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 Muvattupuzha

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Eparchy of Muvattupuzha
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The Muvattupuzha diocese belongs to the Syro Malankara Catholic Church. The eparchy of Muvattupuzha comprises civil districts of Ernakulam, Thrissur and Palakkad in Kerala state and Coimbatore, Tirupur, Erode and Karur in Tamil Nadu state.


Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada and English are in use.


On June 11, 1932, Pope Pius XI established the Syro-Malankara hierarchy for the reunited community and erected the archeparchy of Trivandrum with the eparchy of Thiruvalla as its suffragan.

Bishop Geevarghese Mar Timotheos took initiatives to bifurcate the eparchy of Thiruvalla and to erect the new eparchy of Muvattupuzha. Pope John Paul II appointed Reverent Thomas Mar Koorilos as its first bishop. He was installed on Feb. 21, 2003. When he was appointed as the metropolitan archbishop of Thiruvalla in 2007, His Beatitude Moran Baselios Cleemis appointed Msgr. John Varghese Easwarankudiyil as the administrator of the eparchy. On Jan. 18, 2008, Father Abraham Kackanatt was appointed as the new metropolitan of the eparchy. He was consecrated bishop on Feb. 9, 2008, and he assumed the episcopal name Abraham Mar Julios.


The territory is well connected with roads and railway. The nearest airport is about 34 kilometers away from the headquarters.


Muvattupuzha diocese has a pleasant 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 350 cm.


The economy of Muvattupuzha diocese is mainly based on agriculture and small scale industries. Major industries include matchbox and pulp units and saw mills.


The name Muvattupuzha means the land where three rivers merge. Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity are practiced here.

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