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Diocese comprising the Department of the Vosges. Suppressed by the Concordat of 1802 and then included in the Diocese of Nancy, it was re-established nominally by the Concordat of 1817, and in fact by a papal Bull of 6 October, 1822, and a royal ordinance of 13 January, 1823, as a suffragan of Besançon. The Treaty of Frankfort (1871) cut eighteen communes from the Department of the Vosges, and added them to the Diocese of Strasburg. The Diocese of St-Dié originated in the celebrated abbey of that name. St. Deodatus (Dié) (b. towards the close of the sixth century; d. 679) came from Le Nivernais, or, according to some authorities, from Ireland; attracted by the reputation of St. Columbanus he withdrew to the Vosges, sojourning at Romont, and Arentelle, and made the acquaintance of St. Arbogast and Florentius. For some time he was a solitary at Wibra, doubtless the present Katzenthal on Alsace, but being persecuted by the inhabitants, he went to the Vosges and founded a monastery, which he named Galilée on lands (called "Juncturae") given to him by Childeric II. The town of St-Dié now stands on this site. At the same time, Leudin Bodo, Bishop of Toul, founded to the north of Galilée the monastery of Bonmoutier and to the south that of Etival; Saint Gondelbert, perhaps after resigning the Archbishopric of Sens, had just founded the monastery of Senones to the east. These four monasteries formed, by their geographical position the four extremities of a cross : Later, Saint Hidulphus, Bishop of Treves (d. 707), erected between them at the intersection. of the two arms of the cross, the monastery of Moyenmoutier. Villigod and Martin (disciples of St-Dié), Abbot Spinulus (Spin), John the priest, and the deacon Benignus (disciples of St. Hidulphus) are honoured as saints. in the tenth cent of the Abbey of St-Dié grew lax, a Frederick I, Duke of Lorraine, expelled the Benedictines, replacing them by the Canons Regular of St Augustine. Gregory V, in 996, agreed to the change and decided that the grand preévôt, the principal dignitary of the abbey should depend directly upon the Holy See.

During the sixteenth century, profiting by the long vacancy of the See of Toul, the abbots of the several monasteries in the Vosges, without actually declaring themselves independent of the Diocese of Toul, claimed to exercise a quasi-episcopal jurisdiction as to the origin of which, however, they were not agreed; in the eighteenth century they pretended to be nullius dioceseos. In 1718, Thiard de Bissy Bishop of Toul, requested the election of a see at St-Dié Leopold; Duke of Lorraine, was in favour of this step, but the King of France opposed it; the Holy See refrained for the time from action. In 1777 a Bull of Pius VI erected the abbey of St-Dié into an episcopal see, and cut off from the Diocese of Toul (see DIOCESE OF NANCY) the new Diocese of St-Dié, which, until the end of the old régime, was a suffragan of Trier. Louis Caverot, who died as Cardinal Archbishop of Lyons, was Bishop of St-Dié from 1849 to 1876.

The Abbey of Remiremont was founded about 620 by Saint Romaric, a lord at the court of Clotaire II, who, having been converted by Saint Amé, a monk of Luxeuil, took the habit at Luxeuil; it comprised a monastery of monks, among whose abbots were Sts. Amé (570-625), Romaric (580-653), and Adelphus (d. 670), and a monastery of nuns, which numbered among its abbesses Sts. Mactefelda (d. about 622), Claire (d. about 652), and Gébétrude (d. about 673). At a later period the Benedictine nuns were replaced by a chapter of ninety-eight canonesses who had to prove 200 years of nobility, and whose last abbess, under the old régime, was the Princess de Bourbon Condé, sister of the Duke of Enghien; she was prioress of the Monastery of the Temple at her death.

