ARCHDIOCESE OF PARIS (PARIBIENSIS)
See also UNIVERSITY OF PARIS .
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 :
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 :
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, 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 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 which ended (1314) with the execution of Jacques de Molai.
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 PIERRE DE BÉRULLE; FRENCH CONGREGATION OF THE ORATORY; JEAN-JACQUES OLIER; SOCIETY OF ST-SULPICE; SAINT VINCENT DE PAUL), 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, 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 Abbé s 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. 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, (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, 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 Ambrose 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, Ambrose 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 ; 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
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