Roman Catholic Diocese of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne

  (Redirected from Bishop of Maurienne)

The French Roman Catholic diocese of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne (San Giovanni di Moriana in Italian) has since 1966 been effectively suppressed, formally united with the archdiocese of Chambéry.[1] While it has not been suppressed, and is supposed to be on a par with Chambéry and the diocese of Tarentaise, it no longer has a separate bishop or existence.


  • Saint Gregory of Tours's "De Gloria Martyrum" relates how the church of Maurienne, belonging then to the Diocese of Turin, became a place of pilgrimage, after the holy woman Thigris or Thecla, a native of Valloires, had brought to it as sacred relic from the East a finger of St. John the Baptist. Saint Guntram, King of Burgundy, took from the Lombards in 574 the valleys of Maurienne and Suse (Susa Valley, or Val de Suse), and in 576 founded near the shrine a bishopric, detached from the then Diocese of Turin (in Piedmont, northern Italy), as suffragan of the Archdiocese of Vienne, also comprising the Briançonnais. Its first bishop was Felmasius, known from a document on the Baptist relic's first miracle.[2] In 599 Pope Gregory the Great failed to make the Merovingian Queen Brunhilda of Austrasia ('Brunehaut') oblige the protests of the Bishop of Turin against this foundation.
  • Pope Leo III (795-816) made Darantasia (Tarantaise, Loire) a Metropolitan archbishopric with three suffragans, Aosta, Sion (=Sitten), and Maurienne, but maintained the Ancient primatial status of Vienne. A letter written by John VIII in 878 formally designated the Bishop of Maurienne as suffragan of Tarentaise, but for four centuries this supremacy was the cause of conflicts between the archbishops of Tarentaise and the Metropolitans of Vienna who continued to claim Maurienne as a suffragan see; subsequently under Callistus II (1120) Maurienne was again attached to the metropolis of Vienne.
  • As its first see, a cathedral of John the Baptist was built in the 6th century, destroyed by invading Saracens in 943 and rebuilt in the 11th century.
  • After the Saracens had been driven out, the temporal sovereignty of the Bishop of Maurienne appears to have been very extensive, but there is no proof that such sovereignty had been recognized since Gontran's time.
  • At the death in 1032 of Rudolph III of Burgundy, the last ruler of the independent Kingdom of Burgundy, Bishop Thibaut was powerful enough to join a league against Holy Roman Emperor Conrad II of Franconia. In 1033 the city was destroyed by imperial troops and the bishopric lost part of its territory (the Susa valley) to the diocese of Turin, which was promised all. In 1038 the emperor suppressed the see of Maurienne altogether, giving over its title and possessions to the Bishops of Turin, but this imperial decree was never executed and at the death of Torino's bishop Guido in 1044, bishop Thibaud was fully reinstated at Maurienne.
  • Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy, took solemn possession of a canonry in the cathedral of Maurienne in 1564.
  • On 1801.11.29 the bishopric was suppressed, its territory being merged into the then Diocese of Chambéry.
  • On 1825.08.07 it was restored as Diocese of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne / Maurianen(sis) (Latin), on territory restituted from the now Metropolitan Archdiocese of Chambéry
  • In 1947 it gained territory from the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Torino
  • On 1966.04.26 it was suppressed as a see, its title and territory being merged into the accordingly renamed Metropolitan Archdiocese of Chambéry–Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne–Tarentaise.


Among the saints specially honoured in, or connected with, the diocese are: Saint Aper (Saint Avre), a priest who founded a refuge for pilgrims and the poor in the Village of St. Avre (seventh century); Blessed Thomas, b. at Maurienne, d. in 720, famous for rebuilding the Abbey of Farfa, of which the third abbot, Lucerius, was also a native of Maurienne; St. Marinus, monk of Chandor, martyred by the Saracens (eighth century); St. Landry, pastor of Lanslevillard (eleventh century), drowned in the Arc during one of his apostolic journeys; St. Bénézet, or Benoit de Pont (1165–84), b. at Hermillon in the diocese, and founder of the guild of Fratres Pontifices of Avignon; Blessed Cabert or Gabert, disciple of St. Dominic, who preached the Gospel for twenty years in the vicinity of AiguebelIe (thirteenth century).

