Antoon Stillemans (10 December 1832, Sint-Niklaas – 5 November 1916, Ghent) was a Belgian bishop. He was the twenty-fourth bishop of Ghent during 26 years.

His Excellency

Antoine Stillemans
Episc. Gandavense
Gent, sint-Baafskathedraal StillemansB STB 596.jpg
SeeSt Bavo's
PredecessorHenri-Charles Lambrecht
SuccessorEmiel Jan Seghers [nl]
Other postsSuperior of the St. Joseph Minor Seminary
Ordination20 September 1856
Consecration27 January 1890
Personal details
MottoVivat Jesus !
Coat of armsAntoine Stillemans's coat of arms

Stillemans began studies at the St. Joseph Minor Seminary of Sint-Niklaas in 1846. In 1853 he studied at the major seminary in Ghent. in 1860 he earned a doctoral degree in philosophy at Leuven. Stillemans' brother, Pierre-Louis Stillemans [nl], also became a priest.



He was named in 1867 Superior of the St. Joseph Minor Seminary of Sint-Niklaas, for a period of 21 years. He became president of the Major seminary in 1888 and canon of the cathedral chapter of Ghent and member of the episcopal council. He was canon elect after the sudden death of Henri-Charles Lambrecht. He promoted the Gothic Revival, and had the current Episcopal Palace in Ghent restyled as well he constructed the new major seminary in Ghent.

He named his brother priest Pierre-Louis Stillemans Honorary canon of St-Bavon.

During his episcopate he suspended in 1899 under pression of the royal court and Minister Woeste the political priest in Aalst, Adolf Daens. He promoted the social cultural movement of Flanders. In 1902 he consecrated the Abbey church of Dendermonde. In 1906, he celebrated his golden jubilee of priest and in 1914, his silver jubilee of bishop of Ghent. He was honored with the sacred pallium with papal permission at the end of his career. A street was named in his honor in Sint-Niklaas, as well a colored window inside the town hall, he gifted Sint-Niklaas with a large copy of his portrait. The colors of the city, blue and yellow are reflected in his heraldic episcopal crest.

After his death he left his crosier to the main church of Sint-Niklaas where he was baptized. He was succeeded by Mgr. Emiel Jan Seghers [nl].


  • 7 October 1889: Dr Honoris Causa; KU Leuven.
  • 1895: Officer in the Order of Leopold.[1]
  • 14 November 1901: Papal Prelat Domestic, and assistant of the pontifical throne.[2]
  • 30 November 1911: pallium by pontifical dispensation.


  1. ^ Laatste Nieuws (Het) 26-06-1895
  2. ^ "SJKS - Kwaliteit voor de toekomst".

External linksEdit

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Henri-Charles Lambrecht
24th Bishop of Ghent
Succeeded by
Emiel Jan Seghers [nl]