consecrated the high altar in 1182; Hierarchus, Patriarch of Jerusalem, officiated in 1185 in the completed choir; the façade was finished in 1218, the towers in 1235. Jean and Pierre de Chelles completed the work, and, at the beginning of the fourteenth century, the cathedral was as it is now. The following are among the noteworthy events which took place at Notre-Dame: the depositing by St. Louis (10 Aug., 1239) of the Crown of Thorns, a portion of the True Cross, and a nail of the Passion; the obsequies of St. Louis (21 May, 1271); the assembling of the first States-General (10 April, 1302); the coronation of Henry VI of England as King of France (17 Nov., 1431); the coronation of Mary Stuart (4 April, 1560); the funeral oration of the Duc de Mercœur by St. Francis de Sales (27 April, 1602); the vow of Louis XIII, making the Assumption a feast of the kingdom (10 Feb., 1638); the abjuration of the Maréchal de Turenne (23 Oct., 1668); the funeral oration of the Prince de Condé by Bossuet (10 March, 1687).

During the French Revolution, in the period following 1790, the treasury was despoiled of many of its precious objects, which were sent to the mint to be melted down. The Crown of Thorns was taken to the cabinet of antiquities of the Bibliothèque Nationale and thus escaped destruction. The statues of the kings, which adorned the porch, were destroyed in October, 1793, by order of the Paris Commune. The feast of Reason was celebrated in Notre-Dame in November, 1793; in December of the same year Saint-Simon, the future founder of the Saint-Simonian religion, was about to purchase the church and destroy it. From 1798 it contained the offices of the Constitutional clergy, and from 5 March to 28 May, 1798, it was also the meeting-place of the Theophilanthropists. Catholic worship was resumed on 18 April, 1802, and the coronation of Napoleon took place there on 2 December, 1804. By the preface of his novel "Notre Dame de Paris" (1832) Victor Hugo aroused a strong public sentiment in favour of the cathedral. In April, 1844, the Government entrusted Lassus and Viollet le Duc with a complete restoration, which was completed in 1864. On 31 May, 1864, Archbishop Darboy dedicated the restored cathedral. The marriage of Napoleon III (30 January, 1853), the funeral services of President Carnot (1 July, 1894), the obsequies of President Félix Faure (23 Feb., 1899), took place at Notre-Dame. Notre-Dame has been a minor basilica since 27 Feb., 1805. As early as the beginning of the thirteenth century at least two churches were copied entirely from the cathedral of Paris, viz, the collegiate church of Mantes (Seine-et-Oise.) and the cathedral of Nicosia in the Island of Cyprus, the bishop of which was a brother of the cantor of Notre-Dame. The Ile de la Cité , where Notre-Dame stands, also contains the Sainte-Chapelle, in the Palais de la Justice, one of the most beautiful religious buildings in Paris. It was built (1212-47) under St. Louis by Pierre de Montereau, with the exception of the spire. Its stained-glass windows are admirable. In former times the king, from an ogival baldachin, displayed to the people the relics of the Passion.


