With a land area of 146, 680 square kilometers, Ajmer diocese covers 12 civil districts in Rajasthan state: Ajmer, Baran, Barmer, Bundi, Jaisalmer, Jhalor, Jhalawar, Jhodhpur, Kota, Pali, Sirohi, and Tonk.
Most people live in villages and work as agricultural laborers.
Hindi, Rajasthani and English are spoken.
A large portion of Agra diocese, known as the Rajasthan Mission, was entrusted to the Capuchins of Paris province in July 1890. The mission was made an apostolic prefecture of Rajputana on March 17, 1892. Father Betram was appointed its first prefect the following month.
On May 22, 1913, the prefecture was elevated to a diocese and Capuchin Father Fortunatus Henri Caumont, prefect at the time, was appointed the first bishop of Ajmer. The region that the diocese covered in the central state of Madhya Pradesh was detached on March 11, 1935, to form the prefecture apostolic of Indore.
Ajmer was handed over to the diocesan clergy on May 9, 1949, and in 1955 it was renamed Ajmer-Jaipur diocese. After ceding territory to the new archdiocese of Bhopal in 1963, Ajmer and Jaipur gave birth to Udaipur diocese in 1984. On July 20, 2005, the diocese was split into Ajmer and Jaipur dioceses.
The diocesan patrons are Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception and Saint Francis of Assisi.
The diocese is running educational institutions, healthcare centers and other social welfare programs. In the area of pastoral care, it prioritizes formation of Small Christian Communities and promotes Charismatic Renewal programs.
A few local Catholics live in villages. The urban parishes have mostly Catholic migrants who are employed in the government and private sectors.
Temperatures can reach 49° C in the summer and drop to 2° C in winter.
Bajra, maize, wheat, rice, millet and cotton are major agricultural products.
Besides agriculture and related food production, textiles, cement and tourism are the other major industries. The region also has mineral deposits, particularly zinc, gypsum and silver ore.
The Aravali Hills, one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world, run through the diocese, which also extends into the Thar desert, the only desert in South Asia. The diocese's northwestern region mostly consists of sand dunes, and on the west it touches the international boundary of Pakistan. The eastern region has large fertile areas. The Chambal and Banas are the major rivers.
A number of universities are located here, including Maharshi Dayanand Sarawasti University, Jai Narayan Vyas University in Jodhpur and Kota Open University.
Rajasthan means place (sthan) of kings (raja). The land is known for its chivalric heritage, including ancient forts and superb palaces.
More than half of India's heritage hotels are located in Rajasthan. Major tourist attractions include: the Dargah of Ajmer, Sam Sand Dunes and the desert national park in Jaisalmer, the fort and palace in Jodhpur, the Chambal garden in Kota and the temples in Mount Abu.
The desert festival in Jaisalmer, the Pushkar Fair and the Urs at Ajmer Sharif are some of the important regular cultural events.
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.