LIST OF THE BISHOPS OF LIMOGES
The cathedral is both the mother church of the diocese of Limoges and the bishop’s church. In its choir stands the cathedra (hence the name cathedral) on which the bishop sits during the great celebrations.
The current and 106th bishop of Limoges is Mgr François Kalist, appointed in 2009.
List of the bishops of Limoges
Bishops before 1000 AD
The oldest list of the Limoges bishops was drawn up between 1021 AD and 1034 AD by Adémar de Chabannes, a monk in St Martial abbey. Following the tradition according to which Limousin was evangelized during the 1st century it dates St Martial’s appointment back to 28 A.D. (« Primus episcopus Lemovicensis est beatus Marcialis apostolus : sedit annis XXVIII »).
According to Adémar the first successors of St Martial were Alpiniacus, Anteliniacus,Ebulius, Atticus etc 1. Adémar de Chabannes’ assertions –or rather « inventions »- (the original manuscript is kept in the library of Leyden, Netherlands) were taken up in the 17th century by Bonaventure de Saint-Amable 2 and later in Gallia Christiana Nuova3
But, as various 19th century scholars -among them H. de Lasteyrie- have shown, the dates concerning St Martial, as mentioned by Adémar and Bonaventure, do not stand against elementary criticism. Besides, it has been ascertained that Adémar, a monk in the abbey of St Martial, Limoges, intent as he was on magnifying the evangelizer of Limousin, had not been afraid of producing a piece of forgery to confirm his assertions4.
Much more reliable seems to be the list printed below, established in 1910 by Mgr Duchesne (see bibliography). There are probably omissions, or errors, due to the lack of reliable sources particularly between the middle of the 3rd century -a period when St Martial is supposed to have been preaching in Limousin- and the episcopate of Ruricius II.
- Saint Martial, apostle of Aquitaine and first bishop of Limoges.
- Aurélien de Limoges, second bishop.
- Rurice de Limoges or Ruricius or Rorice (his correspondance is known) (487-507).
- Rurucius II, who, according to tradition, was his nephew and had presided over Saint Junien’s obsequies (testified in 535,541, 549)
- Exocius, a bishop for 5 years (his epitaph is known) .
- Ferréol de Limoges, or Ferreolus, celebrated in the city of Nexon during the septennial ostensions (mentioned in 579,591)
- Saint-Loup whose relics are kept in the church of Saint-Michael-of-the-Lions in Limoges (appointed under the reign of Clothaire II, he signed the statute of Solignac abbey in 632).
- Felix (he sent a representative to the council of Chalon (Chalon-sur –Saône).
- Antsindus (Antsinus ou Antsmus), attested in 683.
- Emenus, attested in 696, 697, 700.
- Regimpertus, attested in 817
- Odacear, attested in 832 and 843.
- Stodilus, attested in 846,849,855,860.
- Aldo, attested in 860.
- Anselmus, attested in 870,897,898.
- Turpio (Turpion d’Aubusson) (898-944)
- Ebulus II 958-963
Some hagiographies also mention :
- Cessateur or Cessator or Cessadre or Cossadre or Sadre (+ 732 ?), a Christian saint celebrated on November 15th 5-6
Bishops between 1000 AD and the French Revolution
This list is slightly different from the one in Gallia Christiana nuova. The main differences are given between brackets and some complementary details are added.
- Hildegaire, 969 - 989
- Alduin, 990 - 1012, brother of the previous one.
- Géraud, 1012 - 1020, nephew of the two previous ones, the three of them being close relatives of the viscounts of Limoges.
- Jourdain de Léron or Laron, 1029 - 1051 
- Itier Chabot, 1052 - 1073
- Guy de Léron or Laron, 1076 - 1086 
- Humbauld de Saint-Sèvère, 1087 - 1095 
- Guillaume d'Uriel, 1098 - 1100 [middle of 1097 or 1098]
- Pierre Viroald, 1100 - 1105
- Eustorge, 1106 - 1137. Uncle of the following bishop, Gerard of Char. Historians and genealogists have good reasons to believe he belonged to the house of la Roche-Aymon.
- Gérald du Cher or Gérald de Cher or Gérald de Char7. A nephew of the previous one. He died on 7th October 1117. Historians and genealogists have good reasons to believe he belonged to the house of la Roche-Aymon.
- Sebrand Chabot, 1179 - 1198  ; he was influential in raising an army to fight against the Brabançons plundering the area : these were routed near Ahun around 1182 or1183 and pursued into the Combraille area.
- Jean de Veyrac, 1198 - 1218
- Bernard de Savène 1219 - 1226
- Guy de Cluzel, 1226 - 1235
- Guillaume du Puy, 1235 - ?
- Durand, vers 1240 - 1245
- Aymeric de La Serre, 1246 - 1272
- Gilbert de Malemort, 1275 - 1294
- Raynaud de La Porte, 1294 - 1316
- Gérard Roger, 1317 - 1324, a relative of Pope JohnXXII.
- Hélie de Talleyrand-Périgord, 1324 - 1328
- Roger Le Fort, 1328 - 1343
- Nicolas de Besse, 1343 - 1346
- Guy de Comborn, 1346 - 1347
- Jean de Cros, 1348 - 1371, a relative of Pope Gregory XI.
- Aymeric Chapt de L'Âge-au-Chapt, 1372 - 1390, later appointed cardinal.
