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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Eparchy of Mavelikara

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Eparchy of Mavelikara
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The Mavelikara diocese belongs to the Syro Malankara Catholic Church. The eparchy of Mavelikara comprises civil districts of Alappuzha, Kollam and Pathanamthitta in Kerala state.

The diocesan headquarters is at Punnamoodu, near Mavelikkara, which 94 kilometers north east of Thiruvannathapuram, the state capital.


Malayalam, Tamil and English are in use in the territory.


Mavelikara is the sixth eparchy of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church and the first eparchy constituted by the decree of major archbishop Cyril Mar Baselios Catholicos on Jan. 1, 2007, and was inaugurated on Feb. 16, 2007. He appointed Bishop Joshua Mar Ignathios as the first metropolitan of the new eparchy. He was enthroned on Feb. 16, 2007.


The territory is well-connected with roads and railway. The nearest airport is at Thiruvananthapuram.


Mavelikara diocese has a warm climate. The rainy season (south west monsoon) begins in June and lasts up to September. The North West monsoon brings light rainfall from October to December. The average annual rainfall is about 229 cm. The maximum temperature is 35 degrees Celsius.


The economy of Mavelikara diocese is mainly based on agriculture and small-scale industries. Industries.


Mavelikara was once part of the principality of Onattukara and has been a center of religious harmony for several centuries. Mavelikara is one of the rare places in Kerala where one can find the statue of “Buddha in Seated Position,” dating back to the 9th century AD. Hindus are the majority in the area.

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