Archdiocese of Reims
Comprises the district of Reims in the Department of Marne (Chalons-sur-Marne) and the whole Department of Ardennes
Reims, Archdiocese of (RHEMENSIS), comprises the district of Reims in the Department of Marne (Chalons-sur-Marne) and the whole Department of Ardennes. It was suppressed by the Concordat of 1802, which put the district of Reims in the Diocese of Meaux, and the Department of Ardennes in that of Metz, while two episcopal councils were established at Reims and Charleville to assist the Bishops of Meaux and Metz in their administration. The archdiocese was reestablished in theory by the Concordat of 1817, and in fact in 1821; it was given Amiens and Soissons as suffragans in 1821, and Chalons-sur-Marne and Beauvais in 1822. The Remi (as the Gauls of this region were called), whose capital was Durocortorum, the present Reims, were early reduced to submission by Caesar.
In the third century Reims was the capital of Belgium Secundum: the Roman governors resided there, and there Valentinian sojourned in 367. As a center of culture, it was then considered comparable to Athens, and a beautiful Gallo-Roman gate (the Porte Mars) is still to be seen there. When Christianity was introduced is not known; it may have developed locally, from the earliest centuries, by the coalition of different groups of Christians; but the true ecclesiastical organization and the succession of bishops began only with the mission of Sts. Sixtus and Sinicius, who established their see in the upper part of the city during the second half of the third century. Late traditions have represented St. Sixtus as a disciple of St. Peter, but Archbishop Hincmar, in the ninth century, considered him as a disciple of Pope St. Sixtus II.
Tradition gives to the Church of Reims a certain number of martyrs during the persecution of Diocletian; among others, Timotheus, Apollinaris, the priest Maurus, and the virgin Macra, whose relics were gathered by the Roman Eusebius. The chapel erected over their tomb afterwards became a collegiate church under the invocation of St. Timotheus. Imbetausius, who assisted at the Council of Arles (314), was the fourth Bishop of Reims; he transferred his cathedral to the center of the city. It was much exposed to the barbarian invasions. Victoriously defended, about 366, by the consul Jovinus, a Christian, it had for bishops St. Maternian (c. 349-70) and St. Donatian (379-89), the patron of Bruges and of West Flanders. It saw the Vandals behead the archbishop, St. Nicasius, on the threshold of his church, in 406 or 407, and at the same time kill his sister St. Eutropia, his deacon St. Florens, his lector St. Jucundus, and, a short time after, his disciple St. Oriculus, and Sts. Oricula and Basilica, the sisters of St. Oriculus.
St. Remigius (Remi), b. about 440, of a distinguished Gallo-Roman family, and whom St. Sidonius Apollinaris appreciated very highly as a rhetorician, became Bishop of Reims at the age of twenty-two. His history is known through a short biography, falsely attributed to Fortunatus, and a longer one, of a legendary character, written by Hincmar in 878. St. Remigius directed the Christianization of the neighboring regions, sending Antimond into the country about Terouanne and Boulogne, St. Vaast into the Arras district, and creating the Bishopric of Laon; he brought about the marriage of Clovis with St. Clotilda, and baptized Clovis on December 24, 496. His success had immense political and religious results; the Gallo-Roman populations would not have submitted to Clovis the Frank, had he remained a pagan, and his conversion made him the protector of the Catholics of Burgundy and Aquitaine, whose princes were Arians. The “Testament” of St. Remigius is apocryphal, as is the letter by which Pope Hormisdas was supposed to have appointed him Apostolic legate for the whole of Gaul. But it is true that St. Remigius laid the foundations of the political authority and religious power of the See of Reims, and that from his time the name of Reims was well esteemed and respected at Rome. He died January 10, 535.
