Released from the Saracen yoke by Charlemagne and Louis the Pious, Andorra was ceded in the 11th century to the bishops of Urgell, Spain, who associated the French Counts of Foix in the government. For over 700 years, the country was under the joint suzerainty of France and the Bishop of Urgell, Spain, who each appoint a civil and a criminal judge. The Bishop of Urgell bore the title of Sovereign Prince of Andorra, the only temporal sovereignty, except the Vatican State, held by an ecclesiastic into the 20th century. The republic had a general syndic or president, elected for life by the Council General of twenty-four elected members, which had supreme administrative and judicial power but could legislate or sign foreign treaties without the consent of the Bishop of Urgell and the French prefect.
In 1993 the government was changed to a parlimentary democracy, there is a papal nuncio to represent the Vatican on government matters, and the bishop of Urgell gave up secular power over the region. The country is still included in the Diocese of Urgell, and the population is almost entirely Roman Catholic.
- World Fact Book
- patron saints index: Andorra
- patron saints index: Andorran security forces
- “Andorra”. . Saints.SQPN.com. 29 December 2009. Web. 24 April 2014. <http://saints.sqpn.com/andorra/>