The Church of St-Germain-l'Auxerrois was built between the thirteenth and the sixteenth century on the site of a baptistery built by St. Germain, where baptism was administered on fixed dates. At other times the piscina was dry, and the catechumens came and seated themselves on the steps while catechetical classes were held. Three tragic recollections are connected with this church. On 24 August, 1572, its bells gave the signal for the Massacre of St. Bartholomew; in 1617, the body of Concini, Maréchal d'Ancre, which had been buried there, was disinterred by the mob and mutilated; on 14 Feb., 1831, the people sacked the church under the pretext that an anniversary Mass was being celebrated for the soul of the Duc de Berry. The Church of St-Eustache, built between 1532 and 1637, was the scene of the First Communion of Louis XIV (1649), the funeral oration of Turenne preached by Fléchier (1676), and Massillon's sermon on the small number of the elect (1704). Massillon preached the Lenten sermons in the church of St-Leu (fourteenth century), and the conspirator Georges Cadoudal hid in its crypt from the police of Bonaparte. In the Church of St-Gervais (early sixteenth-century), where the League was established, Bossuet preached the funeral sermon of Chancellor Michel Le Tellier. Its doorway, of which Louis XIII laid the first stone in 1616, is a very beautiful work of Salomon de Brosse. Blessed Marie de l'Incarnation was baptized at Saint-Merry (1520-1612). In Saint-Louis-en-l'Ile (rebuilt 1664-1726) St. Vincent de Paul presided over the meetings at which the charity bureaux were organized. Charles VI, Charles VII, and Olier were baptized in the Church of St-Paul, destroyed during the Revolution. The Church of St-Louis (seventeenth-century), former chapel of the Jesuit professed house, where Bourdaloue preached the funeral sermon of Condé and where he was buried, was chosen at the Concordat to replace the parish of St-Paul, and took the name of St-Paul-St-Louis. The Madeleine (begun 1764 and finished 1824), of which Napoleon I wished to make a Temple of Glory, had within less than a century two pastors, who were martyred, Le Ber, butchered in 1792, and Deguerry, shot in 1871. The Church of St-Lawrence (fifteenth-century) was often visited by St. Vincent de Paul, who lived in the convent of St-Lazare within the confines of the parish. Here was buried Venerable Madame Le Gras, foundress of the Sisters of Charity. During the Revolution it was given to the Theophilanthropists who made of it the "Temple of Hymen and Fidelity". With regard to Notre-Dame-des-Victoires see below under FAMOUS PILGRIMAGES. St-Denys-de-la-Chapelle (thirteenth-century) stands where St. Genevieve and her companions rested, when they were making a pilgrimage from Paris to the tomb of St. Denis. Bl. Joan of Arc, who had come to besiege Paris, stopped here to pray.


St-Nicholas-du-Chardonnet (1656-1758) is famous for the seminary which Bourdoise founded in the vicinity, for the Forty Hours preached there by St. Francis de Sales, and for the funeral oration of Lamoignon preached there by Fléchier. St-Sulpice (1646-1745) is famous for its pastor Olier (q. v.); in 1793 it was a temple of Victory, under the Directory it was used by the Theophilanthropists, and there Pius VII consecrated the bishops of La Rochelle and Poitiers. To the architectural importance of St-Germain-des-Prés was added in the nineteenth century the attraction of Flandrin's frescoes. St-Médard (fifteenth-sixteenth-century) became celebrated in the eighteenth century owing to the sensation caused by the Jansenists with regard to the wonders wrought at the tomb of the deacon Paris. St-Séverin (fourteenth-fifteenth-century), one of the most remarkable Gothic edifices of Paris, replaced an older church in which Foulques de Neuily preached the Fourth Crusade in 1199; St. Vincent de Paul, Bossuet, Massillon, Fléchier, Lacordaire, and Ravignan preached in this church. Originally dedicated to St. Severinus, a Parisian hermit, who was buried there in 555, it was dedicated to St. Severinus of Agaune from the fifteenth to the eighteenth century, and since 1753 has had both these saints as patrons. Ste-Clotilde (1846-61) was made a minor basilica on 19 April, 1897, at the time of the fourteenth centenary of Clovis. St-Lambert-de-Vaugirard had as pastor Olier, who founded the Society of St-Sulpice, and St. John Baptist de la Salle opened his first school in this parish; its name of Vaugirard (Vallis Gerardi ) recalls the charitable Abbot of St-Germain-des-Prés, Gerard de Moret, who built dwellings for sick religious in the locality. The church of the Sorbonne, where religious services are no longer held, was begun in 1635, Richelieu laying its foundation stone, and completed in 1646. Richelieu's tomb in this church was violated during the Revolution; the cardinal's head, which was taken away on this occasion, was restored to this church in 1866. The chapel of Val-de-Gârce, a very beautiful specimen of the Jesuit style and famous for its cupola wherein Mignard has depicted the glory of the blessed, was built in fulfillment of a vow made by Anne of Austria. Mansart was its first architect, and the corner-stone was laid in 1645 by Louis XIV at the age of seven. Here was buried Henrietta of France, wife of Charles I of England, and here Bossuet preached the Lenten sermons of 1663. It is now the chapel of the Paris military hospital. The chapel of St-Louis-des-Invalides contains the tomb of Napoleon I. In the crypt of the Church of St-Joseph-des-Carmes, built by the Carmelites between 1613 and 1625 and now the church of the Institut Catholique, are the tomb of Ozanam and the remains of the 120 priests massacred in this church on 2 Sept., 1792, after fifteen days of captivity. In this crypt Lacordaire remained attached to a cross for three hours.


