Roman Catholic Diocese of Bayeux

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Bayeux, is a diocese of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic church in France. The diocese is coextensive with the Department of Calvados, and is a suffragan to the Archdiocese of Rouen, also in Normandy. At the time of the Concordat of 1802, the ancient Diocese of Lisieux was united to that of Bayeux. A pontifical Brief, in 1854, authorized the Bishop of Bayeux to call himself Bishop of Bayeux and Lisieux.


A local legend, found in the breviaries of the fifteenth century, makes St. Exuperius, first Bishop of Bayeux, an immediate disciple of St. Clement, and his see a foundation of the first century; St. Regnobertus, the same legend tells us, was the successor of St. Exuperius, but the Bollandists and M. Jules Lair found little ground for this legend; it was only towards the middle of the fourth century that St. Exuperius founded the See of Bayeux; after him the priest St. Reverendus worked to spread Christianity in these parts. Certain successors of St. Exuperius were saints: Rufinianus; Lupus (about 465); Vigor (beginning of the sixth century), who destroyed a pagan temple, then still frequented; Regnobertus (about 629), who founded many churches, and whom the legend, owing to an anachronism, made first successor to Exuperius; and Hugues (d. 730), simultaneously bishop of two other sees, Paris and Rouen. We may also mention Odon of Conteville (1050-97), brother of William the Conqueror, who built the cathedral, was present at the Battle of Hastings, intrigued for the tiara on the death of Gregory VII (1085), and died a crusader in Sicily; Cardinal Trivulce (1531-48), papal legate in the Roman Campagna during the siege and pillage of Rome by the Constable de Bourbon; Arnaud Cardinal d'Ossat (1602-04), an illustrious diplomatist prominently identified with the conversion of Henry IV of France. Claude Fauchet, who after being court preacher to Louis XVI, became one of the "conquerors" of the Bastille, was chosen Constitutional Bishop of Bayeux in 1791, and was beheaded 31 October, 1793. Léon-Adolphe Amette, Archbishop of Paris was, until 1905, Bishop of Bayeux. In the Middle Ages Bayeux and neighbouring Lisieux (later merged in) were very important sees. The Bishop of Bayeux was senior among the Norman bishops, and the chapter was one of the richest in France. The See of Lisieux maintained the Collége de Lisieux at Paris for poor students of the diocese. Important councils were held within this diocese, at Caen, in 1042 and 1061; in the latter was proclaimed "the Truce of God". The statutes of a synod held at Bayeux about 1300, furnish a very fair idea of the discipline of the time.

Among the abbeys of the Diocese of Bayeux should be mentioned those of St. Stephen (Abbaye-aux-Hommes) and of the Trinity (Abbaye-aux-Dames), both founded at Caen by William the Conqueror (1029-87) and his wife Matilda, in expiation of their unlawful marriage. The former of these abbeys was governed by the celebrated Lanfranc, afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury. Other abbeys were those of Troarn of which Durand, the successful opponent of Berengarius, was abbot in the eleventh century, and the Abbaye du Val, of which Rancé was abbot, in 1661, prior to his reform of La Trappe Abbey. The Abbey of St. Evroul (Ebrulphus) in the diocese of Lisieux, founded about 560 by St. Evroul, a native of Bayeux, is famous as the home of Ordericus Vitalis, the chronicler (1075-1141). Saint Jean Eudes founded in 1641 in Caen the congregation of Notre Dame de Charité du Refuge, which is devoted to the protection of girls and included 33 monasteries in France and elsewhere in 1900. At Tilly, in the diocese of Bayeux, Michel Vingtras established, in 1839, the politico-religious society known as La Miséricorde, in connexion with the survivors of La Petite Eglise, which was condemned in 1843 by Gregory XVI. Daniel Huet, the famous savant (1630-1721) and Bishop of Avranches, was a native of Caen.


