Islands Of Lerins, a group belonging to France, in the Mediterranean, included in the department of Var, consisting of the fortified St. Honorat (anc. Lerina or Planasid), and Ste. Marguerite (anc. Lero), situated opposite Cannes, between Capes Roux and Guaroupe, and a number of islets and shoals. Ste. Marguerite, about 2 m. long, is occupied only by a garrison and by fishermen. It contains a castle, used as a state prison, in which " the man in the iron mask " and other famous personages were detained. Marshal Bazaine was imprisoned there in 1873, and escaped in the night of Aug. 9, 1874. Francis I., while on his way to Spain as a prisoner, was confined in a monastery here originally dedicated to Ste. Marguerite. St. Honorat, smaller but much more attractive than Ste. Marguerite, derived celebrity from the earliest abbey of the Gauls, founded here by St. Honoratus, which in the 5th century, under the influence of St. Eucherius, and particularly of St. Maxi-mus, became the principal theological centre of Europe. St. Hilary, St. Lupus, Faustus, and St. Vincent do Lerins were among its eminent abbots. It began to decline at the end of the 6th century, and became the scene of discord at the close of the 7th, when the monks assassinated their abbot.
Subsequently it was destroyed by the Saracens, who massacred the inmates; but it was rebuilt during the middle ages by the Benedictines, and endowed with many privileges. Members of the Guise and Bourbon families were among its commendatory abbots in the 10th and 17th centuries. But early in the 18th only a few monks remained at the abbey, which was entirely suppressed after the outbreak of the revolution of 1789.