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The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Dijon, is a diocese of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic church in France. The archepiscopal see is Dijon Cathedral, located in the city of Dijon. The diocese comprises the entire department of Côte-d'Or, in the Region of Auvergne. Originally established as the Diocese of Dijon in 1731, and suffragan to the Archdiocese of Lyon, the diocese was elevated to an archdiocese in 2002. The most significant jurisdiction change occurred after the Concordat of 1801, when the diocese annexed the department of Haute-Marneuntil 1821; after which the Papal Bull re-established the Diocese of Langres.[1]. The current archbishop is Roland Minnerath, appointed in 2004.



Church of Saint Michel, Dijon

Between the years 506 and 540 it was revealed to Gregory, Bishop of Langres, an ancestor of Gregory of Tours, that a tomb which the piety of the peasants led them to visit contained the remains of St. Benignus. He had a large basilica erected over it, and soon travellers from Italy brought him the acts of this saint's martyrdom. These acts are part of a collection of documents according to which Burgundy was evangelized in the second century by St. Benignus, an Asiatic priest and the disciple of St. Polycarp, assisted by two ecclesiastics, Andochius and Thyrsus. The good work is said to have prospered at Autun, where it received valuable support from the youthful Symphorianus; at Saulieu where Andochius and Thyrsus had established themselves; at Langres where the three brothers, Speusippus, Eleusippus, and Meleusippus, were baptized, and finally at Dijon. In the meantime the persecution of Marcus Aurelius broke out, and St. Benignus and his companions were put to death.

The doubts first raised by Boulliau and Tillemont in the seventeenth century concerning the authenticity of these acts seem justified by the conclusions of G. Van Hooff and Louis Duchesne, according to which the Acts of St. Benignus and the martyrdom of the three brothers of Langres, on which the aforesaid traditions are based, are apocryphal and copied from Cappadocian legends. This controversy, however, does not alter the fact that before the fifth century a saint named Benignus was venerated by the Christians of Dijon; nor does it dim the splendour of the saint's miracles, as related by Gregory of Tours and by the Book of the Miracles of St. Benignus. Animated polemics arose among the Catholic scholars of France than the apostolate of St. Benignus.

Under the Merovingians and Carolingians, most of the bishops of Langres resided at Dijon, e.g. St. Urbanus (fifth century), St. Gregory, and St. Tetricus (sixth century), who were buried there. When, in 1016, Lambert, Bishop of Langres, ceded the seigniory and county of Dijon to King Robert of France, the Bishops of Langres made Langres their place of residence.

In 1731, Pope Clement XII made Dijon a bishopric. The Abbey of Saint-Etienne of Dijon (fifth century) long had a regular chapter that observed the Rule of St. Augustine; it was given over to secular canons by Pope Paul V in 1611, and Pope Clement XI made its church the cathedral of Dijon; during the Revolution it was transformed into a forage storehouse. The abbatial church of Saint-Bénigne became the cathedral of Dijon early in the nineteenth century.

Cardinal Lecot, later Archbishop of Bordeaux, was Bishop of Dijon from 1886 to 1890. Pope Pius X's request in 1904 for the resignation of Monseigneur Le Nordez, Bishop of Dijon since 1899, was one of the incidents which led to the rupture of relations between France and the Holy See.



Romanesque architecture was very popular in Burgundy; its masterpiece is the Cathedral of Saint-Bénigne of Dijon, consecrated by Paschal II in 1106 and completed in 1288. The Gothic style, although less used, characterizes the churches of Notre-Dame de Dijon (1252-1334), Notre-Dame de Semur, and l'Abbaye Saint-Seine; it was also the style of the Sainte-Chapelle of Dijon, which is no longer in existence. Under the dukes of Burgundy, at the close of the fourteenth and beginning of the fifteenth century, Burgundian art flourished in a surprising degree. The Chartreuse de Champmol, on which Philip the Bold had Claus Sluter, the sculptor, at work from 1389 to 1406, and which was the acme of artistic excellence, was almost totally destroyed during the Revolution; however, two superb traces of it may still be seen, namely the Puits des prophètes and the portal of the church. The Beaune hospital (1443) is a fine specimen of the Gothic style, and the church of Saint-Michel in Dijon (1497) has sixteenth- and seventeenth-century porches covered with fantastic bas-reliefs. The Abbeys of Cîteaux, Fontenay, and Flavigny (where in the nineteenth century Père Lacordaire installed a Dominican novitiate) were all within the territory of Dijon.


The following saints are specially honoured:

  • Saint Sequanus (Seine), b. at Magny, d. 580, founder of the monastery of Réomé around which sprang up the little town of Saint-Seine
  • St. William (961-1031), a native of Novara, Abbot of Saint Bénigne at Dijon in 990, and reformer of the Benedictine Order in the eleventh century;
  • St. Robert of Molesme, joint founder with St. Alberic and Stephen Harding of the monastery of Cîteaux in 1098
  • St. Stephen Harding, who died in 1134, third Abbot of Cîteaux, under whose administration the monasteries of La Ferté, Pontigny, Clairvaux, and Morimond were established
  • St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153)
  • St. Jane Frances de Chantal (1572-1641), b. at Dijon, who, having heard St. Francis de Sales's Lenten discourses at Dijon in 1604, conceived a holy friendship for him
  • the Venerable Bénigne Joly, canon of Saint-Etienne de Dijon (seventeenth century)
  • the Venerable Sister Marguerite of the Blessed Sacrament (1619-48), surnamed the "little saint of Beaune", noted for the apparitions of the Infant Jesus with which she was favoured, in consequence of which the pious association known as the Family of the Holy Child Jesus was organized and later raised by Pope Pius IX to the dignity of an archconfraternity.

Among the famous persons of the diocese the Seneschal Philippe Pot (1428-94) is remembered for his exploits against the Turks in 1452 and his miraculous deliverance from his captors.

The illustrious Bossuet was a native of Dijon. Hubert Languet, the Protestant publicist (1518-81), was born at Vitteaux.

Suffragan dioceses


  1. ^ Metropolitan Archdiocese of Dijon, France

External links

This article incorporates text from the public-domain Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913.



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