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A Welsh saint, Brioc(us) (Brieuc), 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. Brieuc's life makes no mention of him being a bishop. An inscription later than the ninth century on his tomb at Saint-Serge at Angers, where his alleged body was transported in the 850s, mentions him as the first Bishop of Saint-Brieuc. His alleged remains at Saint-Serge were moved to a different tomb in 1166, in the presence of King Henry II of England. His remains were carried back to Saint-Brieuc in 1210.
It was King Nomenoe who, about the middle of the ninth century, is said to have made the monastery the seat of a bishop. Barthélemy Hauréau, however, begins his series of bishops in Gallia christiana with Bishop Adam (ca. 1032).
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; and Notre Dame de LaRonce, at Rostrenen, a church raised to the status of a Collegiate Church by Sixtus IV in 1483.
At the end of the eighteenth century, on the eve of the French Revolution, the Cathedral had a Chapter composed of six Dignities: the Dean, the Treasurer, the Archdeacon of Penthièvre, the Archdeacon of Goëlo, the Scholastic, and the Cantor; there were twenty prebends. The first prebend always belonged to the Duc de Penthièvre. There were 113 parish churches, 13 chapels in small villages, 4 Collegiate Churches (one just outside the walls of Saint-Brieuc dedicated to Guillaume Pinchon, the martyr bishop) and four abbeys of male monks.
During the French revolution the Diocese of Saint-Brieuc was abolished and subsumed into a new diocese, coterminous with the new 'Departement des Côtes-du-Nord', and a suffragan of the 'Metropole du Nord-Ouest' at Rennes. The clergy were required to swear an oath to the Constitution, and under the terms of the Civil Constitution of the Clergy a new bishop was to be elected by all the voters of the department. This placed them in schism with the Roman Catholic Church and the pope. The electors chose Father Jean-Marie Jacob, the curé of Lannebert, as their new Constitutional Bishop. He was consecrated in Nôtre-Dame in Paris by Constitutional Bishop Gobel on 1 May 1791. Gobel, a legitimate bishop, consecrated in 1772, had apostasized and was then Constitutional Bishop of Paris. The legitimate Bishop Bellecize had fled his diocese, leaving its administration in the hands of his vicars-general. 1n 1795 and 1796 Bishop Jacob was part of the movement seeking an accommodation with Rome. He faced great difficulties both from the flight of many of his clergy in the face of the Terror, and from the seizure of large areas of the countryside by the Chouans, who were loyal to the monarchy. Jacob fell ill during a trip to Paris and died there on 28 May 1801. An election was being prepared to choose his successor, when First Consul Napoleon Bonaparte ordered all the Constitutional Bishops to resign. He was striking a Concordat with Pope Pius VII, which included the liquidation of the Constitutional Church.
^Goffridus (Gaufredus) attended the Lateran Council of Pope Alexander III in 1179. J.-D. Mansi (ed.), Sacrorum conciliorum nova et amplissima collectio, editio novissima, Tomus XXII (Venice: A. Zatta 1778), p. 464. Gallia christiana XIV, p. 1088-1089.
^Joscelin: Gallia christiana XIV, p. 1089. Eubel, I, p. 146.
^Guillaume: Gallia christiana XIV, p. 1089. Eubel, I, p. 146.
^Gallia christiana XIV, pp. 1089-1090; Instrumenta, pp 262-263. Eubel, I, p. 146.
^Gallia christiana XIV, p. 1090. Eubel, I, p. 146.
^Because of a dispute with Duke Pierre 'Mauclerc', who was systematically attempting to limit the power of the clergy, Bishop Guillaume was forced into exile in Poitiers, 1228-1231. Guimart, pp. 42-49.
^The election of a successor to Guillaume Pinchon first produced Canon Nicholas, the Scholasticus. The election, however, was irregular, and was annulled by the Metropolitan, the Archbishop of Tours. The canons then elected one of themselves, Canon Alain, who was also Treasurer of the Cathedral of Vannes; this too was annulled. Finally the Archbishop appointed Bishop Philippe, who had been a Canon and friend of Guillaume Pinchon. Bishop Philippe died while on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 1248. Guimart, pp. 51-53. Eubel, I, p. 146.
^Andreas: Gallia christiana XIV, pp. 1091-1092; Instrumenta, p. 266.
^Eubel, I, p. 66 and 146. Geslin de Bourgogne and Barthelemy, I, pp. 28-29.
^Geslin de Bourgogne and Barthelemy, I, pp. 29-30.
^Eubel, I, p. 146 and 356. Jean de Châteaugiron was Chancellor of Bretagne: Geslin de Bourgogne and Barthelemy, I, pp. 31-32. He was transferred to Nantes by Pope Martin V on 17 July 1419.
^Geslin de Bourgogne and Barthelemy, I, p. 36. Eubel, II, p. 110-111.