The chief shrines of the diocese were:

  • Notre Dame de Bonne Nouvelle, near St-Jean-de-Maurienne, which dates from the sixteenth century
  • Notre Dame de Charmaise, near Modane
  • Notre Dame de Beaurevers at Montaimon, dating from the seventeenth century.

The Sisters of St. Joseph, a nursing and teaching order, with mother-house at St-Jean-de-Maurienne, are a branch of the Congregation of St. Joseph at Puy. At the end of the nineteenth century, they were in charge of 8 day nurseries and 2 hospitals. In Algeria, the East Indies and Argentina houses were founded, controlled by the motherhouse at Maurienne.

Episcopal ordinariesEdit

Incomplete, several early inculebnts historically unsure
Suffragan Bishops of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne
  • 579: Saint Felmase
  • 581–602: Saint Æconius (Hiconius)
  • 650: Leporius
  • 725: Walchinus
  • c. 736 to 738: Saint Emilian of Cogolla, martyred by the Saracens (736 or 738)
  • 773: Vitgarius
  • 837: Mainard
  • 855: Joseph
  • 858: Abbo
  • 876: Adalbert
  • 899: Wilhelm I
  • c. 915 Benedict
  • 916–926: Saint Odilard, slain by the Saracens (916) together with St. Benedict, Archbishop of Embrun
  • 994–1025: Evrard
  • c. 1032–1060: Thibaud
  • 1060–1073: Brochard
  • 1075–1081: Artaud
  • 1081–1116: Conon
  • 1116–1124: Amédée de Faucigny
  • 1124–1132: Conon II
  • 1132–1134: Ayrald I, once a monk of the Charterhouse of Portes [fr]
  • 1134–1146: Ayrald II
  • 1146–1158: Bernard I
  • 1158–1162: Ayrald III
  • 1162–1176: Guillaume II
  • 1177: Peter
  • 1177–1198: Lambert
  • 1198–1200: Allevard
  • 1200–1211: Bernard II
  • 1215 Amadeus of Genf
  • 1215–1221 Ean
  • 1221–1236 Aimar de Bernin
  • 1236–1256: Amadeus of Savoyen († 1268), son of Thomas I of Savoy
  • 1256–1261: Pierre de Morestel
  • 1261–1269: Anselm I de Clermont († 1269)
  • 1269–1273: Pierre de Guelis
  • 1273–1301: Aymon I de Miolans
  • 1302: Ayrald IV
  • 1302–1308: Amblard d’Entremont (de Beaumont)
  • 1308–1334: Aymon II de Miolans d’Hurtières
  • 1335–1349: Anselme II de Clermont († 1349)
  • 1349–1376: Amadeus of Savoyen-Achaia (also Bishop of Maurienne and Lausanne)
  • 1376–1380: Jean Malabaila
  • 1380–1385: Henry de Severy
  • 1385–1410: Savin de Floran
  • 1410–1422: Amédée de Montmayeur
  • 1422–1432: Aimon Gerbais
  • 1433–1441: Oger Moriset
  • 1441–1450?51: Cardinal Louis de La Pallud de Varembon, who as Bishop of Lausanne had taken an active part at the Council of Basle in favour of the antipope Felix V, who named him Bishop of Maurienne in 1441 and afterwards Cardinal, confirmed in both appointments by Pope Nicholas V in 1449
  • 1451–1452: Cardinal Juan de Segovia = John of Segovia, who at the Council of Basle as representative of the King of Aragon had also worked for pope Felix V, was appointed by him Cardinal in 1441, and whom pope Nicholas V gave ten years later the see of Maurienne; he is the author of "Gesta Concilii Basileensis" on the council
  • 1452–1483: Cardinal Guillaume d'Estouteville = William d'Estouteville (1473–80), who was made cardinal in 1439 and as a pluralist held among other titles those of Bishop of Angers, Lodève, Ostia, Porto and Archbishop of Rouen
  • 1483–1499: Etienne de Morel (also Abbot of Ambronay (Bresse))
  • 1499–1532: Cardinal Louis II de Gorrevod de Challand, made cardinal in 1530
  • 1532–1544: Louis III de Gorrevord
  • 1544–1559: Cardinal Jérôme Recanati Capodiferro or Testaferrata (also Bishop of Nizza)
  • 1560–1563: Brandolesius de Trottis
  • 1563–1567: Cardinal Ippolito II d'Este = Hippolyte d'Este (1560), made cardinal in 1538, acted as legate of Pius IV to the Council of Poissy, and built the famous Villa d'Este at Tivoli near Rome
  • 1567–1591: Pierre de Lambert
  • 1591–1618: Philibert François Milliet de Faverges
  • 1618–1636: Charles Bobba
  • 1640–1656: Paul Milliet de Challes
  • 1656–1686: Hercule Berzzeti
  • 1686–1736/41: François-Hyacinthe Valpergue de Masin
  • 1741–1756: Ignace-Dominique Grisella de Rosignan
  • 1756–1778: Cardinal Charles-Joseph Filippa = Charles Joseph Fillipa de Martiniana, made cardinal in 1778, was the first to whom Napoleon I Bonaparte, after the battle of Marengo, confided his intention of concluding a concordat with Rome
  • 1780–1793: Charles-Joseph Compans de Brichanteau
  • 1802–1805: René des Monstiers de Mérinville (also Bishop of Chambéry and Genf)
  • 1805–1823: Irénée-Yves De Solle (also Bishop of Chambéry and Geneva=Genf)
  • 1825–1840: Cardinal Alexis Billiet (also Archbishop of Chambéry), made cardinal in 1861
  • 1840–1876: François-Marie Vibet
  • 1876–1906: Michel Rosset
  • 1906–1924: Adrien Alexis Fodéré
  • 1924–1946: Auguste Grumel
  • 1946–1954: Frédéric Duc
  • 1954–1956: Louis Ferrand (also coadjutor archbishop of Tours)
  • 1956–1960: Joël-André-Jean-Marie Bellec (also Bishop of Perpignan-Elne)
  • 1961–1966: André Georges Bontemps (also Archbishop of Chambéry)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne (Diocese) [Catholic-Hierarchy][self-published source?]
  2. ^ Jean-Barthélemy Hauréau, Gallia christiana, vol. XVI, Paris 1865, coll. 611-654

