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The Archdiocese of Lyons (Lugdunensis) comprises the Department of the Rhône (except the Canton of Villeurbanne, which belongs to the Diocese of Grenoble ) and of the Loire. The Concordat of 1801 assigned as the boundaries of the Archdiocese of Lyons the Departments of the Rhône, the Loire, and the Ain and as suffragans the Dioceses of Mende, Grenoble, and Chambéry. The Archdiocese of Lyons was authorized by Letters Apostolic of 29 November, 1801, to unite with his title the titles of the suppressed metropolitan Sees of Vienne and Embrun (see G RENOBLE ; G AP ). In 1822 the Department of Ain was separated from the Archdiocese of Lyons to form the Diocese of Belley ; the title of the suppressed church of Embrun was transferred to the Archdiocese of Aix , and the Archdiocese of Lyons and Vienne had henceforth as suffragans Langres, Autun, Dijon, St. Claude, and Grenoble.
It appears to have been proved by Mgr Duchesne, despite the local traditions of many Churches, that in all three parts of Gaul in the second century there was but a single organized Church, that of Lyons. The "Deacon of Vienne", martyred at Lyons during the persecution of 177, was probably a deacon installed at Vienne by the ecclesiastical authority of Lyons. The confluence of the Rhône and the Saône, where sixty Gallic tribes had erected the famous altar to Rome and Augustus, was also the centre from which Christianity was gradually propagated throughout Gaul. The presence at Lyons of numerous Asiatic Christians and their almost daily communications with the Orient were likely to arouse the susceptibilities of the Gallo-Romans. A persecution arose under Marcus Aurelius. Its victims at Lyons numbered forty-eight, half of them of Greek origin, half Gallo-Roman, among others St. Blandina , and St. Pothinus, first Bishop of Lyons, sent to Gaul by St. Polycarp about the middle of the second century. The legend according to which he was sent by St. Clement dates from the twelfth century and is without foundation. The letter addressed to the Christians of Asia and Phrygia in the name of the faithful of Vienne and Lyons, and relating the persecution of 177, is considered by Ernest Renan as one of the msot extraordinary documents possessed by any literature; it is the baptismal certificate of Christianity in France. The successor of St. Pothinus was the illustrious St. Irenæus , 177-202.
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The discovery on the Hill of St. Sebastian of ruins of a naumachia capable of being transformed into an amphitheatre, and of some fragments of inscriptions apparently belonging to an altar of Augustus, has led several archæologists to believe that the martyrs of Lyons suffered death on this hill. Very ancient tradition, however, represents the church of Ainay as erected at the place of their martyrdom. The crypt of St. Pothinus, under the choir of the church of St. Nizier was destroyed in 1884. But there are still revered at Lyons the prison cell of St. Pothinus, where Anne of Austria, Louis XIV , and Pius VII came to pray, and the crypt of St. Irenæus built at the end of the fifth century by St. Patiens, which contains the body of St. Irenæus. There are numerous funerary inscriptions of primitive Christianity in Lyons; the earliest dates from the year 334. In the second and third centuries the See of Lyons enjoyed great renown throughout Gaul, witness the local legends of Besançon and of several other cities relative to the missionaries sent out by St. Irenæus. Faustinus, bishop in the second half of the third century, wrote to St. Cyprian and Pope Stephen I, in 254, regarding the Novatian tendencies of Marcian, Bishop of Arles. But when Diocletian by the new provincial organization had taken away from Lyons its position as metropolis of the three Gauls, the prestige of Lyons diminished for a time.