Besides the saints mentioned above and some others, bishops of Nancy and Toul, the, following are honoured in a special manner in the Diocese of St-Dié; St Sigisbert, King of Austrasia (630-56); St. Germain, a hermit near Remiremont, a martyr, who died Abbot of Grandval, near Basle (618-70); St. Hunna, a penitent at St-Dié (d. about 672); St. Dagobert, King of Austrasia, slain by his servant Grimoald (679) and honored as a martyr; St. Modesta, a nun at Remiremont, afterwards foundress and abbess of the monastery of Horren at Trier (seventh century); St. Goéry, Bishop of Metz (d. about 642), whose relics are preserved at Epinal and who is the patron of the butchers of the town; St. Simeon, Bishop of Metz (eighth century), whose relics are preserved at Senones; Sts. William and Achery, hermits near Ste. Marie aux Mines (ninth wife of Charles the Fat, who died as Abbess of Andlau in Alsace; Blessed Joan of Arc, b. at Domremy in the diocese; Venerable Mére Alix le Clerc (b. at Remiremont, 1576; d. 1622) and St. Peter Fourier (b. at Mericourt, 1565; d. 1640), curé of Mattaincourt, who founded the Order of Notre-Dame. Elizabeth de Ranfaing (b. at Remiremont, 1592; d. 1649) founded in the Diocese of Toul the congregation of Our Lady of Refuge; Catherine de Bar (b. at St-Dié, 1614; d. 1698), known as Mére Mechtilde of the Blessed Sacrament, at first an Annunciade nun and then a Benedictine, founded at Paris, in 1654, the Order of the Benedictines of the Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament; following in her footsteps Elizabeth Brem (1609-68) known as Mother Benedict of the Passion (1609-68), a Benedictine nun at Rambervillers, established in that monastery the Institute of the Perpetual Adoration. The remains of Brother Joseph Formet, known as the hermit of Ventron (1724-84), are the object of a pilgrimage. Venerable Jean Martin Moye (1730-93), founder in Lorraine of the Congrégation de la Providence for, the instruction of young girls and apostle of Su-Tchuen, was director for a brief period of the seminary of St-Dié, and established at Essegney, in the diocese, one of the first novitiates of the Soeurs de la Providence (hospitallers and teachers), whose, mother-house at Portieux ruled over a large number of houses before the Law of 1901. Grandclaude, a village teacher who was sent to the Roman College in 1857 by Bishop Caverot, contributed, when a professor in the grand seminaire of St-Dié, to the revival of canon law studies in France.

It is interesting to note how at St-Dié, about the beginning of the sixteenth century, the newly discovered continent received the name of America. Vautrin Lud, Canon of St-Dié and chaplain and secretary of Renée II, Duke of Lorraine, set up a printing-establishment at St-Dié in which two Alsatian geographers, Martin Waldseemüller and, Mathias Ringmann, began at once to produce an edition of a Latin translation of Ptolemy's "geography". In 1507 Renée II received from Lisbon the abridged account, written in French, of the four voyages of Vespucci. Lud had this translated into Latin by Basin de Sandaucourt. The printing of the translation was completed at St-Dié on 24 April, 1507; it was prefaced by a short writing entitled "Cosmographiae introductio", certainly the work of Waldseemüler, and was dedicated to Emperor Maximilian. In this preface Waldseemüller proposed the name of America. A second edition appeared at St-Dié in August, 1507, a third at Strasburg in 1509, and thus the name of America was spread about. The work was re-edited with an English version by Charles Herbermann (New York, 1907). M Gallois has proved that in 1507 Waldseemüller inserted this name in two maps, but that in 1513, in other maps Waldseemüller, being better informed, inserted the name of Columbus as the discoverer of America. But it was too late; the name of America had been already firmly established.

The principal pilgrimages of the diocese are: Notre-Dame de St-Dié, at St-Dié, at the place where St. Dié erected his first sanctuary; Notre-Dame du Trésor, at Remiremont; Notre-Dame de Consolation, at Epinal; Notre-Dame de la Brosse, at Bains; Notre-Dame de Bermont, near Domremy, the sanctuary at which Joan of Arc prayed; and the tomb of St. Peter Fourrier at Mattaincourt. There were in the diocese before the application of the Law of 1901 against the congregations: Canons of Lateran; Clerks Regular of Our Saviour; Eudistes; Franciscans, Fathers of the Holy Ghost and the Holy Heart of Mary; various teaching orders of brothers. Among the congregations of nuns founded in the diocese may be mentioned besides the Sisters of Providence, the Soeurs du Pauvre Enfant Jésus (also known as the Soeurs de la bienfaisance chrétienne), teachers and hospitallers, founded in 1854 at Chemoy l'Orgueilleux; the mother-house was transferred to Remiremont. At the close of the nineteenth century the religious congregations in the diocese directed: 7 créchés; 55 day nurseries; 1 orphanage for boys and girls; 19 girls' orphanages; 13 workshops; 1 house of refuge; 4 houses for the assistance of the poor, 36 hospitals or hospices; 11 houses of nuns devoted to the care of the sick in their own homes; and 1 insane asylum. The Diocese of St-Dié had, in 1905 (at the time of the rupture of the Concordat), 421,104 inhabitants; 32 parishes; 354 succursal parishes; and 49 vicariates supported by the State.


Gallia christ. nova, XIII (1785), 1064-7, 1377-83, 1407-19; MARTIN, Hist. des dioceses de Toul, de Nancy et de St-Dié (3 vols., Nancy, 1900-3); DIDELOT, Remiremont, les saints, le chapitre, la revolution (Nancy, 1888); L'HOTE, La vie des Saints, bienheureux, venerables et autres pieux personnages du diocese de St-Die (2 vols., St-Dié, 1897); GALLOIS, Americ Vespuce et les géographe de St-Dié in Bull. de la Soc. de Géogr. de l'Est (1900).

About this page

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

MLA citation. Goyau, Georges. "Saint-Dié." 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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