Roman Catholic Diocese of Nîmes
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Nîmes, is a diocese of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic church in France. The diocese comprises all of the department of Gard. It is suffragan of the diocese of Avignon.
By the Concordat of 1801 its territory was united with the Diocese of Avignon. It was re-established as a separate diocese in 1821 and a Brief of 27 April 1877, grants to its bishops the right to add Alais (the modern Alès) and Uzès to their episcopal style, these two dioceses being now combined with that of Nîmes. Therefore correctly it is the Diocese of Nîmes, Alès and Uzès.
Nîmes (Nemausus) was an important city in Roman antiquity. The Pont du Gard is not far away.
Late and rather contradictory traditions attribute the foundation of the Church of Nîmes either to Celidonius, the man "who was blind from his birth" of the Gospel, or to St. Honestus, the apostle of Navarre, said to have been sent to southern France by St. Peter, with St. Saturninus (Sernin), the apostle of Toulouse. The true apostle of Nîmes was St. Baudilus, whose martyrdom is placed by some at the end of the 3rd century, and by others at the end of the fourth. Many writers affirm that a certain St. Felix, martyred by the Vandals about 407, was Bishop of Nîmes, but Louis Duchesne questions this.
There was a see at Nîmes as early as 396, for in that year a synodical letter was sent by a Council of Nîmes to the bishops of Gaul.
The first bishop whose date is positively known is Sedatus, present at the Council of Agde in 506.
Other noteworthy bishops are:
- St. John (about 511, before 526);
- St. Remessarius (633-40);
- Bertrand of Languissel (1280–1324), faithful to Boniface VIII, and for that reason driven from his see for a year by Philip the Fair;
- Cardinal Guillaume d'Estouteville (1441–49);
- Cardinal Guillaume Briçonnet (1496–1514);
- the famous pulpit orator Fléchier (1687–1710);
- the distinguished polemist Plantier (1855–75) whose pastoral letter (1873) called forth a protest from Bismarck;
- the preacher Besson (1875–88).
Urban II, coming to France to preach the crusade, consecrated the cathedral of Nîmes in 1096 and presided over a council. Pope Alexander III visited Nîmes in 1162. Clement IV (1265–68), born at Saint Gilles, in this diocese, granted the monastery of that town numerous favors.
St. Louis, who embarked at Aigues-Mortes for his two crusades, surrounded Nîmes with walls. In 1305, Clement V passed through the city on his way to Lyon to be crowned. In consequence of disputes about the sale of grapes to the papal household, Innocent VI laid an interdict on Nîmes in 1358.
The diocese was greatly disturbed by the Wars of Religion: on 29 Sept., 1567, five years before the Massacre of St. Bartholomew, the Protestants of Nîmes carried out the massacre of Catholics known in French history as the Michelade. Louis XIII of France at Nîmes issued the decree of religious pacification known as the Peace of Nîmes.
- 374–407 Saint Felix
- 506–510 Sedatus
- c. 520 Johannes I.
- 589 Pélage
- 633–640 Remessarius
- c. 650 Johannes II.
- 672–675 Aréjius
- 680 Crocus
- 737 Palladius
- c. 745 Gregorius
- 784–788 Sesnandus
- 791–798 Vintering
- 808–850 Christiaus
- 858–860 Isnardus
- 867 Anglard I.
- 870–890 Gilbert
- 895–905 Anglard II.
- 905–928 Hubert
- 929–941 Rainard
- 943 Bernard I.
- 943–946 Bégon
- 947–986 Bernard d'Anduze
- 987–1016 Frotaire I.
1000 to 1300
- 1016–1026 Geraldus d'Anduze
- 1027–1077 Frotaire II.
- 1066–1084 Eléfant (coadjutor)
- 1080–1090 Pierre I. Ermangaud
- 1095–1097 Bertrand I. de Montredon
- 1097–1112 Raymond I. Guillaume
- 1113–1134 Jean III.
- 1134–1141 Guillaume I.
- 1141–1180 Aldebert d'Uzès et de Posquières
- 1181–1207 Guillaume II. d'Uzès
- 1207–1209 Hugues de Lédignan
- 1210 Rodolfe
- 1212–1242 Arnaud
- 1242–1272 Raymond Amauri
- 1272–1280 Pierre Gaucelme
- 1280–1324 Bertrand de Languissel
1300 to 1500
- 1324 Armand de Vernon
- 1324 Bernard III.