At the end of the empire and during the Merovingian period several saints are counted among the Bishops of Lyons: St. Justus (374-381) who died in a monastery in the Thebaid and was renowned for the orthodoxy of his doctrine in the struggle against Arianism (the church of the Machabees, whither his body was brought, was as early as the fifty century a place of pilgrimage under the name of the collegiate church of St. Justus ), St. Alpinus and St. Martin (disciple of St. Martin of Tours ; end of fourth century); St. Antiochus (400-410); St. Elpidius (410-422); St. Sicarius (422-33); St. Eucherius (c. 433-50), a monk of Lérins and the author of homilies, from whom doubtless dates the foundation at Lyons of the "hermitages" of which more will be said below; St. Patiens (456-98) who successfully combated the famine and Arianism, and whom Sidonius Apollinaris praised in a poem; St. Lupicinus (491-94); St. Rusticus (494-501); St. Stephanus (d. Before 515), who with St. Avitus of Vienne, convoked a council at Lyons for the conversion of the Arians ; St. Viventiolus (515-523), who in 517 presided with St. Avitus at the Council of Epaone; St. Lupus, a monk, afterwards bishop (535-42), probably the first archbishop, who when signing in 438 the Council of Orléans added the title of "metropolitanus"; St. Sardot or Sacerdos (549-542), who presided in 549 at the Council of Orléans , and who obtained from King Childebert the foundation of the general hospital ; St. Nicetius or Nizier (552-73), who received from the pope the title of patriarch, and whose tomb was honoured by miracles. The prestige of St. Nicetius was lasting; his successor St. Priseus (573-588) bore the title of patriarch, and brought the council of 585 to decide that national synods should be convened every three years at the instance of the patriarch and of the king; St. Ætherius (588-603), who was a correspondent of St. Gregory the Great and who perhaps consecrated St. Augustine, the Apostle of England ; St. Aredius (603-615); St. Annemundus or Chamond (c. 650), friend of St. Wilfrid, godfather of Clotaire III, put to death by Ebroin together with his brother, and patron of the town of Saint-Chamond; St. Genesius or Genes (660-679 or 680), Benedictine Abbot of Fontenelle, grand almoner and minister of Queen Bathilde; St. Lambertus (c. 680-690), also Abbot of Fontenelle.
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At the end of the fifth century Lyons was the capital of the Kingdom of Burgundy, but after 534 it passed under the domination of the kings of France. Ravaged by the Saracens in 725, the city was restored through the liberality of Charlemagne who established a rich library in the monastery of Ile Barbe. In the time of St. Patiens and the priest Constans (d. 488) the school of Lyons was famous; Sidonius Apollinaris was educated there. The letter of Leidrade to Charlemagne (807) shows the care taken by the emperor for the restoration of learning in Lyons. With the aid of the deacon Florus he made the school so prosperous that in the tenth century Englishmen went thither to study. Under Charlemagne and his immediate successors, the Bishops of Lyons, whose ascendancy was attested by the number of councils over which they were called to preside, played an important theological part. Adoptionism had no more active enemies than Leidrade (798-814) and Agobard (814-840). When Felix of Urgel continued rebellious to the condemnations pronounced against Adoptionism from 791-799 by the Councils of Ciutad, Friuli, Ratisbon, Frankfort, and Rome, Charlemagne conceived the idea of sending to Urgel with Nebridius, Bishop of Narbonne, and St. Benedict, abbot of the monastery of Aniane, Archbishop Leidrade, a native of Nuremberg and Charlemagne's librarian. They preached against Adoptionism in Spain, conducted Felix in 799 to the Council of Aachen, where he seemed to submit to the arguments of Alcuin, and then brought him back to his diocese., But the submission of Felix was not complete; Agobard, "Chorepiscopus" of Lyons, convicted him anew of Adoptionism in a secret conference, and when Felix died in 815 there was found among his papers a treatise in which he professed Adoptionism. Then Agobard, who had become Archbishop of Lyons in 814 after Leidrade's retirement to the monastery of St. Médard of Soissons, composed a long treatise which completed the ruin of that heresy.
Agobard displayed great activity as a pastor and a publicist in his opposition to the Jews and to various superstitions. His rooted hatred for all superstition led him in his treatise on images into certain expressions which savoured of Iconoclasm. The five historical treatises which he wrote in 833 to justify the deposition of Louis the Pious, who had been his benefactor, are a stain on his life. Louis the Pious having been restored to power, caused Agobard to be deposed in 835 by the Council of Thionville, but three years later gave him back his see, in which he died in 840. During the exile of Agobard the See of Lyons had been for a short time administered by Amalarius of Metz, whom the deacon Florus charged with heretical opinions regarding the "triforme corpus Christi", and who took part in the controversies with Gottschalk on the subject of predestination. Amolon (841-852) and St. Remy (852-75) continued the struggle against the heresy of Valence, which condemned this heresy, and also was engaged in strife with Hincmar. From 879-1032 Lyons formed part of the Kingdom of Provence and afterwards of the second Kingdom of Burgundy. When in 1302 Rudolph III, the Sluggard, ceded his states to Conrad the Salic, Emperor of Germany, the portion of Lyons situated on the left bank of the Saône became, at least nominally, an imperial city. Finally Archbishop Burchard, brother of Rudolph, claimed rights of sovereignty over Lyons as inherited from his mother, Mathilde of France ; in this way the government of Lyons instead of being exercised by the distant emperor, became a matter of dispute between the counts who claimed the inheritance and the successive archbishops.
