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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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Diocese of Calicut

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Diocese of Calicut
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Calicut or Kozhikode is situated on the southwestern coast of India. The diocesan territory of 12, 505 square kilometers is bounded on the north by Kannur, on the east by Wayanad, on the south by Malappuram and on the west by the Arabian Sea. 

Calicut diocese came into existence on June 12, 1923, when Pope Pius XI created it with territory taken from the dioceses of Mangalore and Mysore. It covers six northern districts of Kerala, extending from Shoranur to Kasargod. Besides local people, the faith community it served comprised the descendants of Portuguese, Dutch, French and British settlers, Anglo- Indians, Konkani-speaking settlers from Goa and Mangalore to the north, Tamils who came east seeking job opportunities, tribals who were converted to Christianity, Dalits (people from the lower castes), Orthodox Christians accepted into the Catholic fold, Marthomites, Protestants and Latin Catholics who came from various other dioceses. In the ensuing years, the Syrian-rite Catholics from Travancore came and settled along the high ranges of the Western Ghats and the Malabar area. The diocese of Calicut welcomed and looked after them until Tellicherry diocese (now archdiocese) was established in 1954. 

Calicut diocese is one of the sufragan dioceses of Verapoly Archdiocese. 

Vasco da Gama landed at Kappad (16 kilometers north of Kozhikkod) in May 1498 as the leader of a trade mission. This marked the beginning of foreign domination in the east.

Language

Malayalam, English, Tamil and Konkani. 

Climate

The area has a humid climate with a hot season extending from March to May. The Southwest monsoon brings the main rainy season, from the beginning of June to September. The northeast monsoon extends from the second half of October through November. The average annual rainfall is 3,266 mm.

From December to March, practically no rain falls, and from October onward the temperature gradually increases to a peak in May of about 36° C.

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