Celebrating the 500th Anniversary of Catholicism in the Philippines

“…500 years have passed since the Christian message first arrived in the Philippines. You received the joy of the Gospel... And this joy is evident in your people … We see it in your eyes, on your faces, in your songs and in your prayers. In the joy with which you bring your faith to other lands …”

~ Pope Francis said in his homily of the Mass at the Vatican on March 14, formally opening the yearlong celebrations marking the 500th anniversary of Catholicism’s arrival in the Philippines.

A country of 7,641 islands at the sea of southeast Asia with a population of 109 million, of which more than 10 million are migrants living in almost 100 countries across the world.

Why the Pope calls Filipinos “smugglers of faith”? What makes the local Church so unique?

What is the Catholic population in the country? How many dioceses, bishops are there?

All you need to know about the Church in the Philippines in one click
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Apostolic Prefecture of Hainan

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Apostolic Prefecture of Hainan
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Hainan, the island province, is the southernmost point of China. The main island is 3.39 sq. kilometers in area. Ethnic groups like Han, Li, Miao, and Hui, have inhabited the place for quite a long time.

Haikou, the port city in the north, is the provincial capital while Sanya in the south is the most famous resort area on the island. The annual conference of the Boao Forum for Asia has also made Boao town in the eastern coastal Qionghai city, a well-known place for many.

St. Teresa's Church in Ding'an County is the oldest church on the island. It was built in 1892 by the French missionaries. It is now a popular pilgrimage site among the foreign and local visitors alike.

Apostolic Prefecture of Hainan

Hainan was detached from the Apostolic Vicariate of Pakhoi (Beihai), in April 1929. It has functioned as Mission Independent from 1929-1936. Hainan has been an Apostolic Prefecture since the year 1946. It has been listed so in Annuario Pontificio 2018, the Pontifical Yearbook, but the Chinese government has named it a diocese.

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