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Archdiocese of Sens

Comprises the Department of the Yonne, France

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Sens, Archdiocese of (SENONES), comprises the Department of the Yonne. It was suppressed by the Concordat of 1802 which annexed to the Diocese of Troyes the Dioceses of Sens and Auxerre and by a somewhat complex combination gave the title of Bishop of Auxerre to the bishops of Troyes, and the purely honorary title of Archbishop of Sens to the Archbishop of Paris, otherwise deprived of all real jurisdiction over Sens. The Concordat of 1817 reestablished the Archdiocese of Sens and the Diocese of Auxerre, but this arrangement did not last. The law of July, 1821, the pontifical Brief of September 4, 1821, the royal ordinance of October 19, 1821, suppressed the Diocese of Auxerre and gave to the Archdiocese of Sens as territory all the Department of the Yonne, and as suffragan the Dioceses of Troyes, Nevers, and Moulins. A papal Brief of June 3, 1823, gave to the Archbishop of Sens the title of Bishop of Auxerre.

Diocese of SENS.—The history of the religious beginnings of the Church of Sens dates from Sts. Savinian and Potentian, and through some connecting legends also has to do with the Dioceses of Chartres, Troyes, and Orleans. Gregory of Tours is silent with regard to Sts. Savinian and Potentian, the founders of the See of Sens; the Hieronymian Martyrology, which was revised somewhat before 600 at Auxerre or Autun, ignores them. The cities of Chartres and Troyes have nothing relative to these saints in their local liturgy prior to the twelfth century, and that of Orleans nothing prior to the fifteenth, which recalls the preaching of Altinus, Eodaldus, and Serotinus, the companions of Sts. Savinian and Potentian. Previous to the ninth century there was in the cemetery near the monastery of Pierre le Vif at Sens a group of tombs among which have been recognized those of the first bishops of Sens. In 847 the solemn transfer of their bodies to the church of St-Pierre le Vif originated great popular devotion towards Sts. Savinian and Potentian. In 848 Wandelbert of Prum named them the first patrons of the church of Sens. Ado, in his martyrology published shortly afterwards, speaks of them as envoys of the Apostles and as martyrs. The martyrology of Usuardus, about 875, indicates them as envoys of the “Roman pontiff” and as martyrs. In the middle of the tenth century the relics of these two saints were hidden in a subterranean vault of the Abbey of St-Pierre le Vif to escape the pillage of the Hungarians, but in 1031 they were placed in a beautiful reliquary executed by the monk Odoranne. This monk, in a chronicle published about 1045, speaks of Altinus, Eodaldus, and Serotinus as the apostolic companions of Savinian and Potentian, but does not regard them as having been sent by St. Peter.

In a document which, according to the Abbe Bouvier, dates from the end of the sixth century or the beginning of the seventh, but which, according to Msgr. Duchesne was written in 1046 and 1079 under the inspiration of Gerbert, Abbot of St-Pierre le Vif, is developed for the first time a vast legend which traces to Sts. Savinian and Potentian and their companions the evangelization of the churches of Orleans, Chartres, and Troyes; this document Msgr. Duchesne calls the Gerbertine legend. After some uncertainties and hesitations this legend became definitely fixed in the chronicle of Clarius, compiled about 1120. It is possible that the Christian Faith was preached at Sens in the second century, but we know from Sidonius Apollinaris that in 475 the Church of Sens had its thirteenth bishop, and the list of bishops does not permit the supposition that the episcopal see existed prior to the second half of the third century or the beginning of the fourth. Among the bishops of Sens in the fourth century may be mentioned: St. Severinus, present at the Council of Sardica in 344; St. Ursicinus (356-87), exiled to Phrygia under Constantius through the influence of. the Arians, visited by St. Hilary on his return to Sens after three years of exile, and who about 386 founded at Sens the monastery of Sts. Gervasius and Protasius. In the fifth century: St. Ambrose (d. about 460); St. Agreecius (Agrice), bishop about 475; St. Heraclius (487-515), founder of the monastery of St. John the Evangelist at Sens. In the sixth century: St. Paul (515-25); St. Leo (530-41), who sent St. Aspais to evangelize Melun; St. Arthemius, present at the councils of 581 and 585, who admitted to public penance the Spaniard, St. Bond, and of a criminal made a holy hermit.

