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 Lixian

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Apostolic Prefecture of Lixian
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The Apostolic Prefecture of Lixian is Latin rite pre-diocesan jurisdiction of the Catholic Church with seat in Lixian (Li County, Hebei), central China.

It is exempt, i.e. directly dependent on the Holy See (not part of any ecclesiastical province), and on its missionary Roman Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

No statistics available. It borders on its mother diocese Changde and those of Yuanling and Yichang as well as on the Apostolic Prefecture of Shashi and Apostolic Prefecture of Yueyang

It is vacant, under an Apostolic administrator since 2012.


Established on 6 May 1931 as Apostolic Prefecture of Lixian / Lizhou / Lichow / Lichoven(sis) (Latin), on territory split off from the then Apostolic Vicariate of Changde (now a diocese).

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