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Diocese; comprises the Department of the Côtes du Nord. Re-established by the Concordat of 1802 as suffragan of Tours, later, in 1850, suffragan of Rennes, the Diocese of Saint-Brieuc was made to include: (1) the ancient diocese of the same name; (2) the greater portion of the diocese of Tréguier; (3) a part of the old Diocese of St. Malo, Dol, and Quimper, and the (4) parishes of the Diocese of Vannes. In 1852 the Bishops of Saint-Brieuc were authorized to add to their title that of the ancient See of Tréguier.

(Ancient) diocese of Saint-Brieuc

An Irish saint, Briocus (Brieue), who died at the beginning of the sixth century founded in honour of St. Stephen a monastery which afterwards bore his name, and from which sprang the town of Saint-Brieuc. An inscription later than the ninth century on his tomb, at Saint-Serge at Angers, mentions him as the first Bishop of Saint-Brieuc. According to Mgr. Duchesne certain trustworthy documents prove that it was King Nomenoe who, about the middle of the ninth century, made the monastery the seat of a bishopric. Among the Bishops of Saint-Brieue, the following are mentioned: St. Guillaume Pinchon (1220-34), who protected the rights of the episcopate against Pierre Mauclerc, Duke of Brittany, and was forced to go into exile for some time at Poitiers; Jean du Tillet (1553-64), later Bishop of Meaux; and Denis de La Barde (1641-75)

Diocese of Tréguier

St. Tudgual, nephew of St. Brieuc, was appointed by the latter at the close of the fifth century, superior of the monastery of Tréguier, which he had founded. The biography of St. Tudgual, composed after the middle of the ninth century, relates that King Childebert had him consecrated Bishop of Tréguier, but Mgr Ducheane holds that it was King Nomenoe who, in the middle of the ninth century, raised the monastery of Tréguier to the dignity of an episcopal see. The Diocese of Saint-Brieuc and Tréguier pays special honour to the following saints: St. Jacut, first Abbot of Landouart (died about 440); St. Mandez, member of a princely Irish family (sixth century); St. Briac, disciple of St. Tudgual; founder of the monastery around which the town of Boulbriac grew up (sixth century): St. Osmanna, an Irish princess, who took refuge and died near Saint-Brieue (seventh century); St. Maurice of Cornwall (1117-91), founder and first Abbot of Carnoet, in the Diocese of Quimper; St. Yves (1253-1303), born near Tréguier, ecclesiastical judge of the Diocese of Rennes, then of the Diocese of Tréguier, where he gained the name of "advocate of the poor". He was patron of the lawyers' confraternity, erected at Paris in the church of St. Yves des Bretons. His tomb, destroyed during the Revolution, was re-erected in 1890 in the cathedral of Tréguier, whither it draws many pilgrims. Numerous synods were held at Tréguier in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, and passed important regulations for the discipline of the Breton churches. Among the natives of the Diocese of Saint-Brieue are — Duclos (b. 1700 d. 1772), the historian of Louis XI (b. at Dinan); Ernest Renan (b. at Tréguier, 1823; d. 1892). The Benedictine historian Dom Lobineau died at the Abbey of St. Jacut, 1727. The town of La Roche Derrien, in the diocese, was the scene of the great battle between Jean de Montford and Blessed Charles of Blois (1346), after which the latter was taken as prisoner to England.

The principal pilgrimages in the Diocese of Saint-Brieuc are: Notre-Dame de Bon Secours at Guingamp the sanctuary of which was enriched by the munificence of the Dukes of Brittany; Notre Dame d'Espérance, at Saint-Brieuc, a pilgrimage dating from 1848; Notre Dame de La Fontaine at Saint-Brieuc, dating from the establishment of an oratory by Saint-Brieuc, and revived in 1893 to encourage devotion to that Saint; Notre Dame de Guyaudet, near St-Nicholas du Pélem. Notre Dame de LaRonce, at Rostrenen, a sanctuary raised to the collegiate dignity by Sixtus IV in 1483.

Before the application of the law of 1901 against the congregations there were in the Diocese of Saint-Brieuc, Eudists, Franciscans, Priests of the Immaculate Conception, Marists, Marianites, Salesians, Fathers of the Holy Ghost and the Holy Heart of Mary, Hospitaller Brothers of St. John of God, and various orders of brothers. Several congregation of nuns were founded in the diocese, particularly the Filles du Saint Esprit, hospitallers, teachers and nurses of the poor, founded in 1706 at Plerin by Mme. Balavoine and Renée Burel, with their mother-house at Saint-Brieuc; the Filles de Ste Marie de la Présentation, teachers and hospitallers, founded in 1836 by Abbé Fleury, their mother-house at Broons; the Filles de La Providence, a teaching body, founded by Abbé Jean-Marie de Lamennais, with its mother-house at Saint-Brieuc; the Filles de La Divina Providence, teachers and hospitallers, with their mother-house at Crehen. The Franciscan Missionaries of Mary was founded in 1880 at St. Joseph des Châtelets, near St-Brieuc, to assist the missionaries. It has (1911) seminary to prepare sisters for the foreign missions; houses of the institute have been established in China, India, Japan, Canada, Belgian Congo, and Madagascar. At the close of the nineteenth century the redirected in the diocese of Saint-Brieuc, 1 crèche, 33 schools, 1 school for the deaf and dumb, 2 boy' orphanages, 13 girls' orphanages, 1 penitentiary for boys, 7 homes for the poor, 13 hospitals or hospices, 6 houses of nuns devoted to nursing the sick the their own homes, 2 houses of retreat, 1 hospice for incurables, and 2 asylums for the insane. At the time of the destruction of the Concordat (1905) the Diocese of Saint-Brieuc contained 609,349 inhabitants, 48 parishes, 354 succursal parishes, 395 vicariates, towards the support of which the State contributed.


Galla christ (nova, 1856) XIV, 1085-1106; 1119-36; instrum., 261-7 RUFFLET, Annales Briochines ou abrégé chronologique de l'histoire ecclésiastique, civile et littéraire du diocèse de St-Brieuc, ed. ROPARTZ (Saint-Brieuc, 1850); GUIMART, Histoire des évêques de Saint-brieuc (Saint-Brieuc, 1852); GESLIN DE BOURGOGNE AND DE BARTHÉLEMY, Anciens évêché de Bretagne: Diocèse de Saint-Brieuc (6 vols., Paris, 1855-64); TREVAUX, L'Église de Bregagne, (Paris, 1939); CHEVALIER, Topo-bibl., pp. 2676-77; 3154.

About this page

APA citation. Goyau, G. (1912). Saint-Brieuc. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.

MLA citation. Goyau, Georges. "Saint-Brieuc." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 13. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. <>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Jeffrey L. Anderson.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. February 1, 1912. Remy Lafort, D.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.

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