The Benedictine Abbey of St-Germain-des-Prés, the foundation and medieval splendour of which have been described above, was long famous for the fair which it held. During the seventeenth century its important library made it a centre of learning, and Luc d'Achéry, Mabillon, and Montfaucon rendered it illustrious. Abbé Prévost, author of the famous romance "Manon Lescaut", was for a time a Benedictine at St-Germain-des-Prés, where he worked on "Gallia Christiana". John Casimir, first a Jesuit and later King of Poland, died as Abbot of St-Germain-des-Prés in 1672. The abbey prison was the scene of the September massacres in 1792.

The origin of the Abbey of St-Victor was a hermitage, to which William of Champeaux (q. v.) retired in 1108. The abbey was founded by a royal charter in 1113, and had as first abbot Gilduin, confessor of Louis the Fat. The abbey governed the priories of Corbeil, Château-Laudon, Etampes, Mantes, Poissy, Dreux, and even the cathedral of Séez. During the first century it was rendered illustrious by Richard of St-Victor, Hugh of St-Victor, and the liturgical poet, Adam of St-Victor. Grave abuses having crept into the Congregation of the Canons of St. Genevieve, Pope Eugenius III and Suger in 1148 introduced the Canons Regular of St. Augustine from the Abbey of St-Victor. From the thirteenth to the fifteenth century the abbey passed through a period of decadence, and in 1498 two strange monks, John Standonck, rector of the College of Montaigu, and John Monbaer of Windesheim near Zwolle, spent nine months at the abbey to effect its reform. With the sixteenth century began a series of commendatory abbots, one of whom, Antonio Caracciolo, became a Protestant. The canons of St-Victor took a very important part in the League. The first half of the seventeenth century was characterized by a conflict between Jean de Toulouse, prior of St-Victor, and the Genovéfains; a decision of the official (28 June, 1645) declared St-Victor autonomous. Jansenism found its way into St-Victor, and was combatted by Simon Gourdan, who was persecuted. In the eighteenth century its library was celebrated, and was open to the public three times a week. The librarian Mulot, who was also grand prior, published a translation of "Daphnis and Chloe". The abbey's end was sad. When the Revolutionary commissaries questioned the twenty-one religious present, only one, aged 81, affirmed his desire to remain; nine did not reply, eleven left the monastery, and the librarian Mulot became a deputy of the Legislative Assembly. The abbey was destroyed in November, 1798.

The early history of the Abbey of Saint-Denis, near Paris, is very obscure. In the second half of the fifth century the clergy of Paris erected at the instance of St. Genevieve in the village of Catulliacus where the saint was buried, a basilica, administered by a community of monks. Pilgrims flocked thither, and, as early as 625, a charter of Clotaire II authorized the abbot to receive a legacy. Nevertheless, tradition regards Dagobert I (628-38) as the real founder. According to Mabillon, Félibien, and M. Léon Levillain, he merely decorated and embellished the already existing basilica; according to Julian Havet, this early basilica stood at the place called Saint-Denis-de-l'Entrée, west of the present church, and between 623 and 625 Dagobert founded the new abbey church, to which the relics were removed in 626. Whatever the solution of this problem, with which scholars have occupied themselves since the seventeenth century, Dagobert was the abbey's signal benefactor: the altar ornaments, the tomb containing the body of St. Denis, the golden cross set with precious stones which stood behind the high altar were the work of the goldsmith, St. Eligius (Eloi), the king's friend. Dagobert himself desired to be buried at Saint-Denis. At the instance of Abbot Fulrad (died 784) Pepin the Short had the abbey rebuilt, and here on 28 July, 754, Pope Stephen II solemnly administered the royal anointment to Pepin, Queen Bertha, and their two sons, and consecrated an altar. The new edifice was dedicated on 24 Feb., 775, in the presence of Charlemagne. Hilduin, who became abbot in 814, wrote the life of St. Denis, and identifies him with St. Denis the Areopagite; During the ninth century the Normans several times levied tribute on and pillaged the monastery. During the siege of Paris in 886, the monks sought refuge with Archbishop Foulques of Reims, taking with them the body of St. Denis. After these disasters the abbey was restored and perhaps, as some scholars maintain, entirely rebuilt. St. Gerard, of a noble family of the Low Countries, was a monk at St-Denis previously to founding the Abbey of Broglie in 1030. In 1106 Paschal II visited the abbey, and for a time Abelard was a monk there. Suger, minister of Louis VI and Louis VII, who became Abbot of St-Denis in 1122, wished to erect a sumptuous new church; his architectural work is known to us through two of his writings, the "Book of his Administration" and the "Treatise on the Consecration of the Church of St. Denis". St-Denis then attracted numerous pilgrims, whom Suger describes as crowding to the doors, "squeezed as in a press". By a charter of 15 March, 1125, Suger released from mortmain the people of St-Denis, who in gratitude gave him the money for the reconstruction of the church. The work began doubtless about 1132; the choir was consecrated on 11 June, 1144, in the presence of Louis VII, five archbishops, and fourteen bishops, and the translation of the relics took place the same day. The alliance of the Capetians with the monastery of St. Denis was thenceforth sealed. Odo of Deuil, Suger's successor as abbot, was chaplain to Louis VII during the Second Crusade, of which he wrote a chronicle. The Abbey of St-Denis was the repository of the royal insignia - the crown, sceptre, main de justice , and the garments and ornaments used at the coronation of the kings. For each coronation the abbot brought them to Reims. The oriflamme (q. v.) was also kept there, and thither repaired Bl. Joan of Arc after the coronation of Charles VII at Reims.

