Alphonse-Louis du Plessis de Richelieu

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Alphonse-Louis du Plessis de Richelieu as Carthusian and bishop

Alphonse-Louis du Plessis de Richelieu OCart (* 1582 in Paris , † March 24, 1653 in Lyon ) was a French clergyman, bishop , cardinal and the elder brother of Cardinal Armand-Jean du Plessis de Richelieu .


He was the second son of François du Plessis de Richelieu from the house of Le Plessis-Richelieu and his wife Suzanne de la Porte de Vezins. After the death of their father in 1590, the three brothers Henri (1579 / 80–1619), Alphonse-Louis and Armand-Jean were together with their sisters Isabelle (1582 / 83–1648), Françoise (1586–1615) and Nicole (1587– 1635) raised by her mother in her ancestors' castle and received her first lessons there. Alphonse-Louis du Plessis de Richelieu attended the Collège de Navarre in Paris from 1594 to 1601 and obtained the degree of Doctor of Theology .

Following the family tradition, he was to take the bishopric of Luçon , for which the French King Henry IV also proposed him in 1602 , but Richelieu refused and became Carthusian instead . His brother Armand-Jean took up the office of bishop of Luçon. Alphonse-Louis made his profession in 1605 and became prior of the Charterhouse in Bompas .

At the instigation of his brother, who had been cardinal since 1622, Alphonse-Louis du Plessis de Richelieu was elected Archbishop of Aix-en-Provence on April 27, 1626 . The episcopal ordination donated to him on June 21 of the same year Guillaume IX. d'Hugues , Archbishop of Embrun ; Co- consecrators were Claude de Rueil , Bishop of Bayonne , and Nicolas Sanguin , Bishop of Senlis . On November 27, 1628 Alphonse-Louis du Plessis de Richelieu became Archbishop of Lyon .

Cardinal coat of arms

Pope Urban VIII created him in the consistory of November 19, 1629 , under dispensation from the fact that he had a brother in the college of cardinals , as cardinal priest . King Louis XIII appointed him 1631 Grand Almosenier of France . He received the cardinal's hat and the titular church Santissima Trinità al Monte Pincio on June 4, 1635.

In June 1644 Alphonse-Louis du Plessis de Richelieu, as Grand Almosenier of France, led the funeral service of King Louis XIII. He participated in the 1644 conclave , which Pope Innocent X elected.

He died in the episcopate and, according to his last will, was buried in the church of the La Charité hospital for the poor in Lyon. With his death, the house of Le Plessis-Richelieu died out.


The relationship with his younger brother, who had become a cardinal before him, was not always free of tension, although they were friendly to one another.

Alphonse-Louis du Plessis de Richelieu was generally considered to be humble and generous towards the poor. During a plague epidemic in Lyon in 1638 he devoted himself personally to nursing.

It was Alphonse de Richelieu who introduced chocolate in France . Their enjoyment, it is reported, was his only vice.



  • Pierre Jacques Le Seigneur: Dom Alphonse de Richelieu . In: La Chartreuse d'Aillon (=  Analecta Cartusiana ). Institute for English and American Studies, Salzburg 2008, ISBN 978-3-302-64923-2  ( formally incorrect ) , p. 176-177 .

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predecessor Office successor
Charles Miron Archbishop of Lyon
Camille de Neuville de Villeroy
Gui Hurault de L'Hôpital Archbishop of Aix
Louis de Bretel