In the seventh century: St. Lupus (Lou or Leu), b. about 573, bishop approximately between 609 and 623, son of Blessed Betto, of the royal house of Burgundy, and of Ste-Austregilde, founder of the monastery of Ste-Colombe and perhaps also of the monastery of Ferrieres in the Gatinais, which some historians, trusting to an apocryphal charter, believed to have been founded under Clovis; he secured from the king authorization to coin money in his diocese; St. Annobertus (about 639); St. Gondelbertus (about 642-3), whose episcopate is only proved by the traditions of the Vosgian monastery of Senones, which traditions date from the eleventh century; St. Arnoul (654-7); St. Emmon (658-75), who about the end of 668 received the monk Hadrian, sent to England with Archbishop Theodore: perhaps St. Arne (about 676), exiled to Peronne by Ebroln, and whose name is suppressed by Msgr. Duchesne as having been interpolated in the episcopal lists in the tenth century; St. Vulfran (692-5), a monk of Fontenelle, who soon left the See of Sens to evangelize Frisia and died at Fontenelle before 704; St. Gerie, bishop about 696. In the eighth century: St. Ebbo, at first Abbot of St-Pierre le Vif, bishop before 711, and who in 731 placed himself at the head of his people to compel the Saracens to raise the siege of Sens; and his successor St. Merulf.—

In the ninth century great bishops occupied the See of Sens: Magnus, former chaplain of Charlemagne, bishop before 802, author of a sort of handbook of legislation of which he made use when he journeyed as missus dominicus, or royal agent for Charlemagne, died after 817; Jeremias, ambassador at Rome of Louis the Pious in the affair of the Iconoclasts, died in 828; St. Alderic (829-36), former Abbot of Ferrieres, and consecrated Abbot of St. Maur des Fosses at Paris in 832; Venilon (837-65) anointed Charles the Bald, June 6, 843, in the cathedral of Orleans, to the detriment of the privileges of the See of Reims; his chorepiscopus, or auxiliary bishop, was Audrade, author of numerous theological writings, among others of the poem “De Fonte Vitae” dedicated to Hincmar, and of the “Book of Revelations”, by which he sought to put an end to the divisions between the sons of Louis the Pious. In 859 Charles the Bald accused Venilon before the Council of Savonnieres of having betrayed him; the matter righted itself, but opinion continued to hold Venilon guilty and the name of the traitor Ganelon, which occurs in the “Chanson de Roland” is but a popular corruption of the name Venilon. Ansegisus (871-83), at the death of Louis II, Emperor of Italy, negotiated at Rome for Charles the Bald and brought thence the letter of John VIII inviting Charles to come and receive the imperial crown. He himself was named by John VIII primate of the Gauls and Germania and vicar of the Holy See for France and Germany, and at the Council of Ponthion was solemnly installed above the other metropolitans despite the opposition of Hincmar; in 880 he anointed Louis III and Carloman in the abbey of [email protected] It was doubtless in the time of Ansegisus, while the See of Sens exercised a real primacy, that a cleric of his church compiled the historical work known as the “Ecclesiastical Annals of Sens” or “Gestes des Archeveques de Sens”, an attempt to write the history of the first two French dynasties.

