In a land area of approximately 75,153 square kilometers, the diocesan territory covers all of Jiangsu province except Xuzhou, Nantong and Suzhou. Nanjing diocese has two deaneries, 11 parishes and more than 30 Church mission points.
As of November 2010, the area covers by Nanjing diocese has a population of 56.27 million. 51 of the 56 ethnic groups in the country have descendents residing in Nanjing, with the Han ethnic group being the majority accounting for 98.56 percent.
Mandarin Chinese and Nanjing dialect are in use. Nanjing dialect had long been an official language of the various dynasties in the history of China.
The Vicariate Apostolic of Nanking (Nanjing) was erected from the Diocese of Macau in 1660. It was elevated to Diocese of Nanking in 1690. In 1856, it was elevated to Vicariate Apostolic of Kiangnan in 1856 and the name was changed into Vicariate of Jiangsu in 1921. A year later, its name was changed again into Vicariate Apostolic of Nanking. Father Paul Yu Pin was appointed Apostolic Vicar. It was elevated to Archdiocese of Nanjing in 1946 and Father Yu became the Archbishop.
He was forced to leave China in 1949. Also expelled was Archbishop Antonio Riberi, the papal nuncio based in Nanjing. Bishop Ignatius Gong Pinmei, later bestowed upon the cardinalate in pectore by Pope John Paul II in 1979 (officially, he became a Cardinal in 1991), was named to be the apostolic administrator in 1950. But he was put into prison in 1955 for 33 years.
In 1959, Father Li Weiguang was self-elected and self-ordained without papal mandate as Bishop of Nanjing. In 1966 when the Cultural Revolution began, all religious activities were suspended. It was revived only in 1980, with Vicar General Father Joseph Qian Weimin presiding over the first Mass at the Cathedral on Dec. 25, 1980. In 1982, the open Church authorities redraw boundaries of the dioceses in Jiangsu province. The Prefectures Apostolic of Yangzhou and Haizhou were placed under Nanjing diocese.
Father Qian was the Bishop of Nanjing from 1981-1993. He was succeeded by Bishop Liu Yuanren, who was also the chairman of the Bishops' Conference of the Catholic Church in China until he died in 2005. Bishop Liu and the bishops' conference were not recognized by the Vatican.
Located at the subtropical region, Nanjing has a warm and wet climate. The annual precipitation is 1106.5mm while the average temperature of the year is 15.3 degree Celsius. The city is one of the "furnaces" in China as the temperature in summer reaches 40 degree Celsius in July and August.
With an urban population of over 8 million, Nanjing is the second largest commercial center in eastern China, after Shanghai. It has been ranked second in the evaluation of cities with most sustainable development potential in the Yangtze River Delta by the National Statistics Bureau.
Nanjing is an important industrial base of China. Petrochemical, information technology, car manufacturing and steel production are its four pillar industries. Together with industries of mechanical products, textiles, food and beverage industries, new construction materials and biopharmaceutical, there are nine major industries. More 2,000 downstream supporting industries are derived from them.
Nanjing, provincial capital of Jiangsu, is located at the southwest of the province. The downstream of the Yangtze River goes through the province from its southwest and at the southeast lies the river delta.
Nanjing is an ancient city and capital of six dynasties. Its prominence is reflected from its Chinese name "southern capital." Thus, Nanjing has always been a cultural center attracting intellectuals from all over the country. In Tang and Song dynasties, Nanjing was a place where poets gathered and composed poems reminiscent of its luxurious past; during the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the city was the official imperial examination center for the Jiangnan region, again acting as a hub where different thoughts and opinions converged and thrived.
Nanjing has one of the best theaters for Kunqu, one of China's oldest stage art. It also has professional opera troupes for the Yang, Yue (shaoxing), Xi and Jing (Chinese opera varieties) as well as Suzhou pingtan, spoken theater, and Puppet Theater.
Nanjing has some of the oldest and finest museums in China. Nanjing Museum, formerly known as National Central Museum under Kuomintang (KMT or the National Party's) rule, is the first modern museum and remains as one of the leading museums in China.
Gonsalo's martyrdom at Nagasaki with the other Christian missionaries is regarded as the most tragic and historic event for Catholicism in Japan
Calungsod and his companion Father Vitores baptized infants, children and adults, defying the risk of persecution and murder
Despite being an ordinary layman, Ruiz remained defiant while facing torture by the Japanese and died a brave martyr
He was the first Korean-born Catholic priest and is now the patron saint of Korea
The Cathedral of Good Shepherd in Singapore is a historic National Monument, but it also holds first-class relics of a French saint who brought Catholicism on the shores of city-state two centuries ago. Built in 1847, the Good Shepherd Cathedral is the oldest Catholic Church and mother church of all Catholic churches in Singapore.
This fabled church is also known by its Syriac name Mar Sleeva (Holy Cross) Church
Asian Catholics who cannot visit famous Our Lady of Lourdes shrine in France can revere miraculous Mother Mary at Velankanni shrine in India. The Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health is popularly known as “the Lourdes of the East” and holds the largest Catholic Church in Asia.
Mokama Marian shrine on the southern bank of Ganges River bears the legacy persecuted Nepali Catholics banished from their homeland to India for refusing to renounce their faith. Our Lady of Divine Grace Church at Mokama stands about 90 kilometers from Patna, the capital of eastern Indian state of Bihar. Mother Mary is popularly known as Mokama Mata (Mother of Mokama). The church was built to honor Mary in 1947.
Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica at Fort Kochi is one of the finest churches and a historic but also a landmark in Kerala state of southern India. Santa Cruz Church blends Indo-European and Gothic architectural style that draws tens of thousands of pilgrims and tourists every year. The cathedral is a great place of devotion and historic significance that survived colonial conquests and invasions to the city.
The shrine holds a three-meter-tall, white-stone carved statue Virgin Mary on the Tao Pao Mountain in the Diocese of Phan Thiet in southern Vietnam, about 1,600 kilometers from the national capital Hanoi.
The Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Urakami of Nagasaki is a witness of persecution of Christians from 17th to 19th centuries and deadly atomic bombing during the Second World War. This European-style, red-brick church continues to preserve some relics that survived the atomic bombing. Urakami cathedral, also known as St. Mary’s Cathedral, was almost destroyed when the atomic bomb was dropped on Aug. 9, 1945. The church stood about 500 meters from the hypocenter of atomic explosion. The devastation shattered and charred stone-made statues of saints, which were later preserved as relics along with the surviving head of Virgin Mary statue and one of the church’s original bells.
Our Lady of Akita Catholic Church is Yuzawadai is among the most famous churches in Japan. The church shot into global fame thanks to a wooden statue of Blessed Virgin Mary that wept 101 times and Marian apparitions to Japanese nun Sister Agnes Katsuko Sasagawa that miraculously healed her hearing impairment. Japanese wooden sculptor Saburo Wakasa from Akita city carved the now-famous miraculous statue of Virgin Mary in 1963.