Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Diocese of Arras
Diocese comprising the Department of Pas-de-Calais in France. On the occasion of the Concordat, the three Dioceses of Arras, Saint-Omer, and Boulogne were united to make the one Diocese of Arras. It was a suffragan of Paris from 1802 to 1841, in which year Cambrai again became an archdiocese and Arras returned to it as suffragan. At the beginning of the sixth century St. Remi (Remigius), Archbishop of Reims, placed in the See of Arras St. Vedastus (St. Vaast) (d. c. 540), who had been the teacher of Clovis after the victory of Tolbiac. His successors, Dominicus and Vedulphus, are both venerated as saints. After the death of the latter, the See of Arras was transferred to Cambrai, and it was not until 1093 that Arras again became a diocese. Among the bishops of Arras are Cardinal Antoine Perrenot de Granvelle, Councillor of the emperor, Charles V, Bishop of Arras from 1545 to 1562, later Archbishop of Malines and Viceroy of Naples; François Richardot, a celebrated preacher, Bishop of Arras from 1562 to 1575; Monseigneur Parisis (d. 1866), who figured prominently in the political assemblies of 1848. The old cathedral of Arras, constructed between 1030 and 1396, and dedicated to St. Vaast, was one of the most beautiful Gothic structures in northern France. It was destroyed during the Revolution. Two famous relics were long greatly venerated at Arras: the "sacred manna", said to have fallen from heaven in 371 during a severe famine, and the "holy candle", a wax taper said to have been given to Bishop Lambert in 1105 by the Blessed Virgin, to stop an epidemic. Not far from Arras, the city of Saint-Omer, a diocese till the Revolution, perpetuates the memory of St. Audomare, or Omer, Bishop of Thérouanne, the apostle of the Morini in the sixth century. Its cathedral, a Gothic monument of the fourteenth century, was built over the saint's tomb. The ruins of St. Vaast at Arras, and of St. Bertin at Saint-Omer, keep alive the memory of two celebrated abbeys of the same name; the Abbey of St. Bertin (founded in the seventh century) gave twenty-two saints to the Church. The Diocese of Arras at the end of 1905 contained 955,391 inhabitants, 52 parishes, 690 churches of the second class, and 53 vicariates formerly with state subventions.
Gallia Christiana (ed. Nova, 1725), III, 318-371, 470-471; Instrumenta 77-100; Terninck, Essai historique et monographique sur l'ancienne cathedrale d'Arras (ibid., 1853); Chevalier, Topo-bibl. (Paris 1894-99), 223-226.