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 Kanjirapally

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Diocese of Kanjirapally
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In a land area of 1, 980 square kilometers, the diocesan territory covers rural and mountainous regions in the civil districts of Kottayam, Iudkki and Pathanamthitta in the state of Kerala.


The total population of the diocesan territory is 1,425,824 (as per the Census of 2016).

Kanjirapally has been a multi-ethnic and multi religious town. Christians forms the largest community followed by Hindus and Muslims.


Malayalam, English & Tamil are in use in the diocesan territory.


The territory is well connected with roads. The district has daily train services to all major cities of the country. The nearest airport is the Cochin International Airport which is nearly 70 kilometers from the diocesan headquarters.


The diocesan territory has a pleasant climate. The most important rainy season is during the southwest monsoon which sets in the first week of June and extends up to September. The northeast monsoon extends from the second half of October till November. The temperature in this region is comparatively low considering other parts of Kerala. The maximum temperature in May comes to 34 degrees Celsius.


The economy of Kanjirapally is mainly based on agriculture. Rubber is the main cash crop. Coconuts, coca, pepper, vanilla and coffee are other major cultivations. Major industries are related to the processing of rubber latex and manufacturing of rubber products. The majority of Christians in the diocese are financially well off.


The level of telecommunications infrastructure is high. Almost everyone has a mobile phone. Most of the homes have television, telephone and internet. In rural areas access to internet is limited.


Literacy rate in the diocesan territory is 95.90 percent.


Kottayam district consists of two revenue divisions Kottayam and Palai. There are five taluks in the district and Kanjirapally is one among them.

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