Vaultier (887-923) anointed King Eudes in 888, King Robert in July, 922, and King Raoul, July 13, 923, in the Church of St-Medard at Soissons; he doubtless inherited from his uncle Vaultier, Bishop of Orleans, a superb Sacramentary composed between 855 and 873 for the Abbey of St-Amand at Puelle. This Sacramentary, which he gave to the church of Sens, forms one of the most curious monuments of Carlovingian art and is now in the library of Stockholm. Among the bishops of Sens may also be mentioned: St. Anastasius (967-76); Sevinus (976-99), who presided at the Council of St-Basle and brought upon himself the disfavor of Hugh Capet by his opposition to the deposition of Arnoul; Gelduinus (1032-49), deposed for simony by Leo IX at the Council of Reims. The second half of the eleventh century was fatal to the Diocese of Sens. Under the episcopate of Richerius (1062-96), Urban II withdrew primatial authority from the See of Sens to confer it on that of Lyons, and Richerius died with-out having accepted this decision; his successor Daimbert (1098-1122) was consecrated at Rome in March, 1098, only after having given assurance that he recognized the primacy of Lyons. Bishop Henri Sanglier (1122-42), caused the condemnation by a council in 1140 of certain propositions of Abelard. The see regained great prestige under Hugues de Toucy (1142-68), who at Orleans in 1152 crowned Constance, wife of King Louis VII, despite the protests of the Archbishop of Reims, and under whose episcopate Alexander III, driven from Rome, installed the pontifical Court at Sens for eighteen months after having taken the advice of the bishops.

Among later bishops of Sens were: Guillaume aux Blanches Mains (1168-76), son of Thibaud IV, Count of Champagne, uncle of Philip Augustus, and first cousin of Henry II, who in 1172 in the name of Alexander III placed the Kingdom of England under an interdict and in 1176 became Archbishop of Reims; Michael of Corbeil (1194-9), who combated the Manichaean sect of “Publicans”; Peter of Corbeil (1200-22), who had been professor of theology of Innocent III; Pierre Roger (1329-30), later Clement VI; Guillaume de Brosse (1330-8), who erected at one of the doorways of the cathedral of Sens an equestrian statue of Philip VI of Valois, to perpetuate the remembrance of the victory won by the clergy over the pretentions of the legist Pierre de. Cugnieres; Guillaume de Melun (1344-75), who together with King John II was taken prisoner by the English at the battle of Poitiers in 1356; Guy de Roye (1385-90); Henri de Savoisy (1418-22), who at Troyes in 1420 blessed the marriage of Henry VI of England with Catherine of France; Etienne Tristan de Salazar (1475-1519), who concluded the first treaty of alliance between France and the Swiss; Antoine Duprat (q.v.) 1525-35, made cardinal in 1527; Louis de Bourbon Vendome (1535-57), cardinal from 1517; Jean Bertrandi (1557-60), cardinal in 1559; Louis de Lorraine (1560-2), Cardinal de Guise from 1553; Nicolas de Pelleve (1562-92), cardinal from 1570; Jacques Davy, Cardinal du Perron (1606-18); Lanuet de Gergy (1730-53), first biographer of Marie Alacoque and member of the French Academy; Paul d’Albert (1753-88), Cardinal de Luynes after 1756 and member of the French Academy; Lomenie de Brienne (1788-93), minister of Louis XVI, cardinal in 1788, and who during the Revolution swore to the civil constitution of the clergy but refused to consecrate the first constitutional bishops, returned to the pope his cardinal’s hat, refused to become constitutional Bishop of Toulouse, was twice imprisoned by the Jacobins of Sens and died in prison of apoplexy; Anne, Cardinal de la Fare (1821-9), cardinal in 1823; Victor Felix Bernadou (1867-91), cardinal in 1886.

The Archdiocese of Sens, which perhaps became a metropolitan see at the middle of the fifth century, until 1622 numbered seven suffragans: Chartres, Auxerre, Meaux, Paris, Orleans, Nevers, and Troyes; the Diocese of Bethleem at Clamecy (see Diocese of Nevers) was also dependent on the metropolitan See of Sens. In 1622 Paris having been raised to a metropolitan see, the Sees of Chartres, Orleans, and Meaux were separated from the Archdiocese of Sens. As indemnity the abbey of Mont Saint-Martin in the Diocese of Cambrai was united (1668) to the archiepiscopal revenue.

