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 Vijayawada

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Diocese of Vijayawada
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In a land area of 8,734 square kilometers, the diocesan territory covers civil district of Krishna. Vijayawada is the biggest city in the diocese. Machilipatnam is an important town in the diocese.


In Vijayawada diocese, the population is 4,730,650 at end of 2017. (The population of the whole country is about 20 million). Most residents are ethnic Telegus.


Telegu, English and Urdu are the languages used in the diocesan territory.


The diocese of Vijayawada comprised in the beginning the whole of Krishna and West Godavari districts and the taluks of Amalapuram, Kothapeta, Razole and Mummidivaram in East Godavari district in Andhra Pradesh.

This territory was separated from Hyderabad and made a "Missio sui Juris" by a brief of the Sacred Congregation of Propaganda Fide, dated Jan. 10, 1933, and was elevated to a diocese on April 23, 1937.

The diocese of Eluru was bifurcated from Vijayawada on Feb. 26, 1977.


The towns are managed by municipalities. The villages and small towns are administered by elected local bodies called panchayats.


The diocesan area is well connected in terms of transport infrastructure by roads and railways. The nearest airport is in Hyderabad city.


Nearly Rs 22,874 ($468) is the per capital income in the diocesan territory as of July 2009. Farming especially paddy, tobacco cultivation, is done here.


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


Nearly 68.85 per cent is the literacy rate in the diocesan territory.

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