The new Church of St-Denis has an extreme importance for the history of medieval architecture. It was the earliest important building in which the pointed arch (croisée d'ogive ) was used in the chapels of the deambulatory, thus inaugurating this wonderful invention of the Gothic style. The church exercised also a great influence on the development of the industrial arts: the products of the goldsmith's and enameller's art ordered by Suger formed one of the most beautiful treasures of Christianity, some remnants of which are still preserved in the Gallery of Apollo at the Louvre. As regards monumental sculpture M. André Michel, the art historian, writes that "the grand chantry of St-Denis was the decisive studio in the elaboration and, if we may so speak, the proclamation of the new style." In 1231 the religious of St-Denis resolved to reconstruct the basilica, and the chronicler Guillaume de Nangis, a monk at the abbey, says that St. Louis, a friend of their abbot Mathieu de Vendôme, advised them to do so. It may be that portions of the edifice built by Suger had fallen to ruin, or perhaps St. Louis's plan to erect tombs to his predecessors was the origin of the plan. Of Suger's building the western façade, the deambulatory, the chapels of the apse, and the crypt were retained, the remainder being rebuilt. The work was directed by the architect Pierre de Montereau, thanks to whose genius the nave and transept form a glorious example of the splendid Gothic art of the thirteenth century. St-Denis was the historical laboratory of the old French monarchy: the abbot selected a religious who followed the court as historiographer to the king, and, on the death of each king, the history of his reign, after having been submitted to the chapter, was incorporated in the "Grandes Chroniques". Especially important, as historical sources, are the works of the monk Rigord on Philip Augustus and that of Guillaume de Nangis on St. Louis. On the invention of printing the "Grandes Chroniques" were put in order by Jean Chartier, who completed them with the history of Charles VII and published them in 1476, this being the earliest book known to have been printed in Paris.

From 1529 St-Denis had commendatory abbots, the first of whom was Louis Cardinal de Bourbon. The Religious Wars were a disastrous period for the abbey. In 1562 and 1567 tombs were destroyed, the archives ravaged, and the reliquaries of the saints stripped of their plates of gold and silver. Catherine de' Medici planned to erect beside the church a chapel for Henry II and herself; François Primatice, Jean Bullant, and Androuet de Cerceau in turn supervised the work on this great mausoleum, which, owing to the civil disturbances, was never finished and was demolished in 1719. The troubles of the League brought about fresh pillages. Here on 25 July, 1593, Renaud de Beaune, Archbishop of Bourges, received the abjuration of Henry IV. In 1633 the Benedictines of the Congregation of St. Maur reformed the abbey, and for a time the celebrated Mabillon (1632-1707) was guardian of the treasury. In 1686 Louis XIV transferred the abbatial revenues to the recently founded royal house of St-Cyr. In 1691 the title and dignity of its abbot were suppressed, and thenceforth the abbey was directed by grand priors, dependent on the superior-general of the congregation who resided at the Abbey of St-Germain-des-Prés. These grand priors were of right vicars-general of the archbishops of Paris. In 1706 the monk Félibien (1666-1719) published the history of the abbey. In the eighteenth century the abbey buildings were entirely rebuilt by the monks, and they were about to change completely the Gothic appearance of the church itself when the Revolution broke out. St-Denis was then called Franciade , the church became first a temple of Reason, and then a market-house. In August, 1793, the Convention, on the recommendation of Barère, ordered the destruction of the tombs of the kings. Immediately most of the Gothic tombs were destroyed, and between 14 and 25 Oct., 1793, the ashes of the Bourbons were scattered to the winds. In 1795 Alexander Lenoir had all the tombs that had been spared removed to the Museum of French Monuments. Napoleon (20 Feb., 1805) decided that the church should be restored, re-established worship there, and decreed that thenceforth St-Denis should be the burial-place of the emperors. At the Restoration the tombs which had been removed to the Museum of French Monuments were restored to St-Denis, but in such a disorderly fashion that Montalembert, in a discourse of 1847, called the Church of St. Denis "a museum of bric-A-brac". A truly artistic restoration was accomplished finally (1847-79) by Viollet le Duc.