DIOCESE of AUXERRE.—The “Gestes des eveques d’Auxerre”, written about 875 by the canons Rainogala and Alagus, and continued later down to 1278, gives a list of bishops which, save for one detail, Msgr. Duchesne regards as accurate; but the chronological data of the “Gestes” seem to him very arbitrary for the period prior to the seventh century. No other church of France glories in a similar list of bishops honored as saints; already in the Middle Ages this multiplicity of saints was remarkable. St. Peregrinus (Merin) was the founder of the see; according to the legend, he was sent by Sixtus II and was martyred under Diocletian in 303 or 304.

After him are mentioned without the possibility of certainly fixing their dates: St. Marcellianus, St. Valerianus, St. Helladius, St. Amator (d. 418), who had been ordained deacon and tonsured by St. Helladius and who thus affords the earliest example of ecclesiastical tonsure mentioned in the religious history of France; the illustrious St. Germain d’Auxerre (q.v.; 418-48); St. Elladius; St. Fraternus; St. Censurius, to whom about 475 the priest Constantius sent the Life of St. Germain; St. Ursus; St. Theodosius, who assisted in 511 at the Council of Orleans; St. Gregorius; St. Optatus; St. Droctoaldus; St. Eleutherius, who assisted at four Councils of Orleans between 533 and 549; St. Romanus; St. Actherius; St. Aunacharius (Aunaire; 573-605), uncle of St. Lupus, Archbishop of Sens; St. Desiderius (Didier); St. Palladius, who assisted at several councils in 627, 650, and 654; St. Vigilius, who was assassinated about 684, doubtless at the instigation of Gilmer, son of Waraton, mayor of the palace; St. Tetricius (692-707); Venerable Aidulf (perhaps 751-66); Venerable Maurin (perhaps 766-94); Blessed Aaron (perhaps 794-807); Blessed Angelelmus (807-28); St. Heribaldus (829-57), first chaplain of Louis the Pious, and several times given ambassadorial charges; St. Abbo (857-69); Blessed Christian (860-71); Ven. Wibaldus (879-87), Ven. Herifridus (Herfroy; 887-909); St. Geran (909-14); St. Betto (933-61); Ven. Guy (933-961); Bl. John (997-998); Ven. Humbaud (1095-1114), drowned on the way to Jerusalem; St. Hugues de Montaigu (1116-1136), a friend of St. Bernard; Bl. Hugues de Macon (1137-51), Abbot of Pontigny, often charged by Eugene III with adjusting differences and reestablishing order in monasteries; Ven. Alanus (1152-67), author of a life of St. Bernard; Ven. Guillaume de Toucy (1167-81), the first French bishop who went to Rome to acknowledge the authority of Alexander ITT.

Among later bishops may be mentioned: Hugues de Noyers (1183-1206), known as the “hammer of heretics” for the vigor with which he sought out in his diocese the sects of the Albigenses and the “Caputies”; Guillaume de Seignelay (1207-20), who took part in the war against the Albigenses and in 1220 became Archbishop of Paris; Ven. Bernard de Sully (1234-44); Guy de Mello (1247-70), who was Apostolic delegate in the crusade of Charles of Anjou against Manfred; Pierre de Mornay (1296-1306), who negotiated between Boniface VIII and Philippe le Bel and in 1304 became chancellor of France; Pierre de Cros (1349-51), Cardinal in 1350; Philippe de Lenoncourt (1560-62), cardinal in 1586; Philibert Babou de la Bourdaisiere (1562-70), cardinal in 1561; the Hellenist Jacques Amyot (1571-93), translator of the works of Plutarch and Diodorus Siculus, tutor of Charles IX, grand almoner of Charles IX and Henry III; Charles de Caylus (1704-54), who made his diocese a center of Jansenism and whose works in four volumes were condemned by Rome in 1754. The Cathedral of St-Etienne of Sens, founded in 972 and rebuilt under Louis VII and Philip Augustus, is regarded by several archaeologists as the most ancient of pointed style churches. When in 1241 the Dominicans brought to Sens the Crown of Thorns which St. Louis had obtained from Baldwin II, the king went at the head of a procession to within five leagues of Sens; took the relic, and with his brother Robert entered the city barefoot and deposited the relic in the metropolitan church until the Sainte Chapelle of Paris was built to receive it. The cathedral of Auxerre, completed in 1178, contains numerous sculptures in the Byzantine style.

