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 Ramanathapuram

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Diocese of Ramanathapuram
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The diocesan territory stretches over 28,490 square kilometers and covers the civil districts of Coimbatore, Erode, Karur and Tirupur in the state of Tamil Nadu. Ramanathapuram is the biggest city in the diocese with more than 1 million people. Erode and Tirupur are other important towns in the diocese.


In Ramanathapuram diocese, the population was 61,978. Tamilians and Malayalees form the majority groups in the diocese.


Tamil, Malayalam, English, Kannada and Telegu are the languages spoken in the territory.


The bifurcation of the diocese of Trichur and the erection the diocese of Palaghat were on June 20, 1974. The Holy See erected a new eparchy of Ramanathapuram for the Syro-Malabar Catholics in the civil districts of Coimbatore, Erode, Karur and Tirupur in Tamil Nadu on Jan. 18, 2010.

The faithful in this area are the migrants from Kerala. Coimbatore is well known for its textiles and is an industrial area. It is the second biggest city of Tamil Nadu.

There are three forane districts in the eparchy --  Ramanathapuram, Gandhipuram and Erode.

Ramanathapuram is the oldest Syro-Malabar Catholic center at Coimbatore and is the biggest parish.


Coimbatore city is administered by a corporation headed by an elected mayor and council. The towns are managed by municipalities. The villages and small towns are administered by elected local bodies called panchayats.


The region is well connected by railways and roads. Coimbatore has its own airport.


The per capita income in the diocesan territory is Rs 23,515 ($528) as of April 2008. Textiles, farming, automobile-manufacturing and engineering are the major industries in the diocese. Cash crops such as cashew nuts, coffee, tea and spices are widely produced in the diocesan area.


Government and private operators provide extensive telecommunication facilities in the diocesan territory. The diocese is well connected by local cable TV networks.

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