Belley Cathedral

Building the Belley Cathedral began in the 12th century and continued over the years until 1851.

In the 15th century a high gothic chancel was added, and then in 1835 work began on transforming it to its present form.

It is a massive cathedral for a town whose population was so small.

Bishop of Belley, Bishop Devie was a man of great vision and played an important part in the founding of the Society. He was keen to provide for the Society, but his plans were different from Fr Colin’s.

Bishop Devie, understandably reluctant to lose good men from his diocese, wanted the Society to remain a congregation within his diocese but Fr Colin’s view of the Society was of an international body of people “going from place to place”.

Devie applied pressure on Colin to give up what appeared to be his grandiose ideas and it was at this point when Fr Colin took a vow that if ever the Society had thirty members, he would have three thousand Masses said and it was at this point that Bishop Devie realised how serious Fr Colin was and that the Society of Mary would be universal, or it would not exist at all. (OM 749).

Bishop Devie is buried in the floor of the cathedral on the left hand side.