Among the bishops of Reims who followed him were: St. Nivard (649-72), who caused the monastery of Hauvillers to be rebuilt and established St. Bercarius there; St. Rieul (672-98), who built the monastery of Orbais; St. Rigobert (698-743), who baptized Charles Martel, was afterwards brutally driven from the see and replaced by a certain Milo, the king’s favorite, and took refuge first in Aquitaine and then at Gernicourt, in the Diocese of Soissons, where he died; Tilpin (or Turpin, 753-800), a friend of Charlemagne, whose name was afterwards, not later than the end of the eleventh century, forged to a chronicle of Charlemagne and Roland, very popular in the Middle Ages.
The political importance of the See of Reims, situated geographically between France and Germany, was manifested in the ninth century during the episcopates of Ebbo (816-35), whose disagreements with Louis the Debonnaire are matters of history; of Hincmar (845-82), the most illustrious of the archbishops of Reims; of Fulk (883-900), chancellor of Charles the Simple, who maintained the rights of the Carlovingians against Eudes, Count of Paris, ancestor of the House of Capet; of Herve (900-22), who labored for the conversion of the Normans and, eventually rallying to the Capetians, crowned Robert king in 922. In 925 Count Herbert of Vermandois had his son Hugh, a boy of less than five years of age, consecrated Archbishop of Reims, but in 932 King Raoul caused Artaud (932-61) to be consecrated, and Hugh, who insisted upon his archiepiscopal rights, was excommunicated by a council in 948 and by Pope Agapetus in 949. The decisive part taken by Archbishop Adalbero (969-88) in the elevation of the Capets to the throne, the political part played by Archbishop Arnould (988-91 and 995-1021), as a partisan of the Carlovingians, and the brief occupancy of the see by Gerbert (991-95), afterwards Sylvester II, are treated in the articles Hugh Capet and Pope Sylvester II. Manasses de Goumay (1069-80) was deposed for simony at the behest of Gregory VII in the Council of Lyons. Henry of France, second son of King Louis VI (1162-75), did much to secure the recognition in France of Pope Alexander III against the antipope Octavian, and resisted the attempts of the burghers to form themselves into a commune. William of the White Hands (1176-1202), uncle to Philip Augustus and cousin of Henry II of England was made a cardinal in 1179, and was legate in France and Germany under Innocent III. It was he who granted to the burghers of Reims in 1182 the Wilhelmine Charter, a concession to the communal movement. Cardinal Gui de Paray (1204-06). Formerly Abbot of Citeaux suppressed Manichaeism in his diocese. Alberic de Humbert (1206-18) took part in the Albigensian War and, in 1211, laid the first stone of the present cathedral. In 1250, Johel de Mathefelon (1244-50), conferred the office of Grand Archdeacon of Reims on Cardinal Ottoboni, nephew of Innocent IV, who became pope under the name of Adrian V. Pierre Babette (1274-98) petitioned Gregory X in 1276 for the canonization of St. Louis, and obtained it from Boniface VIII in 1297. The Dominican Humbert, Dauphin of Viennois, occupied the See of Reims from 1352 to 1355. Guy de Roye (1390-1409), who was killed in Italy on his way to the Council of Pisa, was the author of the “Dortrinale Sapientiae” Simon de Cramaud (1409-13), created cardinal in 1413, had an important share in putting an end to the Great Schism. Renaud de Chartres (1414-44), made cardinal in 1439, chancellor to Charles VII, showed himself very unfavorable to the mission of Joan of Are; when the heroine was captured (May 23, 1430) he wrote a letter to the inhabitants of Reims in a spirit hostile to her, and he took no steps to rescue Joan from his suffragan, Bishop Cauchon of Beauvais. Renaud was one of the plenipotentiaries who signed the treaty of Arras between Charles VII and the Duke of Burgundy. Jacques Juvenel des Ursins (1444-9) was commissioned by Charles VII, in 1447, to notify Amadeus of Savoy that he must abdicate the papal throne, and to treat with Nicholas V for the restoration of peace to the Church. Jean Juvenel des Ursins (1449-73) was ordered by Callistus III to revise the process of Blessed Joan of Arc; he also wrote a history of the reign of Charles VI. Guillaume Briconnet was created cardinal in 1493 and occupied the See of Reims from 1497 to 1507. His successor, Charles Dominique de Carrette (1507-8) was Cardinal of Final after 1505. Robert de Lenoncourt (1508-32) enriched the cathedral with sumptuous tapestries representing the life and death of the Blessed Virgin, and the church of St. ‘Remigius with tapestries on the life of its titular saint.