Lyons attracted the attention of Cardinal Hildebrand, who held a council there in 1055 against the simoniacal bishops. In 1076, as Gregory VII, he deposed Archbishop Humbert (1063-76) for simony. Saint Gebuin (Jubinus), who succeeded Humbert was the confidant of Gregory VII and contributed to the reform of the Church by the two councils of 1080 and 1082, at which were excommunicated Manasses of Reims, Fulk of Anjou, and the monks of Marmoutiers. It was under the episcopate of Saint Gebuin that Gregory VII (20 April, 1079) established the primacy of the Church of Lyons over the Provinces of Rouen, Tours, and Sens, which primacy was specially confirmed by Callistus II, despite the letter written to him in 1126 by Louis VI in favour of the church of Sens. As far as it regarded the Province of Rouen this letter was later suppressed by a decree of the king's council in 1702, at the request of Colbert, Archbishop of Rouen. Hugh (1081-1106), the successor of St. Gebuin, the friend of St. Anselm , and for a while legate of Gregory VII in France and Burgundy, had differences later on with Victor III, who excommunicated him for a time, also with Paschal II. The latter pope came to Lyons in 1106, consecrated the basilica of Ainay, and dedicated one of its altars in honour of the Immaculate Conception. The Feast of the Immaculate Conception was solemnized at Lyons about 1128, perhaps at the instance of St. Anselm of Canterbury, and St. Bernard wrote to the canons of Lyons to complain that they should have instituted a feast without consulting the pope. As soon as Thomas à Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, had been proclaimed Blessed (1173), his cult was instituted at Lyons. Lyons of the twelfth century thus has a glorious place in the history of Catholic liturgy and even of dogma, but the twelfth century was also marked by the heresy of Peter Waldo and the Waldenses, the Poor Men of Lyons, who were opposed by Jean de Bellème (1181-1193), and by an important change in the political situation of the archbishops.
In 1157 Frederick Barbarossa confirmed the sovereignty of the Archbishops of Lyons; thenceforth there was a lively contest between them and the counts. An arbitration effected by the pope in 1167 had no result, but by the treaty of 1173 Guy, Count of Forez, ceded to the canons of the primatial church of St. John his title of count of Lyons and his temporal authority. Then came the growth of the Commune, more belated in Lyons than in many other cities, but in 1193 the archbishop had to make some concession to the citizens. The thirteenth century was a period of conflict. Three times, in 1207, 1269, and 1290, grave troubles broke out between the partisans of the archbishop who dwelt in the château of Pierre Seize, those of the count-canons who lived in a separate quarter near the cathedral, and those of the townsfolk. Gregory X attempted, but without success, to restore peace by two Acts, 2 April, 1273, and 11 Nov., 1274. The kings of France were always inclined to side with the commune; after the siege of Lyons by Louis X (1310) the treaty of 10 April, 1312, definitively attached Lyons to the Kingdom of France, but, until the beginning of the fifteenth century the Church of Lyons was allowed to coin its own money.