Sources and external linksEdit

  • Gams, Pius Bonifatius (1873). Series episcoporum Ecclesiae catholicae: quotquot innotuerunt a beato Petro apostolo. Ratisbon: Typis et Sumptibus Georgii Josephi Manz. pp. 548–549. (Use with caution; obsolete)
  • Eubel, Conradus (ed.) (1913). Hierarchia catholica, Tomus 1 (second ed.). Münster: Libreria Regensbergiana.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link) p. 301. (in Latin)
  • Eubel, Conradus (ed.) (1914). Hierarchia catholica, Tomus 2 (second ed.). Münster: Libreria Regensbergiana.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link) p. 175.
  • Eubel, Conradus (ed.) (1923). Hierarchia catholica, Tomus 3 (second ed.). Münster: Libreria Regensbergiana.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  • Gauchat, Patritius (Patrice) (1935). Hierarchia catholica IV (1592-1667). Münster: Libraria Regensbergiana. Retrieved 2016-07-06. p. 219.
  • Ritzler, Remigius; Sefrin, Pirminus (1952). Hierarchia catholica medii et recentis aevi V (1667-1730). Patavii: Messagero di S. Antonio. Retrieved 2016-07-06.
  • Jean, Armand (1891). Les évêques et les archevêques de France depuis 1682 jusqu'à 1801 (in French). Paris: A. Picard.
  • Pisani, Paul (1907). Répertoire biographique de l'épiscopat constitutionnel (1791-1802) (in French). Paris: A. Picard et fils.
  • Jean-Barthélemy Hauréau, Gallia christiana, vol. XVI, Paris 1865, coll. 611-654
  • Louis Duchesne, Fastes épiscopaux de l'ancienne Gaule, vol. I, Paris 1907, pp. 239–242
  • Fedele Savio, Gli antichi vescovi d'Italia. Il Piemonte, Torino 1898, pp. 221–237

  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.

Coordinates: 45°16′22″N 6°20′54″E / 45.2729°N 6.3484°E / 45.2729; 6.3484