In 1553 the House of Lorraine began to acquire a hold upon the See of Reims, where it was first represented by John V of Lorraine (1533-8), next by Cardinal Charles of Lorraine (1538-74), and then by Cardinal Louis de Guise (1574-88). In 1585 Reims had taken sides with the League, and the Duke of Mayenne and the Marechal de Saint Paul ruled as masters in the city until 1594. The “Journalier” of Jean Pussot, the carpenter, is even now a capital source of information on the League spirit which animated the people of Reims, showing at the same time how they gradually rallied to Henry IV. Philippe du Bee, one of the prelates who had labored most earnestly for Henry IV’s conversion, was by him nominated Archbishop of Reims in January, 1595. The see was next occupied by another Guise, Louis of Lorraine, made a cardinal in 1615. At his death the see was given to William Gifford, an Englishman by origin. This personage, who had been successively canon-theologian of the cathedral of Milan under St. Charles Borromeo, dean of St. Peter’s at Lille; rector of the University of Reims, a. monk in the monastery of St-Benoit en Voivre, at Metz, and founder of two Benedictine houses at St. Maio and Paris, spent his whole life helping the expatriated English Catholics in France and the apostles who were going thence, with all caution, to strengthen persecuted Catholicism in England. He wrote a treatise on predestination and a work against the Calvinists entitled “Calvino-Furcismus”. His successor, in 1629, Henry of Lorraine, the adventurous Guise who afterwards attempted an expedition against Naples, never received Holy orders, and in 1641 Richelieu compelled him to give up the emoluments of the archbishopric. In the course of the seventeenth century two religious women who belonged to the House of Guise had also been abbesses at St-Pierre-les-Dames at Reims, and Mary Stuart, at the age of six, had spent some time and received a part of her education there.
Among the later archbishops of Reims may be mentioned: Antonio Barberini (1657-71), cardinal in 1627; Charles-Maurice Le Tellier (1671-1710), who, unhappily, caused to be demolished the superb archiepiscopal palace raised by men of preceding ages, distinguished himself by his hatred of the Jesuits and his antipathy to Roman doctrines, and bequeathed his magnificent library to the Abbey of Ste-Genevieve at Paris; Francois de Mailly (1710-31), cardinal in 1698; Charles-Antoine de La Roche Aymon (1762-77), cardinal in 1771; Alexandre-Angelique de Talleyrand-Perigord (1777-1801), who was a deputy in the States-General of 1789, combated the project of the civil constitution of the clergy in several of his writings, emigrated under the Revolution, refused to resign after the Concordat, remained near Louis XVIII after 1803, returned with him to France in 1814, accepted his dismissal from the Archbishopric of Reims in 1816, and in 1817 was made a cardinal and Archbishop of Paris; Jean-Baptiste-Marie-Antoine de Latil (1824-39), chaplain to the future Charles X from 1804, cardinal in 1826, joined Charles X in England, and spent the last nine years of his life away from his diocese; the theologian Thomas Gousset (1840-66), cardinal in 1851; the writer and preacher Landriot (1867-74), famous during the Franco-German War through his protest against the military execution of Abbe Miroy, one of his parish priests, by the Germans in the middle of an armistice; Benoit-Marie Langenieux (1874-1905), one of the most illustrious prelates of the end of the nineteenth century, who took the initiative in leading pilgrimages of Christian workmen to the Holy See, and thus played a part in the great social movement which culminated in the encyclical “Rerum novarum”. He presided in 1893, as papal legate, at the Eucharistic Congress in Jerusalem, when all the Eastern Churches, whether united with Rome or separated, bore testimony to their faith in the Eucharist. He was the first cardinal to visit the Holy Land since the Crusades. In 1896 he organized the festival to celebrate the fourteenth centenary of the baptism of Clovis.
