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Diocese of Aire

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(Abram).

Comprises the territory of the Department of Landes. It was a suffragan of Auch under the old regime, but was not re-established until 1822, when it was again made a suffragan of the re-established Archdiocese of Auch, and was assigned the territory of the former Dioceses of Aire and Acqs (Dax). The first bishop mentioned in history is Marcellus (represented at the Council of Agde , 506). Aire, on the river Adour, the home of St. Philibert, numbered among its bishops during the second half of the sixteenth century François de Foix, Count of Candale, an illustrious mathematician, who translated Euclid and founded a chair of mathematics at the University of Bordeaux . The hamlet renowned as the birthplace of St. Vincent de Paul is within the limits of the present Diocese of Aire. In the Gallo-Roman crypt of Mas d'Aire is preserved in a sarcophagus the body of St. Quitteria, daughter of a governor of Gallicia, and martyred, perhaps under Commodus, for her resolution to remain a virgin. The city of Saint-Sever, in the Diocese of Aire. owes its origin to an ancient Benedictine abbey, built in the tenth century by a Duke of Gascony as an act of thanksgiving for a victory over the Northmen, and whose church was dedicated to St. Severus. The beautiful Gothic church of Mimizan is the only survival of a great Benedictine abbey. The church of Carcarés, dating from the year 810, is one of the oldest in France. The Diocese of Aire comprised (end of 1905), 291,586 inhabitants, 28 first class, 293 second class parishes, and 40 vicariates formerly with State subventions.

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