Of the thirty-two Capetian kings from Hugh Capet to Louis XV only three were buried elsewhere than in St-Denis. The series of authentic portraits of the kings of France at St-Denis opens with the sepulchral statue of Philip III the Bold (died 1285). Until the sixteenth century the royal tombs at St-Denis maintained modest proportions, but in that century the church was filled with works of art. The monument of the Dukes of Orléans, erected by Louis XII, was the work of four Genoese sculptors; that of Louis XII (died 1515) and Anne of Brittany (died 1514), is the work of the Juste family, Italian sculptors residing at Tours; the magnificent monument of Francis I and Claude of France is the work of the great architect Philibert Delorme and of the sculptor Pierre Bontemps; that of Henry II and Catherine de' Medici, executed under the direction of Primatice, is admired for the sculptures of Germain Pilon. The only monument representing the art of the seventeenth century is that of Turenne. The episcopal chapter of St-Denis, created by Napoleon I to care for the basilica, was composed of ten canons whose head was the grand almoner. The canons had to be former bishops more than fifty years of age. The Restoration created canons of a second order, who were not chosen from among the bishops, and the grand almoner received the title of primicier (dean) of the chapter. The empire and the Restoration claimed that this chapter, which Napoleon had created without taking counsel with Rome, should not be subject to the jurisdiction of the ordinary. This was the cause of conflict until 1846, when the pope issued a Bull placing the chapter of St-Germain under the direct supervision of the Holy See; the primate retained episcopal authority over the church and the house of the Legion of Honour annexed to the church, and the Archbishop of Paris had no spiritual jurisdiction over either of these buildings. The budget for the chapter of St-Denis was suppressed by the State in 1888. The theologian Maret, famous for his writings against the opportuneness of the definition of infallibility, was the last primate.


(1) Tomb of St. Genevieve

St. Genevieve is the patroness of Paris, but after the conversion of the church into a Pantheon of France's great men the saint had no church in Paris. Since 1803 her tomb has been at St-Etienne-du-Mont (built 1517-1620), the burial-place of Racine and Pascal. There Pius VII went to pray on 10 January, 1805, and it was the scene of the assassination of Archbishop Sibour on 3 January, 1857. The veneration of St. Genevieve is expressed in two feasts:

  • (1) on her feast proper (3 January) and the following eight days a solemn novena takes place at St-Etienne-du-Mont and at the church of Nanterre, birthplace of St. Genevieve, whither Clotaire II, St. Louis, Blanche of Castile, Louis XIII, and Anne of Austria went to venerate her memory:
  • (2) on 26 November, anniversary of the miracle whereby, in 1130, a procession of the relics of St. Genevieve cured many Parisians of the mal des ardents ( Miracle des arderts ).

(2) Notre-Dame-des-Victoires

In consequence of the visions granted to Catherine Labouré (who six months previously had become a member of the Sisters of Charity), M. Aladel, assistant of the Lazarists, with the approval of Mgr de Quélen, had struck the "miraculous medal" of Mary Conceived without Sin, more than 4,000,000 of which were distributed throughout the world within four years. In 1838 Desgenettes, pastor of Notre-Dame-des-Victoires, organized in that church the Association in honour of the Holy and Immaculate Heart of Mary, which Gregory XVI made a confraternity on 24 April, 1838, and the badge of which was the miraculous medal. In virtue of another indult of Gregory XVI (7 Dec., 1838) the Diocese of Paris received the right to transfer to the second Sunday of Advent the solemnity of the feast of the Immaculate Conception. On 10 July, 1894, Leo XIII granted to the Lazarists, and to the dioceses that should request it, the faculty of celebrating yearly on 27 November the manifestation of the Blessed Virgin through the miraculous medal. This feast was first celebrated at Paris in the chapel of Rue du Bac on 25, 26, and 27 November, 1894. On 27 July, 1897, the statue of the Blessed Virgin in this chapel was solemnly crowned in virtue of a Brief of Leo XIII (2 March, 1897). In 1899 the number of Masses celebrated by foreign priests at Notre-Dame-des-Victoires was 3031; the number of Communions, 110,000; intentions 1,305,980, or an average of 3578 per day.