In the Merovingian period, Reims apparently enjoyed ecclesiastical supremacy over the eleven cities of Soissons, Chalons, Vermand, Arras, Cambrai, Tournai, Senlis, Beauvais, Amiens, Terouanne, and Boulogne; and when St. Remigius detached a part of his own diocese to form that of Laon, it made one more suffragan for Reims. The erection of the Bishopric of Cambrai into an archiepiscopal see by a Bull dated May 12, 1559, took from the metropolitan jurisdiction of Reims the Dioceses of Cambrai, Arras, and Tournai. At the same time the See of Terouanne was suppressed, and out of its territory three new dioceses were made: one of them, Boulogne, dependent on Reims; the other two, St. Omer and Ypres, dependent on Cambrai and Mechlin. The archbishops of Reims, legati nati of the Holy See, had, as primates, jurisdiction over the other metropolitans of Gaul. From the time of Louis IV D’Outre-Mer they had been counts. They were entitled to coin money, had their town guard, and levied armies. As soon as a new archbishop was elected he made a visitation of his suffragans; in each city, on the arrival of the metropolitan, business was suspended, the people and the clergy, magistrates, even princes, went to meet him, prisons were thrown open, and exiles were recalled from banishment. The inhabitants of Saint-Quentin and Saint-Valery were under his judicial jurisdiction, and had to bring their pleas to the archiepiscopal court of Reims. in 999 a Bull of Sylvester II recognized the right of the archbishops of Reims to crown the kings, and, at the coronation of Philip I, Archbishop Gervais took advantage of the presence of the papal legates to proclaim once more this right, which right Alexander III, by a Brief of 1179, prohibited any other archbishop from arrogating to himself. Louis VII, at his coronation, raised the Countship of Reims to the rank of a duchy and peerage of the kingdom.
On the tomb of St. Remigius, as built by Archbishop Robert de Lenoncourt, there are niched figures representing the twelve peers who carry the symbols of the coronation: on the right, the six spiritual peers—the Archbishop of Reims, who anointed the king; the Bishop-Duke of Laon, who held the sacred ampulla; the Bishop-Duke of Langres, with the scepter; the Bishop-Count of Beauvais, with the emblazoned surcoat; the Bishop-Count of Chalons, with the royal ring; the Bishop-Count of Noyon, with the baldric—and on the left the six temporal peers—the Duke of Burgundy, holding the crown; the Dukes of Guyenne and Normandy, and the Counts of Champagne, Flanders, and Toulouse. The ceremonies of the coronation at Reims presented two characteristic features: the use of the sacred ampulla and the touching for scrofula (king’s evil). According to the legend—of which, however, St. Avitus, a witness of the baptism of Clovis, was ignorant in the fifth century, and the first trace of which appears in Hincmar—the holy ampulla was brought by a dove to St. Remigius when he was in the act of crowning Clovis. This ampulla was a small crystal vial, two-thirds full of balm; its superb ornamentation was added later. It was kept at Saint-Remi, in a reliquary which also contained a golden needle and a silver paten. When needed for a coronation, the Abbot of Saint-Remi brought it to the cathedral. The golden needle was used to mix the balm, taken from the ampulla, with chrism on the silver paten. The holy ampulla left Reims only once, when Louis XI, being sick at Plessis-les-Tours in 1483, hoped that an unction from it would cure him. The authenticity of the sacred ampulla began to be questioned when Henry IV could not be crowned at Reims because the Guises occupied Champagne; on this occasion an ampulla was used which was preserved at the abbey of Marmoutiers, and which had cured St. Martin. Jean-Jacques Chifflet, first physician to Philip IV of Spain, in 1651 wrote a book expressly to disprove the authenticity of the Reims ampulla. In 1793 the vial was broken in the public square of Reims; but a few days before this was done, a Constitutional parish priest had taken out some of the balm and put it in a place of safety; it was from this portion that Charles X was anointed. The legendary privilege of healing scrofula on the day of the coronation was supposed to have been given by St. Remigius to the kings of France and confirmed to them by St. Marcoul, Abbot of Nanteuil (d. 552), whose remains rested after the ninth century at Corbeny, in the Diocese of Laon—hence the pilgrimages made by several kings, after their consecration, to Corbeny. Louis XIII was the last king to make this pilgrimage (in 1610); Louis XVI had the relics of St. Marcoul brought to the Abbey of Saint-Remi, so as to avoid going out of Reims. Louis XVIII did not touch for the scrofula, but Charles X did, the day after his consecration, at the hospital of Saint-Marcoul, changing the formula, “Le roi te touche, Dieu te guerit” (The king touches thee, God heals thee), to “Le roi te touche, Dieu te guerisse” (The king touches thee, may God heal thee).
