Troyes, Diocese of (TRECENSIS), comprises the Department of Aube. reestablished in 1802 as suffragan of Paris, it then comprised the Departments of Aube and Yonne, and its bishop had the titles of Troyes, Auxerre, and Chalons-sur-Marne. In 1822 the See of Chalons was created and the Bishop of Troyes lost that title. When Sens was made an archdiocese the title of Auxerre went to it and Troyes lost also the Department of Yonne, which became the Archdiocese of Sens. The Diocese of Troyes at present covers, besides the ancient diocesan limits, 116 parishes of the ancient Diocese of Langres, and 20 belonging to the ancient Diocese of Sens. Since 1822 Troyes is a suffragan of Sens.
The catalog of bishops of Troyes, known since the ninth century, is, in the opinion of Duchesne, worthy of confidence. The first bishop, St. Amator, seems to have preceded by a few years Bishop Optatianus who probably ruled the diocese about 344. Among his successors are: St. Melanius (Melain) (390-400); St. Ursus (Ours) (426); St. Lupus (Loup) (426-478), b. in 383, who accompanied St. Germanus of Auxerre to England, forced the Huns to spare Troyes, was led away as a hostage by Attila and only returned to his diocese after many years of exile; St. Camelianus (479-536); St. Vincent (536-46); St. Leuconius (Leucon) (651-56); St. Bobinus (Bobin) (750-66), previously Abbot of Monstier la Celle; St. Prudentius (845-61), who wrote against Gottschalk and Johannes Scotus; Blessed Manasses (985-93); Jacques Benigne Bossuet (1716-42), nephew of the great Bossuet; Etienne-Antoine de Boulogne (1809-25); Pierre-Louis Coeur, the preacher (1849-60).
Louis the Stammerer in 878 received at Troyes the imperial crown from the hands of Pope John VIII. At the end of the ninth century the counts of Champagne chose Troyes as their capital. In 1285, when Philip the Fair united Champagne to the royal domain, the town kept a number of privileges. John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy and ally of the English, aimed in 1417 at making Troyes the capital of France, and he came to an understanding with Isabeau of Bavaria, wife of Charles VI of France, that a court, council, and parliament with comptroller’s offices should be established at Troyes. It was at Troyes, then in the hands of the Burgundians, that on May 21, 1420, the treaty was signed by which Henry VI of England was betrothed to Catherine, daughter of Charles VI, and was to succeed him to the detriment of the dauphin. The dauphin, afterwards Charles VII, and Blessed Joan of Arc recovered the town of Troyes in 1429.
The cathedral of Troyes is a fine Gothic structure begun in the twelfth, and completed in the fifteenth, century; the ancient collegiate Church of St. Urban is a Gothic building whose lightness of treatment reminds one of La Sainte Chapelle at Paris. It was built by Urban IV at the close of the thirteenth century. He was a native of Troyes and on one of the stained-glass windows he caused his father to be depicted, working at his trade of tailor. The Abbey of Nesle la Riposte was founded before 545 near Villenauxe, perhaps by Queen Clotilde. In the sixteenth century the monks caused to be rebuilt at Villenauxe, with the actual stones which they brought from Nesle, the original doorway of Nesle Abbey, an interesting monument of French history. The Benedictine Mabillon undertook to interpret its carvings, among which might be seen the statue of a rein pedauque (i.e. a web-footed queen) supposed to be St. Clotilde. The Abbey of Notre Dame aux Nonnains, founded by St. Leucon, was an important abbey for women. Alcuin and St. Bernard corresponded with its abbesses. At his installation the bishop went to the abbey on the previous evening; the bed he slept on became his property, but the mule on which he rode became the property of the abbess. The abbess led the bishop by the hand into the chapter hall; she put on his mitre, offered him his crozier, and in return the bishop promised to respect the rights of the abbey. The Jansenists in the eighteenth century made a great noise over the pretended cure by the deacon Paris of Marie Madeleine de Megrigny, a nun of Notre Dame aux Nonnains. The part of the Diocese of Troyes which formerly belonged to the Diocese of Langres contained the famous Abbey of Clairvaux (q.v.). Concerning the Abbey of the Paraclete, founded by Abelard and in which the Abbess Heloise died in 1163, and where her body and that of Abelard were buried until 1792, see Peter Abelard. On June 20, 1353, Geoffroy de Charny, Lord of Savoisy and Lirey, founded at Lirey in honor of the Annunciation a collegiate church with six canonries, and in this church he exposed for veneration the Holy Winding Sheet. Opposition arose on the part of the Bishop of Troyes, who declared after due inquiry that the relic was nothing but a painting, and opposed its exposition. Clement VI by four Bulls, January 6, 1390, approved the exposition as lawful. In 1418 during the civil wars, the canons entrusted the Winding Sheet to Humbert., Count de La Roche, Lord of Lirey. Margaret, widow of Humbert, never returned it but gave it in 1452 to the Duke of Savoy. The requests of the canons of Lirey were unavailing, and the Lirey Winding Sheet is the same that is now exposed and honored at Turin (see Turin).