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If the thirteenth century had imperilled the political sovereignty of the archbishops, it had on the other hand made Lyons a kind of second Rome. Gregory X was a former canon of Lyons, while Innocent V, as Peter of Tarantaise, was Archbishop of Lyons from 1272 to 1273. The violence of the Hohenstaufen towards the Holy See forced Innocent IV and Gregory X to seek refuge at Lyons and to hold there two general councils (see L YONS, C OUNCILS OF ). A free and independent city of the Kingdom of France as well as of the Holy Empire, located in a central position between Italy, Spain, France, England, and Germany, Lyons possessed in the thirteenth century important monasteries which naturally sheltered distinguished guests and their numerous followers. For several years Innocent IV dwelt there with his court in the buildings of the chapter of Saint Justus. Local tradition relates that it was on seeing the red hat of the canons of Lyons that the courtiers of Innocent IV conceived the idea of obtaining from the Council of Lyons its decree that the cardinals should henceforth wear red hats. The sojourn of Innocent IV at Lyons was marked by numerous works of public utility, to which the pope gave vigorous encouragement. He granted indulgences to the faithful who should assist in the construction of the bridge over the Rhône, replacing that destroyed about 1190 by the passage of the troops of Richard Cœur de Lion on their way to the Crusade. The building of the churches of St. John and St. Justus was pushed forward with activity; he sent delegates even to England to solicit alms for this purpose and he consecrated the high altar in both churches. At Lyons were crowned Clement V (1305) and John XXII (1310); at Lyons in 1449 the antipope Felix V renounced the tiara ; there, too, was held in 1512, without any definite conclusion, the last session of the schismatical Council of Pisa against Julius II. In 1560 the Calvinists took Lyons by surprise, but they were driven out by Antoine d'Albon, Abbot of Savigny and later Archbishop of Lyons. Again masters of Lyons in 1562 they were driven thence by the Ambrose Maréchal de Vieuville. At the command of the famous Baron des Adrets they committed numerous acts of violence in the region of Montbrison. It was at Lyons that Henry IV, the converted Calvinist king, married Marie de Medicis (9 December, 1600).
The principal Archbishops of Lyons during the modern period were: Guy III d'Auvergne, Cardinal de Bologne (1340-1342), who as a diplomat rendered great service to the Holy See ; Cardinal Jean de Lorraine (1537-1539); Hippolyte d'Este, Cardinal of Ferrara (1539-1550), whom Francis I named protector of the crown of France at the court of Paul III, and a patron of scholars; Cardinal François de Tournon (1550-1562), who negotiated several times between Francis I and Charles V, combated the Reformation and founded the Collège de Tournon, which the Jesuits later made one of the most celebrated educational establishments of the kingdom; Antoine d'Albon (1562-1574), editor of Rufinus and Ausonius ; Pierre d'Epinac (1573-1599), active auxiliary of the League; Cardinal Alphonse Louis du Plessis de Richelieu (1628-1563), brother of the minister of Louis XIII ; Cardinal de Tencin (1740-1758); Antoine de Montazet (1758-1788), a prelate of Jansenist tendencies, whose liturgical works will be referred to later, and who had published for his seminary by the Oratorian Joseph Valla, six volumes of "Institutiones theologicæ" known as "Théologie de Lyon", and spread throughout Italy by Scipio Ricci until condemned by the Index in 1792; Marbeuf (1788-1799), who died in exile at Lübeck in 1799 and whose vicar-general Castillon was beheaded at Lyons in 1794; Antoine Adrien Lamourette (1742-1794), deputy to the Constitutional Assembly, who brought about by a curious speech (7 July, 1792) an understanding between all parties, to which was given the jesting name of "Baiser Lamourette", and who was constitutional Bishop of Lyons from 27 March, 1791, to 11 January, 1794, the date of his death on the scaffold. Among the archbishops subsequent to the Concordat must be mentioned: Joseph Fesch under whose episcopate Pius VII twice visited Lyons, in Nov., 1804, and April, 1805, and in 1822 the Society for the Propagation of the Faith was founded; Maurice de Bonald (1840-1870), son of the philosopher ; Ginoulhiac (1870-1875), known by his "Histoire du dogme catholique pendant let trois premiers siècles".
Chapters and Colleges
At the end of the old regime the primatial chapter consisted of 32 canons, each able to prove 32 degrees of military nobility; each of these canons bore the title of Count of Lyons. The Chapter of Lyons has the honour of numbering among its canons four popes ( Innocent IV, Gregory X, Boniface VIII, and Clement V ), 20 cardinals, 20 archbishops, more than 80 bishops, and finally 3 persons of officially recognized sanctity : St. Ismidon of Sassenage, later Bishop of Die (d. About 1116), Blessed Blessed Louis Aleman and Blessed François d'Estaing, later Bishop of Rodez (d. In 1501). The city of Lyons numbered 5 collegiate churches and the diocese 14 others. There were 4 chapters of noble canonesses. The Jesuits had at Lyons the Collège de la Trinité, founded in 1527 by a lay confraternity which ceded it to them in 1565, the Collège Notre Dame, founded in 1630, a house of probation, a professed house, and other colleges in the diocese. Convents were perhaps more numerous here than in any other part of France. The Petites Ecoles founded in 1670 by Démia, a priest of Bourg, contributed much to primary instruction at Lyons. Since the law of 1875 concerning higher education Lyons possesses Catholic faculties of theology, letters, sciences, and law.