Several of the popes visited Reims. In the early days of the Carlovingian dynasty it was the scene of two famous interviews: between Stephen III and Pepin the Short, and between Leo III and Charlemagne. In 816 Louis the Debonnaire was crowned by Stephen V in the cathedral of Reims, and the pope conferred the title of Augusta on Queen Ermengarde. Pope Leo IX came to Reims in September, 1049, during the episcopate of Guy de Chatillon; he consecrated the church of St. Remigius, and decreed that thenceforward the feast of that saint should be kept on the first day of October, throughout the whole kingdom. During the episcopate of Raoul de Verd, Pope Callistus II presided at a council held at Reims from 20 to October 30, 1119. St. Norbert came thither barefoot and in penitential garb, and Callistus confirmed the authority granted to him by Pope Gelasius, to preach the Gospel in all places. The council drew up a decree for the Truce of God, and excommunicated Bourdin, the antipope, and the Emperor Henry. Pope Innocent II, on October 19, 1131, in the episcopate of Renaud de Martigne, opened at Reims a council at which St. Bernard appeared, and the antipope Anacletus was excommunicated. While this council was sitting, the pope crowned (October 25) Louis the Younger, afterward Louis VII, in the presence of his father Louis VI. Lastly, at the request of Bernard, Bishop of Hildesheim, he canonized St. Godehard. Pope Eugene III, on March 22, 1148, opened at Reims a council at which St. Bernard forced Gilbert de La Porree to retract his errors on the essence of God, and Samson de Mauvoisin, Archbishop of Reims, caused Eon de l’Etoile to be condemned.
From the ninth century to the eleventh, the buildings of a monastery for women founded by St. Gombert were used by poor children who desired to learn, who lived on alms, prayed in the chapel of St. Patrick, and attended the chapter schools. This was the origin of the “College des Bons Enfants”, the functions of which were regulated by Juhel’s Charter, in 1245, and which prepared a certain number of boys for the priesthood. Between 1544 and 1546, Paul Grand Raoul, the scholasticus of Reims, had the college rebuilt, and it was in this building, by that time still further enlarged, that Cardinal Charles of Lorraine installed the university, for which he had obtained from Paul III a Bull of erection (January 5, 1548) and the foundation of which was sanctioned by Henry II in March, 1548. It was to comprise the four faculties of arts, theology, law, and medicine. The faculty of theology was completed through the liberality of Antoine Fournier (b. at Reims, 1532), who administered the Diocese of Metz for another Charles of Lorraine. This university was the stronghold of the League in Champagne, and in 1588 it adhered to the solemn declaration by which the Sorbonne declared the French people to be absolved from their oath of allegiance to Henry III after the assassination of the Duke of Guise. But when Henry IV had had himself crowned at Chartres, and the most fiery Leaguers of Reims were contemplating going into exile, the faculty of theology gave the signal for submission. In 1606, when, through the favor of Archdeacon Francois Brulart, the Jesuits set up a college at Reims, they asked to be incorporated in the university, and in 1609 they obtained their request. Repeated conflicts, however, arose between the Jesuits and the university, first in 1617, then in 1660 and 1664, again in 1722 on the question of Jansenism, and again in 1752. In 1682 the theological faculty of Reims adhered to the Four Articles, and in 1688, when Innocent excommunicated Lavardin, Louis XIV‘s ambassador, it voted by acclamation in favor of an appeal to a council. Until 1723 it refused to submit to the Bull “Unigenitus“, and one of its doctors, Jean Lacourt, was even sent to the Bastile at this time for six months. (On the foundations at the University of Reims made in the sixteenth century with a view to the Catholic apostolate in England, see William Allen.)
