The Roman Catholic diocese of Kottapuram is the suffragan of the archdiocese of Verapoly. The diocese of Kottapuram was established by Pope John Paul II on July 3, 1987, from the metropolitan archdiocese of Verapoly. The diocese of Kottapuram was officially inaugurated on Oct. 4, 1987. Bishop Francis Kallarakal was the first bishop of the diocese.
This diocese is located in the city of Kottapuram and spread across the civil districts of Ernakulum, Thrissur, Malappuram and Palakkad in Kerala state and covers an area of 3,000 square kilometers. The diocese is headquartered at Kottapuram, near the ancient city of Cranganore (the anglicized name of Kodungallur).
This place owes its name to a fort constructed by the Portuguese in 1503. Kodungallur/Cranganore was a famous seaport of the east since ancient times. To the Greeks and Romans, Cranganore was known as Muziris. It was one of the thriving earliest Christian settlements of Malabar.
According to tradition, St. Thomas the apostle landed and preached the Gospel here in 52 AD. He established a Church which is believed to be the first Christian church in India. Since then it was a prominent Christian centre. The existence of a thriving Christian community attracted the attention of the bishops from Persia who chose this place as the center of their activities. By the middle of 14th century, the fame of the seaport faded into oblivion.
Malayalam, English and Konkani are spoken in the diocesan territory.
This area is well connected with roads. The nearest railway station is Irinjalakuda which is about 15 kilometers away. The nearest airport is Cochin International Airport which is about 38 kilometers away.
The diocesan territory has a pleasant climate. Humid and oppressively hot from March to May. South-western monsoon lashes the region from June to September and the north-eastern monsoon extends from October to November. The winter season is from December to February. The maximum temperature is in May and comes up to 35 degress Celsius. The average annual rainfall is 310 cm.
The economy of Kottapuram diocese is mainly based on agriculture and fisheries. Power loom textile, tile, timber and coir are the major industries here.
The level of telecommunications infrastructure is average. Almost everyone has a mobile phone in town areas. Most of the homes have television, telephone and internet. In rural areas access to modern communication is limited.
Literacy rate in the diocesan territory is 92.56 percent, higher than the national average of 59.5 percent.
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
The Cathedral of Good Shepherd in Singapore is a historic National Monument, but it also holds first-class relics of a French saint who brought Catholicism on the shores of city-state two centuries ago. Built in 1847, the Good Shepherd Cathedral is the oldest Catholic Church and mother church of all Catholic churches in Singapore.
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.
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.
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.
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.