The Diocese of Lyons honours as saints : St. Epipodius and his companion St. Alexander, probably martyrs under Marcus Aurelius ; the priest St. Peregrinus (third century); St. Baldonor (Galmier), a native of Aveizieux, at first a locksmith, whose piety was remarked by the bishop, St. Viventiolus; he became a cleric at the Abbey of St. Justus , then subdeacon, and died about 760; the thermal resort of "Aquæ Segestæ", in whose church Viventiolus met him, has taken the name of St. Galmier; St. Viator (d. About 390), who followed the Bishop, St. Justus, to the Thebaid ; Sts. Romanus and Lupicinus (fifth century), natives of the Diocese of Lyons who lived as solitaries within the present territory of the Diocese of St. Claude; St. Consortia, d. about 578, who according to a legend, criticized by Tillemont, was a daughter of St. Eucherius ; St. Rambert, soldier and martyr in the seventh century, patron of the town of the same name; Blessed Jean Pierre Néel, b. in 1832 at Ste. Catherine sur Riviere, martyred at Kay-Tcheou in 1862.
Among the natives of Lyons must be mentioned Sidonius Apollinaris (430-489); Abbé Morellet, litterateur (1727-1819); the Christian philosopher Ballanche (1776-1847); the religious painter Hippolyte Flandrin (1809-1864); Puvis de Chavannes, painter of the life of Ste Geneviève (1824-1898). The diocese of Lyons is also the birthplace of the Jesuit Père Coton (1564-1626), confessor of Henry IV and a native of Néronde, and Abbé Terray, controller general of finance under Louis XVI, a native of Boen (1715-1778). Gerson, whose old age was spent at Lyons in the cloister of St. Paul, where he instructed poor children, died there in 1429. St. Francis de Sales died at Lyons, 28 December, 1622. The Curé Colombet de St. Amour was celebrated at St. Etienne in the seventeenth century for the generosity with which he founded the Hôtel-Dieu (the charity hospital ), also free schools, and fed the workmen during the famine of 1693.
M. Guigue has catalogued the eleven "hermitages" (eight of them for men and three for women ) which were distinctive of the ascetical life of Christian Lyons in the Middle Ages ; these were cells in which persons shut themselves up for life after four years of trial. The system of hermitages along the lines described by Grimalaius and Olbredus in the ninth century flourished especially from the eleventh to the thirteenth century, and disappeared completely in the sixteenth. These hermitages were the private property of a neighbouring church or monastery, which installed therein for life a male or female recluse. The general almshouse of Lyons, or charity hospital, was founded in 1532 after the great famine of 1531 under the supervision of eight administrators chosen from among the more important citizens. The institution of the jubilee of St. Nizier dates beyond a doubt to the stay of Innocent IV at Lyons. This jubilee, which had all the privileges of the secular jubilees of Rome, was celebrated each time that Low Thursday, the feast of St. Nizier, coincided with 2 April, i.e. whenever the feast of Easter itself was on the earliest day allowed by the paschal cycle, namely 22 March. In 1818, the last time this coincidence occurred, the feast of St. Nizier was not celebrated. But the cathedral of St. John also enjoys a great jubilee each time that the feast of St. John the Baptist coincides with Corpus Christi, that is, whenever the feast of Corpus Christi falls on 24 June. It is certain that in 1451 the coincidence of these two feasts was celebrated with special splendour by the population of Lyons, then emerging from the troubles of the Hundred Years' War, but there is no document to prove that the jubilee indulgence existed at that date. However, Lyonnese tradition places the first great jubilee in 1451; the four subsequent jubilees took place in 1546, 1666, 1734 and 1886.