- 1324–1331 Bernard IV.
- 1331–1337 Guirald de Languissel
- 1337 Guillaume Curti
- 1337–1342 Aimeric Girard
- 1342–1348 Bertrand de Deaux
- 1348–1361 Jean de Blauzac
- 1361–1362 Paul de Deaux
- 1362 Jacques I. de Deaux
- 1362–1367 Gaucelme de Deaux
- 1367–1372 Jean V. de Gase
- 1372–1380 Jean IV. d'Uzès
- 1380–1383 Seguin d'Authon
- 1383–1391 Bernard IV. de Bonneval
- 1391–1393 Pierre III. Girard (Administrator)
- 1393–1426 Gilles de Lascours
- 1420–1429 Nicolas Habert
- 1429–1438 Léonard Delphini
- 1438–1441 Guillaume IV. de Champeaux
- 1441–1449 Guillaume d'Estouteville (administrator)
- 1450–1453 Geoffroy Soreau
- 1453–1458 Alain de Coëtivy
- 1460–1481 Robert de Villequier
- 1481–1482 Etienne de Blosset
- 1482–1496 Jacques II. de Caulers
- 1496–1514 Guillaume Briçonnet
- 1515–1554 Michel Briçonnet
- 1554–1561 Claude I. Briçonnet
- 1561–1568 Bernard VI. d'Elbène
- 1573–1594 Raymond III. Cavalésy
- 1598–1625 Pierre IV. de Valernod
- 1625–1633 Claude II. de Saint-Bonnet de Thoiras
- 1633–1644 Anthime Denis Cohon
- 1644–1655 Hector d'Ouvrier
- 1655–1670 Anthime Denis Cohon (second time)
- 1671–1689 Jean-Jacques III. Séguier de la Verrière
- 1692–1710 Esprit Fléchier
- 1710–1736 Jean VII. César Rousseau de la Parisière
- 1737–1784 Charles Prudent de Becdelièvre
- 1784–1801 Pierre V. Marie-Magdeleine Cortois de Balore
- 1821–1837 Claude III. Petit Benoit de Chaffoy
- 1838–1855 Jean-François-Marie Cart
- 1855–1875 Claude-Henri Plantier
- 1875–1888 François-Nicolas Besson
- 1889–1896 Jean-Louis Antoine Alfred Gilly
- 1896–1921 Félix-Auguste Béguinot
- 1921–1924 Marcellin, Charles Marty
- 1924–1963 Jean Justin Girbeau
- 1963–1977 Pierre-Marie Rougé
- 1978–1999 Jean Cadilhac
- 2001–present Robert Wattebled
Pilgrimages and saints
- The chief pilgrimages of the present Diocese of Nîmes are: Notre Dame de Grâce, Rochefort, dating from Charlemagne, and commemorating a victory over Muslim forces. Louis XIV and his mother, Anne of Austria, established here a foundation for perpetual Masses.
- Notre Dame de Grâce, Laval, in the vicinity of Alais, dating from not later than 900.
- Notre Dame de Bon Secours de Prime Combe, Fontanès, since 887.
- Notre Dame de Bonheur, founded 1045 on the mountain of l'Aigoual in the vicinity of Valleraugues.
- Notre Dame de Belvezet, a shrine of the 11th century, on Mont Andavu.
- Notre Dame de Vauvert, whither the converted Albigenses were sent, often visited by St. Louis, Clement V, and Francis I.
- The shrine of St. Vérédème, a hermit who died Archbishop of Avignon, and of the martyr St. Baudilus, at Trois Fontaines and at Valsainte near Nîmes.
The following Saints are especially venerated in the present Diocese of Nîmes: St. Castor, Bishop of Apt (4th to 5th century), a native of Nîmes; the priest St. Theodoritus, martyr, patron saint of the town of Uzès; the Athenian St. Giles (AEgidius, seventh cent.), living as a recluse near Uzès when he was accidentally wounded by King Childeric,Template:Citation needed later abbot of the monastery built by Childeric in reparation for this accident, venerated also in England; Blessed Peter of Luxemburg who made a sojourn in the diocese, at Villeneuve-lez-Avignon (1369–87).