The Dioceses of Sens and Auxerre contained illustrious Abbeys; for that of Ferrieres, located in a region which now depends on the Diocese of Orleans, see Abbey of Ferrieres. The Abbey of St-Pierre le Vif dates from the sixth century, but M. Maurice Prou has proved that the diploma of Clovis and the testament of “Queen” Theodechilde, in the archives of the monastery, lack authenticity. The Theodechilde who founded the monastery was not the daughter of Clovis but his granddaughter, the daughter of Thierry first king of Austrasia. The schools instituted by Rainard, Abbot of St-Pierre le Vif, were celebrated during the Middle Ages. The Abbey of St. Columba, the great primitive saint of the City of Lyons, was founded about 590. Her “Passion” dates beyond doubt from the end of the sixth century, in the time of Bishop St. Loup, who translated the relics of St. Columba to the monastery church. It is probable that her martyrdom took place in the time of Aurelian. Her cultus was widespread, extending to Rimini, Barcelona, and Cordova. The Acts of the martyrdom of Sts. Sanctian, Augustine, and Beata, companions of St. Columba, seem to date from the end of the eighth century or the beginning of the ninth century. In the Abbey of St. Columba, whose third church was consecrated April 26, 1164, by Alexander III, were buried Raoul, King of France, and Richard, Duke of Burgundy. The Abbey of St-Germain d’Auxerre, founded in 422 by the bishop St. Germain, in honor of St. Maurice, took the name of St. Germain when it was rebuilt by Queen Clotilde about 500. In 850 Abbot Conrad, brother-in-law of Louis the Pious, had crypts built in the monastery in which were deposited many bodies of saints. Urban V was Abbot of St-Germain before becoming pope; King Charles VI of France did not disdain the honor of seeing his name inscribed among those of the monks. The crypts were ravaged by the Calvinists in 1567. The abbey followed the Benedictine rule; it was twice reformed, from 995-9 by St. Mayeul of Cluny and his disciple Heldric, and in 1029 by the Benedictines of St-Maur.

