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 Palghat

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Diocese of Palghat
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Malayalam, English and Tamil are the languages used in the diocese.


The diocese of Palghat was established in 1974, bifurcating the then diocese of Trichur. The diocese encompasses Palakkad district of Kerala, and Coimbatore, Karur, and Erode districts of Tamil Nadu.

In 1974, Mar Joseph Irimpen was appointed as the first bishop of the diocese. Mar Joseph Irimpen retired as bishop in 1994. In 1996, Mar Jacob Manathodath was appointed bishop of Palghat and has been serving since then.


The climate of Palakkad is tropical. During dry weather, hot winds blow from the plains of Coimbatore through the Palakkad Ghat. Palakkad gets uniform rainfall as well.


Palakkad is one of the main granaries of Kerala and its economy is primarily agricultural. Agriculture engages more than 65 percent of the workers and 88.9 percent of the district's population is rural in nature. The proximity to Tamil Nadu has caused intermingling of Malayalam and Tamil cultures. This district is perhaps the foremost in fostering Carnatic music. Great musicians like Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar and Palakkad Mani Iyer hailed from this district.


Palakkad lies between north latitude 10° 46` and 10° 59` and east longitude 76° 28` and 76° 39` Revenue districts: Palakkad in Kerala, Coimbatore, Karur and Erode in Tamil Nadu.

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