Some authors have held that the Gallican Liturgy was merely the Liturgy of Ephesus, brought to Gaul by the founders of the Church of Lyons. Mgr Duchesne considers that during the two centuries after Emperor Constantine the prestige of the Church of Lyons was not such that it could dictate a liturgy across the Pyrenees, the Channel and the Alps, and lure from Roman influence half the Churches of Italy. In his opinion it was not Lyons, but Milan, which was the centre of the diffusion of the Gallican Liturgy. Under Leidrade and Agobard the Church of Lyons, although fulfilling the task of purifying its liturgical texts exacted by the Holy See, upheld its own traditions. "Among the Churches of France ", wrote St. Bernard to the canons of Lyons, "that of Lyons has hitherto had ascendancy over all the others, as much for the dignity of its see as for its praiseworthy institutions. It is especially in the Divine Office that this judicious Church has never readily acquiesced in unexpected and sudden novelties, and has never submitted to be tarnished by innovations which are becoming only to youth". In the seventeenth century Cardinal Bona, in his treatise "De divina psalmodia", renders similar homage to the Church of Lyons. But in the eighteenth century Bishop Montazet, contrary to the Bull of Pius V on the Breviary, changed the text of the Breviary and the Missal, from which there resulted a whole century of troubles for the Church of Lyons. The efforts of Pius IX and Cardinal Bonald to suppress the innovations of Montazet provoked great resistance on the part of the canons, who feared an attempt against the traditional Lyonnese ceremonies. This culminated in 1861 in a protest on the part of the clergy and the laity, as much with regard to the civil power as to the Vatican. Finally, on 4 Feb., 1864, at a reception of the parish priests of Lyons, Pius IX declared his displeasure at this agitation and assured them that nothing should be changed in the ancient Lyonnese ceremonies ; by a Brief of 17 March, 1864, he ordered the progressive introduction of the Roman Breviary and Missal in the diocese. The primatial church of Lyons adopted them for public services 8 December, 1869. One of the most touching rites of the ancient Gallican liturgy, retained by the Church of Lyons, is the blessing of the people by the bishop at the moment of Communion.
The cathedral of St. John, begun in the twelfth century on the ruins of a sixth century church, was completed in 1476; worthy of note are the two crosses to right and left of the altar, preserved since the council of 1274 as a symbol of the union of the churches, and the Bourbon chapel, built by Cardinal de Bourbon and his brother Pierre de Bourbon, son-in-law of Louis XI, a masterpiece of fifteenth century sculpture. The church of Ainay, dating from the tenth and eleventh centuries, is of the Byzantine style. The doorway of St. Nizier's (fifteenth century) was carved in the sixteenth century by Philibert Delorme. The collegiate church of St. John Baptist at St. Chamond, now destroyed, presented a singular arrangement; the belfry was situated below the church, to which those coming from the city could only gain access by climbing two hundred steps; the roof of the church served as pavement for the courtyard of the fortress, the circuit of which might be made in a carriage.
The chief pilgrimages of the diocese are Notre Dame de Fourvières, a sanctuary dating from the time of St. Pothinus, on the site of a temple of Venus. In 1643 the people of Lyons consecrated themselves to Notre Dame de Fourvières and pledged themselves to a solemn procession on 8 September of each year; the new basilica of Fourvières, consecrated in 1896, attracts numerous pilgrims. Notre Dame de Benoite-Vaux at Saint-Etienne, a pilgrimage founded in 1849 by the Marists who had been miraculously preserved from a flood; Notre-Dame de Valfleury, near Saint Chamond, a pilgrimage dating from the eighth century and re-established in 1629 after a plageue; Notre Dame de Vernay, near Roanne.