The Abbey of St-Edmond of Pontigny, the second daughter of Meaux, was founded in 1114 by Thibaud IV the Great, Count of Champagne. Hugh, Count of Macon, one of the first thirty companions of St. Bernard, was the first abbot. Louis VII, King of France, was its benefactor. St. Thomas a Becket took refuge at Pontigny before seeking shelter at St. Columba’s at Sens. In the thirteenth century Stephen Langton and later St. Edmund, Archbishop of Canterbury, also found refuge at Pontigny. The Benedictine Abbey of St-Michel at Tonnerre was founded about 800 on the site of a hermitage dating from the time of Clovis I; it was restored about 980 by Milo, Count of Tonnerre. In the fifteenth century Cardinal Alanus, legate of Callistus III, numbered it among the twelve most illustrious abbeys of Gaul. The arrondissement of Avallon, now in the Diocese of Sens, and formerly dependent on the Diocese of Autun, possesses the celebrated monastery of Vezelay. It was founded about 860 under the protection of Christ and the Blessed Virgin by Gerard, Count of Roussillon and his wife, Bertha; Gerard declared the territory free and dependent only on the pope. Nicholas I in 867 and Charles the Bald in 868 confirmed the donation. Eudes, the first abbot, offered hospitality to John VIII, who in 879 consecrated the first church of the monastery. The Norman invasions laid waste the monastery, but it was restored under Abbot Geoffrey, installed in 1037. Under this abbot the cultus of St. Magdalen appeared for the first time at Vezelay; a letter of Leo IX (1050) shows that the name of St. Magdalen was part of the official title of the abbey. Msgr. Duchesne has shown that the monks of Vezelay, at this date, constructed a first account according to which the tombs of Sts. Maximinus and Magdalen, at St-Maximin in Provence, had been opened and their bodies removed to Vezelay; shortly afterwards a second account relates that there was taken away only the body of St. Magdalen. For two centuries the account of the monks of Vezelay was accepted; Bulls of Lucius III, Urban III, and Clement III confirmed the statement that they possessed the body of St. Magdalen. The tomb of the saint was visited in the twelfth century by a host of illustrious pilgrims; “All France“, writes Hugh of Poitiers, “seems to go to the solemnities of the Magdalen.”

In 1096 Abbot Artaud, who was later assassinated, had begun the construction of the Basilica of the Madeleine, which was dedicated in 1104 by Paschal II; his successor, Renaud de Semur, later Archbishop of Lyons, completed it, raised it from its ruins after the great fire of July, 1120, and also built the abbatial chateau. Alberic, a monk of Cluny, named abbot by Innocent II, built in front of the portal the narthex, or church of the catechumens, the doorways of which have marvelously wrought archivolts and which was blessed by Innocent II in 1132 during his sojourn at Vezelay; he died a cardinal and Archbishop of Ostia. Under Abbot Pontius of Montboisier (d. 1161), a former monk of Cluny, Vezelay emancipated itself from Cluniac rule, declared its autonomy as against the claims of the bishops of Autun, and victoriously resisted the encroachments of the counts of Nevers. The second crusade was preached in 1146 by St. Bernard in the abbatial chateau amid such enthusiasm that the assistants tore their garments to make crosses and distribute them to the crowd. Guillaume IV of Nevers sought to be revenged on the monks of Vezelay, and his provost, Lethard, defying excommunication, forced the monks to take flight, but in 1166 Louis arranged a peace between the Comte de Nevers and Abbot Guillaume de Mello. On Pentecost, 1166, St. Thomas a Becket from the pulpit of Vezelay pronounced excommunication against the clerics who, to gratify King Henry II of England, had violated the rights of the Church. Louis VII came himself to Vezelay at Epiphany, 1167, to celebrate the reconciliation between the monks of Vezelay and Count Guillaume IV, and in expiation of his crimes Guillaume IV set out for the Holy Land where he died in 1168.

Under the rule of Abbot Girard d’Arcy (1171-96), Philip Augustus and Richard Coeur de Lion met at Vezelay in July, 1190, to arrange for the third crusade. In place of the Romanesque apse burnt in 1165, Girard had built the choir today admired as one of the most beautiful specimens of Burgundian architecture and falsely attributed to Abbot Hugh, his successor. St. Louis came to Vezelay in 1267 for a solemn feast organized by the monks for the recognition of the relics of St. Mary Magdalen and at which Simon de Brion, the future Martin IV, represented the Holy See as legate; St. Louis returned here in 1270 on his way to the crusade. This benevolence of the kings of France and the constant menace which the abbey endured from the counts of Nevers led the monks of Vezelay and the pope to accept the act whereby Philip the Bold in 1280 declared himself protector and guardian of the Abbey. Hugues de Maison-Comte, who became abbot in 1352 and was taken prisoner with John II of France at the battle of Poitiers, occupied himself after two years of captivity in England with fortifying the monastery against an English attack; he rendered it impregnable and in gratitude Charles V made him a member of the royal council. The claims put forth by the Dominicans of Provence, beginning in 1279, that they possessed the body of St. Mary Magdalen injured the prestige of Vezelay during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. In 1538 a Bull of secularization sought from Paul III by Francis I and the monks’ themselves transformed the abbey into a simple collegiate church. Odet de Chatillon, brother of Coligny and Abbot of Vezelay, subsequently became a Calvinist. The Huguenot masters of Vezelay converted the Madeleine into a storehouse and stable and burned the relics. During the Revolution the ancient monastery buildings were sold at auction. In 1876 the future Cardinal Bernadou, Archbishop of Sens, determined to restore the pilgrimage of St. Mary Magdalen at Vezelay and brought thither a relic of the saint which Martin IV had given to the Chapter of Sens in 1281.