The chapter of Reims possessed rights over 150 villages of the diocese. History records as having been members of that chapter 5 popes, 23 archbishops, 53 cardinals, and a considerable number of bishops; pursuant to what was known as the “Jouanine privilege”. Obtained under Jean de Craon, its members were exempt from all jurisdictions except the pope’s. Among them may be mentioned: St. Bruno, founder of the Carthusians (1030-1101), who was at one time scholasticus of Reims; Otton of Chatillon, who became pope in 1088 under the name of Urban II; Guillaume Coquillart, who died about 1490, in his younger days, as a law student, the author of celebrated jocose poems; Maucroix (1619-95), the friend of Boileau and La Fontaine. A very curious festival which the chapter used to hold in the Middle Ages was the procession of the herrings. At the beginning of Lent, they went in Indian file from the cathedral to St-Remi, each dragging a herring after him by a thread—a symbol of the Lenten abstinence—and each trying to put his foot on the herring dragged by the next canon ahead of him.
The celebrated cathedral of Reims is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin. The edifice raised by Hincmar having been destroyed by a fire in 1211, Bishop Alberic de Humbert undertook to build the present cathedral in its place. It was completed in one hundred years—from 1211 to 1311-and hence the admirable unity of design and execution which characterize it as an example of Gothic architecture. Jean d’Orbais seems to have been the first architect, originating the plan and building the apse; the great doorway, crowned with the famous gallery containing forty-two statues of kings of France, is chiefly the work of Robert de Coucy, in the beginning of the fourteenth century. In the treasury of the cathedral is preserved the chalice of St. Remigius (see illustration to CHALICE), from which the kings of France used to communicate under the species of wine at the end of the coronation ceremonies, and which, according to tradition, was cut from the gold of the celebrated vase of Soissons broken by one of Clovis‘s soldiers. On February 1, 1886, the Cathedral of Reims was affiliated to the illustrious Lateran Basilica, thereby participating in the privilege of all the indulgences and spiritual favors attached to the cathedral of Rome. In 1891 the canons of St. Peter at Rome presented to the chapter at Reims a portion of the relics of St. Petronilla; the translation of these sacred bones to Reims took place on Whitsunday, 1892.
The Benedictine monastery of St-Remi was long independent of the archbishops. The present church of St-Remi was begun in 1005 by Airard, abbot of the monastery, and some of the capitals date from that period. The work was resumed on a simpler plan by Abbot Thierry in 1039, when the south transept was built; the apse dates from 1170, in the time of Abbot de Celles. Carloman, Louis IV D’Outre-Mer, Lothair, and Hincmar wished to be buried in this church. Its treasure, made up of the offerings of kings and princes who visited the tomb of St. Remigius, would be of considerable value if it had not been brought into requisition on several occasions of public necessity—now to ransom a royal prisoner, now to supply money for the purposes of war. Then, acting at the king’s behest, the archbishop issued an order that the gold and silver reliquaries (chasses) should be sent to the mint; the abbey received specie to the amount of one-fourth the value of the metal coined, and the balance in promissory notes which were rarely redeemed. The church of St-Remi has been a “minor basilica” since June 28, 1870.
The church of Ste-Clotilde, the foundation stone of which was laid on June 26, 1898, on the centenary of the baptism of Clovis, was opened in March, 1901, and raised to the rank of a basilica by Leo XIII on March 5, 1902. At present it possesses 70 chasses and nearly 1000 relics. The centenary celebration drew together an attendance of 77 prelates and 69 pilgrimages, and was the occasion of seven congresses. Leo XIII sent Msgr. Ciocci, pontifical master of ceremonies, to preside at the solemn recognition of the relics of St. Remigius and their transfer to a new chasse. The same pope granted to France the privilege of a national jubilee, and wrote a Latin “Ode to France“, which was the inspiration of Theodore Dubois’s oratorio “The Baptism of Clovis“. The hospital of Saint-Marcoul was founded in 1645 by Marguerite Rousselet for cases of contagious scrofula—i.e. tuberculosis. It was the first institution to practiced isolation of tuberculosis patients.
