In a land area of 11,919.7 square kilometers, the diocesan territory covers the whole Tianjin Muncipality. It includes six city districts, six rural districts, one new coastal district and three counties. Currently, it has two elderly bishops, 36 priests and 45 religious brothers and sisters, as well as four seminarians studying at the seminaries in Beijing and Shenyang. It also runs one elderly home established in 2006, one clinic and one kindergarten. The Beiyang Hospital was established in 2004. There are 35 churches and 42 missionary points. The Catholic population is about 100,000.
As of 2009, Tianjin has a residential population of 10.43 million while registered population was 9.39 million. Among them, 3.76 millions are farming population and the city population is around 4.84 million.
Mandarin but in heavy accent of Tianjin dialect is spoken in the diocesan territory.
Tianjin was originally under the Vicariate Apostolic of Coastal Chi-Li (Ce-Li Marittimo), which was erected in April 27, 1912. The name of Vicariate Apostolic of Coastal Chi-li was changed into Vicariate Apostolic of Tientsin (Tianjin) in 1924. It was elevated to a diocese in April 11, 1946.
The opening of the Grand Canal of China during the Sui Dynasty prompted the development of Tianjin into a trading center. Until 1404, Tianjin was called "Zhigu", or "Straight Port". Emperor Yongle renamed it into Tianjin, literally means "the Heavenly Ford", to indicate that the Emperor (son of heaven) forded the river at that point.
The Treaties of Tianjin that were signed at the end of the Second Opium War in 1858, opened Tianjin to foreign trade. Between 1895 and 1900, foreign countries established self-contained concessions in Tianjin, each with its own prisons, schools, barracks and hospitals. These nations left many architectural mementos of their rule, notably churches and thousands of villas.
The presence of foreign influence in Tianjin was not always peaceful; one of the most serious violent incidents that took place was the Tianjin Church Incident. In June 1870, the orphanage hold by the Wanghailou Church, Our Lady of Victories, in Tianjin, built by French Roman Catholic missionaries, was accused of the kidnapping and brainwashing of Chinese children. On June 21, the magistrate of Tianjin County initiated a showdown at the church that developed into violent clashes between Christians and non-Christian Tianjin residents. The furious protestors eventually burned down Wanghailou Church and the nearby French consulate and killed eighteen foreigners including ten French nuns, the French consul, and merchants. Foreign nations complained to the Qing government, which was forced to pay compensation for the incident.
Tianjin was established as a municipality of China in 1927.
The first city-wide tramway system in China was opened in Tianjin in 1906. As for 2004, there were 402 bus lines in the city. In 1984, the city commenced the second metro service in China. It was in use until 2001 when service was suspended for reconstruction. The new metro, called the Line 1, was re-opened in 2006 and several other lines are under construction now. The city also runs a light railway line, the Binhai Mass Transit Line. It runs between downtown Tianjin and the coastal Tianjin Economic Development Area.
The Tianjin Railway Station is locally called the 'East Station', due to its geographical position. In January 2007 the station began another long-term restructuring project to modernize the facility. The North Station and West Station are also major stations.
The Beijing-Tianjin High Speed Rail was completed in 2008. Now, traveling time between the two cities is shortened to 30 minutes. The Jingshan Railway (from Beijing to Shanhai Pass), the Jinpu Railway (from Tianjin to Nanjing), the Jinji Railway (from Tianjin urban area to Ji County) and the Jinba Railway ( from Tianjin to Hebei) pass through Tianjin.
There are seven expressways and six national highways passing through Tianjin.
Tianjin possesses a semi-moist continental monsoon climate as it is greatly influenced by the Bohai Sea. Its four seasons are clearly divided seasons. It is hottest in July and coldest in January. Annual precipitation is not much and does not fall evenly in the area. It is windy in spring with occasionally sandstorm. Summer is hot and often rainy. Autumn is cool with a mild and pleasant temperature, while winter is very cold sometimes.
Tianjin is an important city for heavy industry, with machinery and electrical equipments' production being the biggest. It also has textile, inorganic chemistry, metallurgical industry and petroleum industry. The city is also an important production and research base of micro and mini computers.
Tianjin is located along the coast of Bohai Gulf in northern China. As a dual-core city, Tianjin is divided into the old city and the Binhai New Area. The municipality is surrounded by Hebei in all directions except for the sea. It is bordered by Beijing to the northwest. It lies at the northern end of the Grand Canal of China, which connects the Yellow River and the Yangtze River. The municipality is generally a flatland which is swampy near the coast but hilly in the northern part.
In early 1990s, there were nearly 12,000 schools for 1.90 million students in Tianjin. The rate of school attendance among all school-agers reached 99.9%, and the rate of illiterates among young people dropped to less than 0.1%. Major universities include Nankai University, Tianjin University and Tianjin Normal University.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception in Seria is a small church on the western Belait district of Brunei, but it shot into fame thanks to the nation’s most famous Catholic – late Cardinal Cornelius Sim. It is also the second of three churches in Brunei dedicated to Virgin Mary. In fact, Mary has a prominent place not only in Christianity, but also in Islam, the dominant faith in Brunei. Holy Quran mentions Mary seventy times and reveres her as the greatest woman to have ever lived.