- Bernard de Bonneval, 1391 - 1404
- Hugues de Magnac, 1404 - 1412
- Pierre d'Ailly, 1412 - ?, administrator of the bishopric
- Ranulphe de Pérusse d'Escars, 1414 - 1426
- Hugues de Rouffignac, 1426 - 1427
- Pierre de Montbrun, 1427 - 1456
- Jean de Barthon, 1457 - 1486
- Jean de Barthon II, 1486 - 1510
- René de Prie, 1510 - 1517
- Philippe de Montmorency, 1517 - 1519
- Charles de Villiers de L'Isle-Adam, 1522 - 1530
- Antoine de Lascaris, 1530 - 1532
- Jean de Langeac, 1533 - 1541
- Jean du Bellay, 1541 - 1544
- Antoine Sanguin de Meudon 1546-1550
- César des Bourguignons, 1555 - 1558
- Sébastien de L'Aubespine, 1558 - 1582
- Jean de L'Aubespine, 1583 - 1587
- Henri de La Marthonie, 1587 - 1618
- Raymond de La Marthonie, 1618 - 1627,. had been coadjutor since 1615 ; he is known for issuing new statutes for his diocese (« ordonnances synodales »)that made the rules of life of vicars harder, and for reforming some ancient religious orders.8
- François de La Fayette, 1627 - 16769
- Louis de Lascaris d'Urfé, 1676 - 1695
- François de Carbonnel de Canisy, 1695 - 1706, retired 1706, died 1723.
- Antoine de Charpin de Genétines, 1706-1729, retired 1729,died 1739.
- 1725-1730 : Charles Antoine de La Roche-Aymon, auxiliary bishop.
- Benjamin de L'Isle-du-Gast, 1729 - 1739
- Jean-Gilles du Coëtlosquet, 1748 - 1758, retired 1758,died 1784
- Louis Charles du Plessis d'Argentré, 1759 - 1801, last bishop of Limoges appointed during the Old Regime (before 1789) ; the bishopric was abolished in 1790.
Bishops since 1802
- Jean-Marie-Philippe Dubourg 1802-1822
- Jean-Paul Gaston de Pins 1822-1824, appointed titular archbishop of Amasia (1824)
- Prosper de Tournefort 1825-1844
- Bernard Buissas 1844-1856
- Florian-Jules-Félix Desprez 1857-1859, transferred to Toulouse (1859)
- Félix-Pierre Fruchaud 1859-1871, transferred to Tours (1871)
- Alfred Duquesnay 1871-1880, transferred to Cambrai (1880)
- Pierre-Henri Lamazou 1881-1883, transferred to Amiens (1883)
- François-Benjamin-Joseph Blanger 1883-1887
- Firmin-Léon-Joseph Renouard 1888-1913
- Hector Raphaël Quilliet 1913-1920, transferred to Lille(1920)
- Alfred Flocard 1920-1938
- Louis Paul Rastouil 1938-1966
- Henri Gufflet 1966-1988, retired in 1988
- Léon-Raymond Soulier 1988-2000, retired in 2000
- Christophe Dufour 2000-2008 transferred to Aix(2008)
- François Kalist since 2009.
- This list « multiplies the names of the bishops with the obvious purpose to fill the long period stretching from the 1st century when, according to the legend, the death of St Martial took place. (R. Limouzin-Lamothe, Le Diocèse de Limoges des origines à la fin du Moyen Âge, Paris, Leroux, 1951)
- Histoire de St Martial,apôtre des Gaules (…) Clermont, Jacquart, 1671-1684, 3 vol.
- St Martial is mentioned therein as the first bishop of Limoges without any date being given. On the contrary, the second bishop, « Sanctus Aurelianus » is mentioned for 89 AD. According to Gregory of Tours, writing in the 6th century, Pope Fabian, in the middle of the 3rd century, delegated six missionaries –among them Martial- in order to evangelize the whole of Gaul.
- See particularly Alfred Leroux, La légende de saint Martial dans la littérature et l'art anciens, Limoges, Ducourtieux & Gout, 1911.
- Nominis : Saint Cessateur [archive]
- Forum orthodoxe.com : saints pour le 15 novembre du calendrier ecclésiastique
- Nobiliaire universel de France: ou Recueil général des ..., Volume 14 by M. de Saint-Allais (Nicolas Viton) note de bas de page, footnote p. 187 [archive]
- J. Aulagne, La réforme catholique du dix-septième siècle dans le diocèse de Limoges, Paris/Limoges, Champion/Ducourtieux, 1906
- François de La Fayette évêque de Limoges [archive] , Lemouzi (n° 180,October 2006,)
- Gallia Christiana Nuova, tome II ("Ecclesia Lemovicensis") and addenda to tome III.
- Mgr L. Duchesne, Fastes épiscopaux de l'ancienne Gaule, Paris, Fontemoing, 1910 (tome II : "L'Aquitaine et la Lyonnaise")
- R. Limouzin-Lamothe, Le diocèse de Limoges des origines à la fin du Moyen âge, Paris/Strasbourg, Leroux, 1951
- New Advent /Catholic Encyclopedia>Limoges
Ouvrages cités par "Draconius" (to be completed) :
- La Grande Encyclopédie … (LGE), tome XXII, p. 260
- ANNUAIRE HISTORIQUE 1846 (année 1847), p. 167-170
- TRÉSOR DE CHRONOLOGIE=TC, p. 1434-1436
- « FRANCE ÉPISCOPAT », in Dictionnaire d’histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques (DHGL).
- L´épiscopat français de Clément VIII à Paul VI (1592-1973) – pp. 157-543. All the bishops and archbishops in office in France between 30th January 1592 and1973.