The coronation of Charles VII at Reims (July 17, 1429), brought about by Joan of Arc, is an historical event of especial importance. Joan’s father was present at the ceremony, and had his lodgings at Reims in the “Hotel de l’Ane Raye”; the archives of the city still preserve the accounts of expenses incurred for his entertainment. Joan wrote from Reims (July 17) a letter to Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, inviting him to make peace; in August, 1429, and March, 1430, she wrote from Bray-sur-Seine and from Sully three letters to her “very dear and good friends and loyal French-men, dwelling in the city of Reims”, exhorting them not to lose heart under the renewed menaces of the Dukeof Burgundy and the English.
The Abbey of Hautvilliers, in the Diocese of Reims, was the original home of the heretic Gottschalk. Besides the saints already mentioned, the following are especially honored in the diocese: St. Gertrude, virgin and martyr (d. 362); St. Paul of Reims, solitary at Glanum (now Saint-Remy) in Provence, then Bishop of Trois Chateaux (second half of the fourth century); St. Victor of Mouzon and his sister Suzanne, martyrs in 420; St. Emilius, father of St. Remigius; St. Celina, his mother; St. Principius, his brother; St. Balsamia, his nurse; St. Celsinus, his foster brother; Sts. Lupus, Bishop of Soissons, and Genebald, Bishop of Laon, his nephews; St. Latro, his grandnephew (all sixth-century); the saints of the little Irish colony which St. Remigius established in the valley of the Marne; St. Gibrien, his brothers Sts. Helan, Tresain, Germanus, Veran, Abran, and Petran, and his sisters Sts. Francle, Prompta, and Posenna (sixth century); St. Thierry, St. Remigius’s deacon, and Abbot of Mont d’Hor near Reims (d. c. 533); St. Rogatian, Count of Rethel, converted by St. Remigius, and his son St. Arnould, who was perhaps Bishop of Tours, and was assassinated at Reims; St. Leonard, a disciple of St. Remigius, who refused a bishopric offered to him by Clovis and died a solitary in the Diocese of Limoges (sixth century); St. Bertaud (472-545), a Scotchman (Scotus) by origin, solitary at Chaumont-Porcien, his friend St. Aumond, Bishop of Terouane, and his disciples Sts. Olive and Liberete (sixth century); St. Attolus, disciple of St. Remigius, founder of twelve hospitals, his son St. Elan, and his daughter St. Euphrasia (sixth century); St. Theodulph (d. 590), Abbot of Mont d’Hor, who left among the neighboring populations such a reputation as a ploughman that his plough was preserved as a relic; St. Basle the hermit, a great protector of animals, and his disciple St. Sindulph (sixth century); St. Walfroy, monk at Ivois (sixth century); St. Baudry and his sister St. Bode, children of Sigebert, King of Austrasia, founders of the monastery of Saint-Pierre-les-Dames at Reims, and their niece St. Dode, abbess of the monastery (seventh century); St. Gombert, missionary in Scotland and martyr, and his wife St. Bertha, foundress of the Abbey of Avenay, who was assassinated (seventh century); St. Merolilain, Irish priest, killed near Reims (eighth or ninth century); the shepherd St. Juvinus, solitary (d. 961); St. Flotilda, ecstatic (tenth century); Blessed Odo, Canon of Reims, b. 1042, at Chatillon sur Marne, prior of Binson (a priory the chapel of which still exists and was restored by Cardinal Langenieux), afterwards pope under the name of Urban II, whose cultus, existing from time immemorial, was recognized by the Sacred Congregation of Rites, July 12, 1881, at the petition of Cardinal Langenieux; St. Maurilis of Reims, Archbishop of Rouen (1055-67); St. Gervinus, Canon of Reims, Abbot of S. Riquier (d. 1073); Ven. Richard (d. 