Among the many saints specially honored or connected with the diocese are: St. Mathia, virgin, period uncertain; her relics were found in Troyes in 980; St. Helena, virgin, whose life and century are unknown, and whose body was transferred to Troyes in 1209; these two are patronesses of the town and diocese; St. Oulph, martyr (second or third century); St. Savinianus, Apostle of Troyes; St. Patroclus (Parre), St. Julius, St. Claudius, and St. Venerandus, martyrs under Aurelian; St. Savina, martyred under Diocletian; St. Syra, the wonderworker (end of third century); St. Ursion, pastor of Isle Aumont (c. 375); St. Exuperantia a religious of Isle Aumont (c. 380); St. Balsemius (13aussange), deacon, apostle of Arcis-sur-Aube, martyred by the Vandals in 407; St. Mesmin and his companions and Saints Germans and Honoria, martyred (451) under Attila; St. Aper (Evre), Bishop of Toul, and his sister Evronia, natives of the diocese (towards the close of the fifth century); St. Aventinus, disciple of St. Loup (d. c. 537); St. Romanus, Archbishop of Reims, founder of the Monastery of SS. Gervasus and Protasius at Chantenay in the Diocese of Troyes (d. c. 537); St. Maurelius, priest at Isle Aumont (d. c. 545); St. Lyaus (Lye), second Abbot of Mantenay (d. c. 545); St. Phal, Abbot at Isle Aumont (d. c. 549); St. Bouin, priest and solitary (d. c. 570); St. Potamius (Pouange), solitary (close of sixth century); St. Vinebaud, Abbot of St. Loup of Troyes (d. 623); St. Flavitus, solitary (563-630); St. Tancha, virgin and martyr (d. 637); St. Victor, solitary (d. 640); St. Frobert, founder and first Abbot of Montier le Celle (d. 688); St. Maura, virgin (827-850); St. Adalricus (slain by the Normans about 925); St. Aderaldus, canon and archdeacon of Troyes, who died in 1004 on returning from the Crusade, and who founded the Benedictine monastery of the Holy Sepulchre in the diocese; St. Simon, Count de Bar-sur-Aube, solitary, acted as mediator between Gregory VII and Robert Guiscard, and died in 1082; St. Robert, founder of Molesme and Citeaux, a native of the diocese (1024-1108); St. Elizabeth of Chelles, foundress of the monastery of Rosoy (d. c. 1130); St. Hombelina, first Abbess of Jully-sur-Sarce, and sister of St. Bernard (1092-1135); Blessed Peter, an Englishman, prior of Jully-sur-Sarce (d. 1139); Saint Malachy (q.v.), archbishop, Primate of Ireland, died at Clairvaux (1098-1148); Saint Bernard (q.v.), first Abbot of Clairvaux (1091-1153); St. Belina, virgin, slain about 1153 in defense of her chastity; Blessed Menard and Blessed Herbert, abbots of the monastery at Mores founded by St. Bernard (end of the twelfth century); Blessed Jeanne, the recluse (d. 1246); Blessed Urban IV (1185-1264); Blessed John of Ghent, hermit and prophet, who died at Troyes in 1439; Ven. Margaret Bourgeois (1620-1700), foundress of the Congregation of Notre Dame at Montreal, a native of the diocese; Ven. Marie de Sales Chappuis, superioress of the Visitation Convent at Troyes (d. 1875). Cardinal Pierre de Berulle (1575-1629) was brought up on the Berulle estate in the diocese. He preached at Troyes before founding the Oratorians. An Oratory was opened at Troyes in 1617. Charles-Louis de Lantage, b. at Troyes in 1616, d. in 1694, was one of the chief helpers of M. Olier, founder of the Sulpicians. Among natives of the diocese may be mentioned: the Calvinist jurisconsult Pierre Pithou (1539-1596), one of the editors of the “Satire Menippee”, a native of Troyes; the painter Mignard (1610-95), born at Troyes; the revolutionary leader, Danton (1759-1794), b. at Arcis-sur-Aube.
The chief pilgrimages of the diocese are: Notre Dame du Cherie, near Bar-sur-Seine, dates from 1667; Notre Dame de la Sainte Esperance, at Mesnil-Saint-Loup; Notre Dame de Valsuzenay. Before the application of the Associations Law (1901) there were, in the Diocese of Troyes, Benedictines, Jesuits, Lazarists, Oblates of St. Francis of Sales, and Brothers of the Christian Schools. Many female congregations arose in the diocese, among others the Ursulines of Christian Teaching, founded at Moissy l’Eveque in the eighteenth century by Montmorin, Bishop of Langres; the Sisters of Christian Instruction, founded in 1819, with mother-house at Troyes; the Oblate Sisters of St. Francis of Sales, a teaching order, founded in 1870, with mother-house at Troyes; Sisters of Notre Dame de Bon Secours, a nursing community with mother-house at Troyes. In the diocese the religious congregations at the close of the nineteenth century had charge of one foundling hospital, 20 nurseries, 2 orphanages for boys, 17 orphanages for girls, 2 houses of mercy, 11 hospitals or hospices, 9 houses of district nursing sisters, 1 epileptic home. In 1905 (at the breach of the Concordat) the diocese numbered 246,163 inhabitants, 40 parish priests, 383 chapels of ease, and 7 curacies supported by the State. In 1910 there were 239,299 inhabitants, and 344 priests.