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Cardinal-archbishop of Paris. The process of canonization began with Pope St. Pius X declaring Richard a Servant of God.

ALS - Autograph Letter Signed, two pages, 22 April 1857, as Vicar General of Nantes. Untranslated a fellow priest of the diocese.  Possibly administrative matters.  The earliest letter we have offered of Cardinal Richard (he had been a priest 14 years when this letter was written).


Born at Nates, Loire-Atlantique. Educated at the seminary of St. Sulpice he became, successively, vicar-general of Nantes, bishop of Belley and, in 1875, coadjutor archbishop of Paris. In 1886 the death of Archbishop Guibert was followed by Richard’s appointment to the see of Paris. Three years later he was created a cardinal.


In January 1900 the trial of the Assumptionist Fathers resulted in the dissolution of the society as an illegal association. The next day an official visit by Richard to the fathers was witnessed by the government and deemed an act of a political nature. As a result, Archbishop Richard was officially censured by the French government. Throughout the struggle over the law governing religious associations and separations, Richard remained neutral. Richard presided over an assembly of bishops and archbishops in 1906, a few days after a papal encyclical forbidding French Catholics to form associations for public worship. By then any hope of reconciliation was dashed. In December of that year, Richard relinquished his official residence to government authorities. By then, Richard was an old man of nearly 90, and the governmental eviction elicited great sympathy among the populace of Paris.

RICHARD DE LA VERGNE, Cardinal Francois (1819-1908)