^Jean L'Espervier also served as Chancellor of Bretagne. He had attended the Council of Basel, for which he was excommunicated, but he was restored by Eugenius IV in 1441 after he abandoned it. On 25 April 1450, Privent was appointed Bishop of Saint-Malo by Pope Nicholas V. Geslin de Bourgogne and Barthelemy, I, pp. 36-37. Eubel II, p. 111 and 183.
^Geslin de Bourgogne and Barthelemy, I, pp. 37-40.
^Pierre de Montfort de Laval was the son of Guy XIV Comte de Laval and Isabelle of Brittany. He was appointed Archbishop of Reims on 8 October 1473, and after being appointed Archbishop of Reims he retained the diocese of Saint-Brieuc in commendam until 1478. He died on 14 July 1493. Eubel, II, p. 111; 223 with note 4.
^Christophe de Penmarc'h and Pierre de Laval had a long-running lawsuit over the appointment of Bishop Christophe, that was only settled by Innocent VIII in 1485, who gave Laval the Diocese of Saint-Malo: Geslin de Bourgogne and Barthelemy, I, pp. 40-41. Eubel, II, p. 111 with note 3.
^Olivier du Châtel: Guimart, pp. 105-106. Eubel, III, p. 125 with note 3.
^Rieux: Guimart, pp. 106-108. Eubel, III, p. 125 with note 4.
^Mauny: : Guimart, pp. 108-109. Eubel, III, p. 125 with note 5.
^Tillet was later transferred to Meaux. He died in Paris in December 1570. Gallia christiana XIV, p. 1102. Guimart, pp. 109-110. Eubel, III, pp. 140 and 240.
^Lancelier was a native of Paris and held the degree of Doctor of Canon Law. He followed the League, while the citizens of Saint-Brieuc followed Henry III. He died on 24 September 1595. Gallia christiana XIV, p. 1102. Guimart, pp. 110-114. Eubel, III, p. 140 with note 9.
^Gallia christiana XIV, pp. 1102-1103. Gauchat, Hierarchia catholica IV, p. 121 with note 2.
^Gallia christiana XIV, p. 1103 (erroneously placing Andreas' death in 1632). Gauchat, Hierarchia catholica IV, p. 121 with note 3.
^Gallia christiana XIV, p. 1103. Gauchat, IV, p. 121.
^Gallia christiana XIV, p. 1103. Gauchat, Hierarchia catholica IV, p. 121 with note 4.
^De la Hoguette was nominated by King Louis XIV of France on 12 September 1675, and approved by Pope Clement X on 23 March 1676. He was appointed Bishop of Poitiers on 15 July 1580. Ritzler-Sefrin, Hierarchia catholica V, p. 126 with note 3.
^Coetlogon was nominated by Louis XIV on 6 September 1680, and approved by Pope Innocent XI on 1 September 1681. He was appointed Bishop of Tournai on 7 September 1705. Jean, p. 443. Ritzler-Sefrin, V, p. 126 with note 4.
^Frétat de Boissieu was appointed by Louis XIV on 11 July 1705, and approved by Pope Clement XI on 7 September 1705. Jean, p. 444. Ritzler-Sefrin, V, p. 126 with note 5.
^Guillaume de La Vieuxville-Pourpris (Guillaume is part of his surname: Gaston Louis Michel Marie baron de Carné (1900). Revue historique de l'Ouest (in French). 16. Vannes: Bureaux de la Revue. p. 49.) was Abbot commendatory of the Abbey of S. Maurice from 1681-1727: Gallia christiana XIV (1856), p. 910. He was Dean of the Cathedral Chapter of Nantes from 1699. He was appointed by the King on 8 January 1721, and approved by Pope Innocent XIII on 28 May 1721. On 6 July 1721 he was consecrated at the Jacobins in Paris by the Archbishop of Rouen, and the Bishops of Nantes and Tarbes: Mercure français (in French). Paris: Au bureau du Mercure. 1721. p. 113. Jean, p. 444.
^Born in the diocese of Tréguier, Thepault de Brignou held a Licenciate in Canon and Civil Law (Paris). He was a Canon, Cantor and Vicar General of the Chapter of Quimper. Jean, p. 444. Ritzler-Sefrin, VI, p. 130 with note 2.
^Born in the city of Angoulême, Bareau de Girac was a Bachelor of theology (Paris) and held the Licenciate in the Two Laws (Orléans). He was Vicar General of Angoulême when appointed by King Louis XV to Saint-Brieuc. He resigned the diocese on 25 January 1770, and was appointed Bishop of Rennes on 12 March 1770. He resigned in 1801, and died in Paris on 29 November 1820. Jean, p. 445. Ritzler-Sefrin, VI, pp. 130 with note 3; 354 with note 5.
^Ferronnays: Appointed Bishop of Bayonne on 13 March 1775, and Bishop of Lisieux on 15 December 1783. He died in exile in Munich on 15 May 1799. Jean, p. 445. Ritzler-Sefrin, VI, p. 113 with note 5; 131 with note 4; 261 with note 3.
^Bellescize died in Paris on 20 September 1796. Jean, p. 445. Ritzler-Sefrin, VI, p. 131 with note 5.