Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Archdiocese of Algiers

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(ICOSIUM)

Archdiocese comprising the province of Algeria in French Africa. Its suffragans are the Sees of Oran and Constantine.

In 1632, several missions were established in Algeria; soon after, an apostolic-vicar was installed there, who, towards the end of the seventeenth century had under him the pro-vicar of Tunis and the prefect of Tripoli. The episcopal See of Algiers, founded in the second century at Icosium did not survive the Arabic conquest. It was re-established in 1838 as a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Aix. Mgr. Antoine Adolph Dupuch (d. 1856) was its first bishop until 1845, when he resigned and was succeeded by Mgr. Antoine Pavy (1846-66). On the death of the latter, Algiers become an archdiocese, with two newly-created sees (1867), Oran and Constantine, for suffragans. Mgr. Charles Martial Allemand Lavigerie, Bishop of Nancy, become its first archbishop (d. 1893).

The church of Algiers honours in a special manner the memory of several holy confessors of the Order of Our Lady of Mercy for the Redemption of Captives founded in 1232 by St. Peter Nolasco. Among them are St. Peter Armengaud (thirteenth century), confessor at Algiers. It cherishes also a particular veneration for the memories of Blessed Raymond Lully who died at Bougie in 1325, and the Venerable Geronimo, buried alive at Algiers in 1569.

The Diocese of Algiers contained (end of 1905), 230,843 inhabitants of European birth (exclusive of the army), 8 first-class; 101 second-class parishes and 25 vicariates, formerly with State subventions. There were also 24 auxiliary priests.

Dupuch, Fastes de l'Afrique chretienne (Bordeaux, 1849); Grussenmeyer, Vingt-cinq annees d'episcopat en France, et en Afrique: documents biographiques sur le Cardinal Lavigerie (Algiers, 1888); Chevalier, Topo-bibl. (Paris, 1894-99), 52.

GEORGES GOYAU