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Lavigerie, Charles Martial Allemand (1825–1892)

  1. J. J. Carney

Published Online: 25 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470670606.wbecc0792

The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization

How to Cite

Carney, J. J. 2011. Lavigerie, Charles Martial Allemand (1825–1892). The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 NOV 2011


Charles Lavigerie was born into a republican, anticlerical Gascon family in 1825, so his early milieu was not a typical cradle for a Catholic priestly vocation in 19th century France. Over-coming the opposition of his parents, Lavigerie entered the prominent Paris seminary of St. Sulpice and was ordained in 1849. Fascinated with the ancient catechumenate, Lavigerie spent much of the 1850s teaching church history at the Sorbonne. His interest in Eastern Christian traditions developed further with his appointment in 1860 as director of the Oeuvre des Écoles d'Orient, an organization dedicated to supporting Latin religious communities working among Maronite Christians in the Holy Land. A two-year appointment as French auditor of the Roman Rota followed, establishing him as an important bridge figure between the Gallican and Ultramontane wings of the French Catholic Church. Named Bishop of Nancy in 1863, Lavigerie developed a reputation for both administrative competence and authoritarian high-handedness, characteristics that would continue to mark him in later years.


  • Lavigerie, Charles Martial Allemand (1825–1892);
  • eastern christian traditions;
  • feast of St. Martin of tours;
  • “white fathers” and “white sisters”;
  • multi-year adult catechumenate