(3) Montmartre

Prior to the ninth century there were two churches on the hill of Montmartre - one, half way up, stood on the traditional site of the martrydom of St. Denis, while the other, on the summit, was said to replace a temple dedicated to Mars. In 1095 these two churches became the property of a monastery occupied first (1095-1134) by the monks of St-Martin-des-Champs, and from 1034 to the Revolution by the Benedictines. The church on the summit was rebuilt in the twelfth century, and consecrated on 21 April, 1147, by Pope Eugenius III with St. Bernard of Clairvaux as deacon, and Peter the Venerable, Abbot of Cluny, as subdeacon. Alexander III visited it in 1162; St. Thomas à Becket in 1170; St. Thomas Aquinas, Bl. Joan of Arc, St. Ignatius, St. Francis Xavier, St. Vincent de Paul, Olier, and Blessed John Eudes prayed there. During the war of 1870-71 MM. Legentil and Rohault de Fleury issued from Poitiers an appeal in behalf of the erection at Paris of a sanctuary to the Sacred Heart to obtain the release of the pope and the salvation of France. On 23 July, 1873, the National Assembly passed a law declaring the construction of this sanctuary a matter of public utility. After a meeting in which seventy architects took part Abadie was charged with its construction, in Byzantine style. Cardinal Guibert laid the corner-stone on 16 June, 1875, and said the first Mass in the crypt on 21 April, 1881. Cardinal Richard blessed the church on 5 June, 1891, and on 17 October 1899, blessed the cross surmounting the main dome.

(4) Pilgrimage to the Church of St. Francis

Pilgrimage to the Church of St. Francis in honour of the famous Miracle des Billettes in 1290, when blood flowed from a Host which had been profaned by a Jew and Christ appeared above the receptacle where the Jew had thrown the Host.

(5) Pilgrimage to the chapel of the Picpus

A Pilgrimage in honour of the statue of Notre-Dame-de-Paix which the famous Capuchin Joyeuse, known as Père Ange, gave to his convent (sixteenth century).

(6) Pilgrimage of Notre-Dame-des-Vertus

A Pilgrimage at the church of Aubervilliers (dating from 1336), whither Louis XIII, St. Ignatius, Blessed John Eudes, St. Francis de Sales, St. Vincent de Paul, St. John Baptist de la Salle, and Bossuet went to pray.

(7) Pilgrimage of Notre-Dame-des-Miracles

A Pilgrimage at Saint-Maur, dating from the erection of a chapel of the Blessed Virgin by the Abbot St. Babolein about 640. The future Pope Martin IV, Philip Augustus, St. Louis, Emperor Charles IV of Germany, and Olier prayed there.

(8) Pilgrimage in honour of St. Vincent de Paul

A Pilgrimage to the parish church of Clichy, built by the saint.


