Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

Archbishop of Paris and ecclesiastical writer, b. at Fayl-Billot, near Langres, 1813; killed by Communists at Paris, 24 May, 1871. Ordained priest in 1836, he served for a time as curate of Notre-Dame at Saint-Dizier and as professor at the Grand Séminaire of Langres, then joined Mgr. Affre at Paris, 1845, where from "prêtre auxiliaire à la maison des carmes" and chaplain of the Lycée Henri-IV, he soon rose to the position of canon of Notre-Dame, vicar-general and archdeacon of Saint-Denis, having previously been made prothonotary Apostolic. In 1859 he was appointed to the See of Nancy . During his three years as incumbent of that see, he took a special interest in educational matters, established the Ecole-Saint-Léopold, enlarged the Grand Séminaire, and wrote (1862) his famous letter, "Sur la nécessité de l'étude". Promoted by an imperial decree of 10 January, 1863, to the Archbishopric of Paris, made vacant by the death of Mgr. Morlot, he consecrated within a year the basilica of Notre-Dame, then completely restored, and was honoured with the titles of Grand Almoner, Senator, and Imperial Councillor. Though lacking the independence of Mgr. Affre, the administrative skill of Mgr. Sibour, and the affability of Cardinal Morlot, Darboy was a learned, conscientious, and respected prelate. With the help of such men as Buquet, Isoard, Langénieux, Meignan, and Foulon, he gave a new impetus to the somewhat remiss administration of his aged predecessor. The Gallicanism of Darboy made him unduly subservient to imperial wishes and caused him to assume against the exemptions of the religious an attitude which Rome (1869) compelled him to abandon. It was his chief motive for siding, during the Vatican Council, with the minority which deemed inopportune the definition of papal infallibility, his reasons being more of a political than of a theological nature. Darboy was one of those who suggested diplomatic intervention as a means of ending difficulties. He left Rome before the final vote of 18 July, 1870, and expressed sentiments which, however, he generously retracted when, several months after the definition, he subscribed to it. During the siege of Paris Darboy showed himself a true pastor and won the admiration of all. Arrested 4 April, 1871, by order of the Commune, and confined to Mazas Prison, the best efforts of his friends failed to save him; he was shot at Roquette, 24 May, and died blessing his executioners. As soon as order could be restored a national funeral was celebrated for him and the other victims of the Commune. The Abbé Perraud delivered his eulogy at Paris, and Père Didon at Nancy. Darboy was the author of the following works: "OEuvres de saint Denys l'Aréopagite, traduites du grec" (Paris, 1845); "Les femmes de la Bible" (Paris, 1846-9); "Les saintes femmes" (Paris, 1850); "Lettres à Combalot" (Paris, 1851); "Jérusalem et la terre sainte" (Paris, 1852); "L'imitation de Jésus-Christ, traduction nouvelle" (Paris, 1852); "Statistique religieuse du diocèse de Paris" (Paris, 1856); "Saint Thomas Becket" (Paris, 1858). He also contributed to the "Correspondant" (1847-1855) and was for a year (1850) director of the "Moniteur Catholique". His pastoral works (2 vols., Paris, 1876) were edited by his biographer, Foulon.


More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Daily Reading for Monday, July 25th, 2016 HD Video
  • Daily Readings for Monday, July 25, 2016
  • Daily Reading for Tuesday, July 26th, 2016 HD Video
  • Christ apparition in Mexico
  • St. James the Greater: Saint of the Day for Monday, July 25, 2016
  • 'Contemplative communities are not immune': Pope Francis on prayer
  • 'She is the witness to the risen Christ': Mary Magdalene honored

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Second Corinthians 4:7-15
7 But we hold this treasure in pots of earthenware, so that the immensity ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 126:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6
1 [Song of Ascents] When Yahweh brought back Zion's captives we lived in ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 20:20-28
20 Then the mother of Zebedee's sons came with her sons to make a request ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 25th, 2016 Image

St. James the Greater
July 25: Nothing is known of St. James the Greater's early ... Read More