A certain number of saints are honored with a special cultus or are connected with the history of the diocese: St. Jovinian, martyr, lector of the church of Auxerre (third century); Sts. Sanctian, Augustine, Felix, Aubert, and Beata, Spaniards, martyred at Sens; St. Sidronius (Sidroine), possibly martyred under Aurelian, whose martyrdom is considered by the Bollandists as very doubtful; St. Justus, martyr, b. at Auxerre about the end of the third century; Sts. Magnentia and Maxima, virgins consecrated by St. Germain (fifth century); St. Mamertinus, Abbot of St-Germain (fifty century); the priest St. Marien (sixth century); St. Romain, d. at the beginning of the sixth century in the monastery, which he founded in Auxerre, and in which St. Maurus learned through a vision of the death of St. Benedict; St. Severin, d. at Chateau Landon, Diocese of Sens (506); St. Eligius (588-659), who administered the monastery of St. Columba before becoming Bishop of Noyon; St. Mathurin, a priest of Sens, d. 688; St. Paternus, a Benedictine, native of Coutances, monk at St-Pierre le Vif, and assassinated at Sergines (eighth century); St. Robert, Abbot of Tonnerre, founder of the Abbey, of Molesmes and of the Order of Meaux (1018-1110); St. Thierry, Bishop of Orleans, reared at the monastery of St-Pierre le Vif, and d. in 1027 at Tonnerre; Bl. Alpaide, of Tonnerre (end of twelfth century); St. Guillaume, Archbishop of Bourges, previously a monk at Pontigny (d. in 1209). Jean Lebeuf (1687-1760), who in 1743 wrote the “Memoires contenant l’histoire ecclesiastique et civile d’Auxerre”, was a member of the Academy of Inscriptions.

The chief pilgrimages of the Diocese of Sens are: Notre Dame de Bellevue at Tronchoy; Notre Dame de Champrond at Vinneuf; the tomb of St. Columba at Sens; the altar of Sts. Savinian and Potentian at Sens, which according to legend is the stone on which St. Savinian fell. Before the application of the Associations’ Law of 1901, there were in the Diocese of Sens: Augustinians of the Assumption; Lazarists; Oblates of St. Francis de Sales; Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, founded in 1843 by Fr. Muard (1809-54), with motherhouse at Pontigny; and Benedictines of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and of the Immaculate Heart of Mary founded at “La Pierre qui Vire” by the same Fr. Muard. Two congregations of women originated in the diocese: the Sisters of Providence founded in 1818 with motherhouse at Sens; the Sisters of the Holy Childhood founded in 1838 by Abbe Grapinet with motherhouse at Ste-Colombe. At the end of the nineteenth century the religious congregations directed in the Diocese of Sens: 53 infant schools, 4 orphanages for boys, 8 orphanages for girls, 2 workrooms, 2 organizations of rescue, 5 houses of religious for the care of the sick in their homes, 16 hospitals or infirmaries. In 1905 (end of the period of the Concordat) the diocese numbered 334,656 inhabitants, 49 parishes, 440 filial churches, and 4 vicariates remunerated by the State.



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