To 1000

  • Saint Exupère (Exuperius), 390–405, known as Spire (Spirius), Soupir, Soupierre
  • Saint Regnobert (Regnobertus) or Renobert, Rennobert, Raimbert
  • Saint Rufinien (Rufinianus) ...–434
  • Saint Loup (Lupus) 434–464
  • Saint Patrice (Patricius) 464–469
  • Saint Manvieu (Manveus) or Manvé, Mange, Manvien, Mar-Wig 470–480
  • Saint Contest (Contestus) or Contès, Context 480–513
  • Saint Vigor (Vigorus) or Vigile 513–537
  • Leucade or Leucadius 538 (Council of Orléans)
  • Lascivius or Lascivus, Lauscius
  • Leudovalde (Leudovaldus) or Leudovald 581–...
  • Saint Gertran (Geretrandus) or Gérétran 585–625
  • Saint Ragnebert (Ragnobertus) 625–668
  • Saint Gerbaud (Gereboldus) or Gerebauld, Gerbold 689–691
  • Saint Frambold (Framboldus) or Franbolt, Frambaud, Franbourd 691–722
  • Hugo of Champagne 723–730 (also Bishop of Paris, Archbishop of Rouen, Abbot of Jumièges and Abbot of Fontenelle
  • Léodeningue, c. 765
  • Thior (Thiorus)
  • Careville (Carveniltus) c. 833
  • Harimbert or Ermbart 835–837
  • Saint Sulpice (Sulpicius) 838–844
  • Baltfride (Baltfridus) or Badfridus, Waltfride, Baufroy, Vaufroy, † 858
  • Tortolde 859–860
  • Erchambert 860–...
  • Heinrich I. (Heiricus) c. 927
  • Richard I.
  • Hugo II. c. 965
  • Radulfe III. (Radulfus, Radulphus) or Raoul "d'Avranches" 986–1006

1000 to 1300


  • Wilhelm I. Bonnet 1306–1312, founder of the Collège de Bayeux in Paris
  • Wilhelm II. de Trie 1313–...
  • Pierre II. de Lévis. 1325–1330
  • Wilhelm III. de Beaujeu 1330–1337
  • Wilhelm IV. Bertrand 1338–1347
  • Pierre III. de Villaine 1349–1360
  • Ludwig I. Thézart 1360–1373
  • Milon de Dormans 1373–1374
  • Nicolas du Bos 1375–1408,
  • Jean de Boissey or Jehan de Boissey 1408–1412
  • Jean Langret 1414–1419
  • Nicolaus II. Habart 1421–1431
  • Zanon de Castiglione 1434–1459
  • Ludwig II. d'Harcourt or de Harcourt 1460–1479
  • Charles de Neufchâtel 1480–..., † 1498
  • René de Prie or René I. 1499–..., † 1516


  • Louis III. Canossa or Louis de Canossa 1517–..., † 1531
  • Pierre IV. de Martigni 1531
  • Agustin Trivulce 1531–1548
  • Charles II. d'Humières 1549–1571
  • Bernardin de Saint-François 1573–1582
  • Mathurin de Savonnières 1583–1586
  • Charles de Bourbon 1586–1590
  • René de Daillon du Lude 1590–1600
  • Arnault d'Ossat 1600–1604
  • Jacques d'Angennes 1606–1647
  • Édouard Molé 1647–1652
  • Abbé de Sankte-Croix 1652–... (brother of predecessor)
  • François I. Servien 1654–1659
  • François II. de Nesmond 1662–1715
  • Joseph-Emmanuel de la Trimoille 1716–1718
  • François Armand of Lothringen-Armagnac 1719–1728
  • Paul d'Albert de Luynes 1729–1753
  • Pierre-Jules César de Rochechouart-Montigny 1755–...
  • Joseph-Dominique de Cheylus 1776–..., † 1797
  • Claude Fauchet 1791–1793
  • Julien-Jean-Baptiste Duchemin 1799–1799
  • Louis-Charles Bisson 1799–1801

From 1800

  • Charles Brault 1802–...
  • Jean de Pradelle 1817–..., † 1817
  • Charles-François Duperrier 1823–1827
  • Jean-Charles Richard Dancel 1827–1836
  • Louis-François Robin 1836–1855
  • Louis-François Robin 1855–1855 (first Bishop of Bayeux-Lisieux)
  • Charles-Nicolas-Pierre Didiot 1856–1866
  • Flavien-Abel-Antoine Hugonin 1867–1898
  • Léon-Adolphe Amette 1898–1906
  • Thomas-Paul-Henri Lemonnier 1906–1927
  • Emmanuel-Célestin-Jean-Baptiste Suhard 1928–1931
  • François-Marie Picaud 1931–1954
  • André Jacquemin 1954–1969
  • Jean Badré 1969–1988
  • Pierre Pican since 1988


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