A number of saints are especially connected with the history of the Diocese of Paris: Sts. Agoard and Aglibert, martyred at Cretil; St. Lucan, martyred at Paris; St. Eugene, who according to the legend was sent by Saint Denis to Spain, founded the Church of Toledo, and was martyred at Deuil; St. Yon, a disciple of St. Denis; St. Lucian, companion of St. Denis, martyred at Beauvais (third century); St. Rieul, founder (c. 300) of the Church of Senlis, visited and encouraged the Christian community of Paris; St. Martin (316-400), Bishop of Tours, while at Paris, cured a leper by embracing him; Sts. Alda (Aude) and Célinie, companions of St. Genevieve; the nun St. Aurea, disciple of St. Genevieve (fifth century); St. Germain (380-448), Bishop of Auxerre, whose name is linked with the history of St. Genevieve; St. Séverin, Abbot of Agaune (died 508), who was summoned to Paris to cure Clovis of a serious illness; Queen St. Clotilde (died 545); St. Leonard, a noble of Clovis's court, who became a hermit in Limousin and died about 559; St. Columbanus (540-615), who performed a miracle during his stay in Paris; St. Cloud (died 560), grandson of St. Clotilde, who was made a monk by St. Séverin; St. Radegund (519-87), wife of Clotaire I; St. Eloi (Eligius, 588-659), founder of the convent of St. Martial, minister of Clotaire II and of Dagobert; St. Bathilde, Queen of France (died 680); St. Domnolus (sixth century), Abbot of St-Laurent, Paris, prior to becoming Bishop of Le Mans; St. Bertechramnus (Bertrand, 553-623), Archdeacon of Paris, later Bishop of Le Mans; St. Aure, virgin (7th century), first Abbess of St. Martial; St. Merry, Benedictine Abbot (died 700); St. Ouen (609-86), who was a friend of St. Eligius and died Archbishop of Rouen; St. Sulpice (seventh century), chaplain of Clotaire II, died as Archbishop of Bourges; St. Doctrovée (seventh century), first Abbot of St. Vincent; St Leu, Bishop of Sens (seventh century), who on his way through Paris released a number of prisoners; St. John of Matha (1160-1213), who was a student of the University of Paris, and, while saying his first Mass in the chapel of the Bishop of Paris, had the vision which induced him to found the Trinitarians; St. William, canon of Paris, who died in 1209 as Archbishop of Bourges; Bl. Reginald (1160-1220), professor of canon law at the University of Paris; St. Bonaventure (1221-74), student and afterwards professor at the University of Paris; St. Thomas Aquinas (1227-74), successively student, professor, and preacher at the University of Paris; Bl. Gregory X (pope 1271-6), doctor of the University of Paris; St. Yves (1253-1303), who studied law at the University of Paris; Bl. Innocent V (pope 1276), who succeeded St. Thomas Aquinas as professor of theology at the University of Paris; St. Louis (1215-70), and his sister Bl. Isabelle (1224-70), foundress of the Abbey of Poor Clares of Longchamps, who later called themselves Urbanists because their rule was confirmed by Urban V; Bl. Peter of Luxemburg (1369-87), canon of Paris before becoming Bishop of Metz; Blessed Urban V (pope 1362-70), sometime professor of canon law at the University of Paris; Bl. Jeanne-Marie de Maille (1332-1414), who came to Paris to make known to the king her prophetical visions concerning France; Bl. Jeanne de Valois (1464-1505), daughter of Louis XI and wife of Louis XII, foundress of the Annunciades; St. Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556); St. Francis Xavier (1506-52), who studied at the Collège de St-Barbe and made his vows as a Jesuit at Montmartre; Mme Acarie, venerated as Bl. Marie de l'Incarnation (1565-1618), a Parisian by birth, who, under the protection of the Duchesse de Longueville, established at Paris the Carmelites of the Faubourg St-Jacques; St. Francis de Sales (1567-1622), who was educated at the Collège de Clermont, Paris, and later preached there on two occasions; St. Vincent de Paul (1576-1660), who, having received from Jean-François de Gondi the Collège des Bons Enfants, founded there the Congregation of the Mission; Bl. Louis Grignion de Montfort (seventeenth century), who studied at St-Sulpice and preached several times at Paris.


The feast of the Immaculate Conception was celebrated at Paris as early as the thirteenth century by the students of the English and Norman nations in the Church of St-Séverin, and a confraternity was established there in honour of the Immaculate Conception in the fourteenth century. Even in the last quarter of the twelfth century the poet Adam, canon regular of St-Victor, seems to have accepted this dogma. The University of Paris opposed it until the arrival of Duns Scotus, who came to debate the question with the Dominican doctors at Paris. The belief spread during the fourteenth century, and the Dominican Jean de Montson, having maintained in 1387 that the theory was contrary to faith, was excommunicated. The doctors of the university were among those most eager to hasten at the Council of Basle the investigations preparatory to the definition of the Immaculate Conception, which this council, in the meantime become schismatical, promulgated in 1439. At last, on 9 March, 1497, the university issued a decree obliging all its members to promise on oath to profess and defend the doctrine of the Immaculate Concept

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Bibliography Information
Obstat, Nihil. Lafort, Remy, Censor. Entry for 'Paris'. The Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company. New York. 1914.

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Sunday, October 20th, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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