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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Archdiocese of Bombay

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Archdiocese of Bombay
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With a land area of 10,103.4 square kilometers, the diocesan territory covers civil districts of Mumbai City, Mumbai Suburban, Thane and Raigad.

Bombay or Mumbai is the biggest city in the archdiocese, and in India too. Thane, Navi Mumbai and Raigad are other important towns in the territory.


The total population is 19,249,203. Bombay has a mix of many communities with native Marathis forming a substantial segment.


Marathi, English, Konkanni, Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam, Bengali and Gujarati are in use.


The Archdiocese of Bombay has been a Metropolitan See since the time it was elevated by Pope Leo XIII on September 1, 1886.

The ecclesiastical province of Bombay includes the suffragan dioceses of Nashik, Pune, and Vasai.
One hundred and twenty-five years ago in 1886 through a Concordat signed by the Holy See and Portugal and following that through Pope Leo XIII's Bull Humanae Salutis, Bombay (as it was then called) became an Archdiocese, with its own Archbishop.


Cities are managed by corporations. Villages and small towns are administered by panchayats and municipalities, respectively. These local bodies are elected.


Mumbai has an airport. The city also has a major port and is a major naval facility. It is considered one of the largest cities in the world in terms of population and size.


Annual per capita income is Rs 24,112 ($513) as of November 2009. Mumbai is considered the financial center of the Indian economy. The diocesan area is known for its fishing, ship building, nuclear power plants and naval bases.


Government and private operators provide extensive telecommunication facilities in the diocesan area, which is also well-covered by local cable TV networks.


Literacy rate is 82.75 percent.

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