1046), Canon of Reims, Abbot of Saint Vanne at Verdun, ambassador from the Emperor Henry to King Robert, and to whom, in concert with St. Odilo, Abbot of Cluny, is due the adoption in Neustria of the “Peace of God“; St. Albert, Bishop of Liege, assassinated at Reims in 1 19 2 by partisans of the Emperor Henry VI; St. Gerard, Canon of Reims, Bishop of Cambria (d. 1048); Blessed Roger, an Englishman by origin, first abbot of the Cistercian Abbey of Elan (d. 1175); Blessed Roland, Cistercian monk of Chehery (d. 1160); Blessed Humbert (d. 1148), Guerric (d. 1157), and Minoculus (d. 1186), abbots of the Cistercian abbey of Igny, the last-named of whom was sent by Pope Lucian as ambassador to the Emperor of Germany and died Abbot of Clairvaux; St. John Baptist de La Salle (1651-1719), b. at Reims, Canon of Reims, founder of the Institute of Christian Brothers; Ven. Jacques Lion (1671-1738), a native of Fumay, Hieronymite monk.
Among the distinguished persons connected with this diocese may also be mentioned: Dom Marlot (1596-1667), the Benedictine, b. at Reims, and the author of a history of the city which is still authoritative; Petau (1583-1652), the first to be honored with a professorship of rhetoric in the Jesuit college at Reims; Colbert (1619-83), the famous minister, b. at Reims; Mabillon (1632-1707), b. at St. Pierremont; Ruinart (1657-1709), author of the “Acta Martyrum”, b. at Reims; the Abbe Pluche (1688-1761), b. at Reims, professor in the college of Reims, author of the “Spectacle de la Nature” and the “Histoire du Ciel”; Tronson Ducoudray (1750-98), who defended Marie Antoinette; Linguet (1736-94), the controversialist who publicly defended the Jesuits after their expulsion from France; Anquetil, director of the Seminary of Reims, and author of a history of the city (1756).
Besides the tomb of St. Remigius, the principal pilgrimages of the diocese are: Our Lady of Hope, or of Mercy, at Mezieres, dating back to 930; Our Lady Help of Christians (Notre Dame de Bon Secours), at Neuvizy, dating from 1752; the Virgin at the Oak, a pilgrimage organized by Archbishop Langenieux, in 1880, to a little image which had been venerated by pious souls since the fourteenth century; the pilgrimage to the relics of St. Helena, the empress, at Hautvilliers. Before the Law of Congregations of 1901 was put into effect, there were in the Diocese of Reims Capuchins, Jesuits, Sulpicians, and various orders of teaching brothers; there are still Trappists, White Fathers of Our Lady of Africa, and Lazarists. Many orders of women have had their origin in the diocese: the Canonesses of the Hotel Dieu, dating from the sixth century; the Sisters of the Holy Infant Jesus, founded in 1670 by Canon Roland for the gratuitous instruction of poor girls, with the motherhouse at Reims, a foundation which suggested to St. John Baptist de La Salle, a friend of Canon Roland, the idea of accomplishing a similar work for boys; the Sisters of the Divine Providence, a nursing and teaching institute, founded in 1850, with motherhouse at Reims; the Sisters of St-Marcoul, who care for patients afflicted with cancer, paralysis, and scrofula, in the hospital of St-Marcoul at Reims. At the close of the nineteenth century the religious congregations in the diocese had the direction of 3 creches, 52 nurseries, 14 orphanages, 2 workshops, 2 professional schools, 14 hospitals or hospices,.11 houses of religious women devoted to the care of the sick in their own homes, 2 houses of retreat. At the end of 1909 the Diocese of Reims contained 520,650 Catholics, 47 parishes, 545 succursal parishes, and 67 curacies (of which, under the Concordat, the salaries of 9 had been paid by the State).