In 1901, before the application of the Associations Law to congregations the Diocese of Lyons possessed Capuchins, Jesuits, Camillians, Dominicans, Carmelites, Oblates of Mary Immaculate, Redemptorists, Sulpicians, Clerics of St. Viator, and three great orders native to the diocese : (1) the Marists, founded by Ven. Colin and approved by Gregory XVI in 1836; they had their mother-house at Lyons, which governed a number of establishments in England, Ireland, Belgium, Spain, America, New Zealand, and Australia, and they were charged with the Vicariates Apostolic of New Caledonia (since 1847), of Central Oceania (since 1842), Fuji (since 1844), Samoa, and the Prefecture Apostolic of the Solomon Islands. (2) The African missionaries (Missionnaires d'Afrique), an association of secular priests founded in 1856 by Mgr de Marion-Bresillac and charged with the Vicariate Apostolic of Benin (1860), with the five Prefectures Apostolic of Ivory Coast (1895), Gold Coast (1879), Nigeria (1884), Dahomey (1882), and the Delta of the Nile . This congregation has two Apostolic schools, at Clermont-Ferand and at Cork, Ireland ; and two preparatory schools at Nantes and Keer-Maestricht, Holland. (3) The Little Brothers of Mary, founded 2 January, 1817 by Ven. Marcellin Champagnat, vicar at Valla, d. 1840. The mother-house at Saint Genis-Laval, near Lyons, governs 7000 members, 14 novitiates, 25 juniorates, and about 800 schools, either elementary, agricultural or secondary, in France, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Great Britain, Italy, Switzerland, Turkey, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, the United States, Colombia, Egypt, Cap Haïtien, Seychelles, Syria, Arabia, China, Australia, New Zealand , New Caledonia , Central Oceanica.
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The Brothers of St. John of God have their mother-house for France at Lyons. The Society of the Priests of St. Irenæus is engaged in teaching and giving diocesan missions. In 1901 the Diocese of Lyons had a diocesan "grand séminaire" and a university seminary at Lyons, a seminary of philosophy at Alix and five "petits séminaires" at St. Jean de Lyon, Duerne, St. Jodard, Vernières, and Montbrison; the first of these was founded under Charlemagne.
The female congregations native to the Diocese of Lyons are numerous; the following deserve special mention: The Sisters of Notre Dame de Fourvières, founded 1732 at Usson, for teaching and nursing, with the mother-house at Lyons; the Sisters of St. Charles, founded 1680 by the Abbé Démia, teaching and nursing, with mother-house at Lyons; the Religious of the Perpetual Adoration of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, founded 1820 by the Curé Ribier, with their mother-house at Lajarasse; the Religious of the Five Wounds of Our Lord, founded at Lyons in 1886 as a contemplative, nursing, and teaching order, which has houses in Canada ; the Sisters of the Child Jesus, teaching, with their mother-house at Claveisolles, the origin of which dates from the opening of a little school in 1830 by Josephine du Sablon; the Franciscan Sisters of the Propagation of the Faith, founded in 1836 by Mother Moyne for the care of incurables with mother-house at Lyons; the Religious of Jesus-Mary, a teaching congregation, founded in 1818 by the priest André Coindre and Claudine Thevenet, whose mother-house installed at Lyons governs a number of houses abroad; the Ladies of Nazareth, teaching, founded in 1822 at Montmirail (Marne) by the Duchesse de La Rochefoucauld Doudeauville, whose mother-house removed to Oullins in 1854 governs several establishments in Palestine and at London ; the Religious of Our Lady of Missions, founded at Lyons in 1861 for the missions of Oceanica; the abbey of the Benedictines of the Holy Heart of Mary, founded 1804, the first house of this congregation to be restored after the Revolution ; the Religious of the Holy Family, founded in 1825 by the Curé of St. Bruno les Chartreux for mission work among workmen; the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi , founded in 1838 by pious working women for education and nursing, with mother-house at Lyons, also sends subjects to the missions of Armenia and America.
At the end of the nineteenth century the religious congregations maintained in the Diocese of Lyons 2 maternity hospitals, 3 day nurseries, 193 nurseries, 2 children's hospitals, 9 hospitals for incurables, 1 asylum for blind girls, 4 asylums for deaf mutes, 5 boys' orphanages, 49 girls' orphanages, 4 workrooms, 3 industrial schools, 2 schools of apprentices, 5 institutions for the rescue of young women, 1 house of correction for young women, 1 house of correction for boys, 3 institutions for the reform of adults, 61 hospitals, infirmaries, or asylums for the aged, 19 houses for the care of the sick in their homes, 2 homes for convalescents, 5 houses of retreat, 2 insane asylums. In 1908, three years after the Separation Law went into effect, the Archdiocese of Lyons had 1,464,665 inhabitants, 74 parishes, 595 branch churches, 585 vicariates.