The diocese has a land area of 45,125 square kilometers, covering 10 civil districts -- Bahraich, Balrampur, Barbanki, Gonda, Hardoi, Kheri, Lucknow, Shravasthinagar, Sitapur and Unnao in northern state of Uttar Pradesh. Lucknow is the biggest city in the diocese.
In Lucknow diocese, the population is 22,985,000 at end of 2016.
Hindi, Urdu, Awadhi and English are the main languages used.
The diocese of Lucknow owes its origin to those courageous and selfless missionaries, especially Capuchin Fathers from Italy, who came here 400 years ago. Historical documents prove the existence of European Christian scholars and priests, initially the Jesuits, in the court of Emperor Akbar as early as the 16th century. This Christian presence in the vast Gangetic plain under the umbrella of the "Mughal Mission" and later on the "Tibetan Mission" was the beginning of Christianity in northern India.
There were pockets of Christianity in many places in the empire of Akbar and the later Moghuls, which increased with the advent of the British in India in the subsequent centuries.
On Jan. 12, 1940, the huge diocese of Allahabad was divided to create the Diocese of Lucknow, based in Lucknow, at that time capital of the Central Provinces. Both dioceses were under the care of missionaries from the Bologna Capuchin province in Italy. However, Italy being an ally of Germany in World War II, the British administration interned all these missionaries in camps. Hence the nomination of the first Bishop of Lucknow was delayed until after the war.
Capuchin Father Albert Conrad De Vito was appointed the first Bishop of Lucknow on Dec. 12, 1946, and he took possession of the diocese on Feb. 16, 1947. Bishop Angelo Poli of Allahabad was the administrator of the diocese during the intervening seven years.
The diocese of Lucknow comprised 14 districts of Uttar Pradesh, covering an area of 93,000 square kilometers. On Feb. 4, 1989, this large diocese was divided to form the new diocese of Bareilly, covering six districts.
Bishop Albert Conrad De Vito passed away suddenly in 1970 during a home visit to Italy, and Father Cecil de Sa, Vicar General of Bhopal, was appointed the first Indian Bishop of Lucknow. In 1983, Bishop de Sa was transferred to become Archbishop of Agra, and Bishop Alan de Lastic, Auxiliary Bishop of Calcutta until then, was appointed the new Bishop of Lucknow.
In January 1991, Bishop de Lastic was made Archbishop of Delhi, and Father Albert D'Souza, a priest of Lucknow diocese, was appointed the fourth Bishop of Lucknow. Bishop D'Souza was made Archbishop of Agra in March 2007.
On Nov. 8, 2007, Pope Benedict XVI, transferred Bishop Gerald John Mathias, a priest of Lucknow diocese who had been serving as Bishop of Simla-Chandigarh diocese since 2000, to become the fifth Bishop of Lucknow . He was installed on Jan. 4, 2008.
Cities are managed by corporations. Villages and small towns are administered by panchayat and municipalities, respectively. These local bodies are elected.
The diocesan area is well-connected by roads and railway. Lucknow city has an airport.
Annual per capita income is Rs 16,060 ($356) as of March 2011. Farming is the main occupation with wheat, rice, sugarcane and potatoes the primary crops. The diocesan territory also houses leather industry units.
Government and private operators provide extensive telecommunication facilities in the diocesan area. The diocese is well-served by local cable TV networks.
Nearly 47.26 percent literacy rate.
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.