Luxembourg and Christianity
Luxembourg County born in the 10th century between Meuse and Moselle, became a duchy of the Holy Roman Empire in 1354 under Emperor Charles IV, of the House of Luxembourg, and was incorporated into the Duchy of Burgundy in 1443 to be part of Spain (1506-1714), France (1684-1697) and Austria (1714-1795). Forest Department to the French Revolution, it became a Grand Duchy personally to the king of the Netherlands in 1815. After three dismemberment (1659, 1815, 1839) it received its current size and became an autonomous state in the 19th century with own dynasty since 1890 (Nassau-Weilbourg house). Member EU founder, Luxembourg is one of the European capitals in international institutions.
Christianised in the 4th century from Trier, Christian Roman capital, the area was dotted with large parishes in a consolidation phase in the 6th and 7th century which saw Saint Willibrord (658-739), an Anglo-Saxon missionary active in Frisonia (north of Germany), coming, settling in Echternach, where he founded a Benedictine abbey with great cultural influence. Luxembourg, marked by a strong presence of medieval and modern religious orders (Jesuits), elected Our Lady Comforter of the Afflicted as patroness of the City (1666) and Country (1678) - National devotion that continues today by the annual Marian “octave” after Easter. The diocese established in 1870 was raised to archdiocese by Pope John Paul II in 1988.
The Catholic Church, like other religious communities under agreement with the State, enjoys the protection of the cult. Catholicism remains the religion of the majority of the inhabitants, native and foreign (over one third). After Vatican II and the Fourth Diocesan Synod (1972-1981) ecclesial services were born to the family ministry, inter-community, the workplace and young people, while the number of priests (now less than 200) religious (90) and nuns (560) dropped down sharply, the pastoral workers and religion teachers remains stable (over 300). The 274 parishes are currently grouped into sixty pastoral communities.