In a land area of 4,104 square kilometers, the diocesan territory covers Nagasaki prefecture.
In the diocesan territory, the population is 1,377,780 at the end of 2016. Most of them are ethnic Japanese. There are also 10,979 non-Japanese people, according to the Immigration Bureau of Japan.
The territory also has many languages/dialects.
The origins of the diocese of Nagasaki date to1866 when Bishop Bernard-Thadée Petitjean, M.E.P., was appointed to head the vicariate apostolic of Japan, which had been entrusted to the Paris Foreign Mission Society. In 1876, when the vicariate apostolic of Japan was divided into northern and southern apostolic vicariates, Nagasaki became part of the Southern vicariate apostolic, which had jurisdiction over the Kyushu, Chugoku, and Kinki regions. In 1888, when the Central Japan vicariate apostolic was established, the three regions of Shikoku, Chugoku, and Kinki were committed to it, and on June 15, 1891 the diocese of Nagasaki was founded with the jurisdiction of all of Kyushu.
On July 16, 1927, the diocese of Nagasaki became the first diocese under a Japanese ordinary, and, except for Nagasaki prefecture, the rest of Kyushu was entrusted to the diocese of Fukuoka and the prefecture apostolic of Kagoshima. Father Kyunosuke Hayasaka was appointed ordinary and in the same year became the first Japanese to be consecrated bishop. With the resignation of Bishop Hayasaka in 1937, Father Aijiro Yamaguchi became the ordinary and was ordained bishop. On May 4, 1959, the diocese of Nagasaki was elevated to the rank of archdiocese, and Bishop Yamaguchi was appointed the first archbishop of Nagasaki.
With the resignation of Bishop Yamaguchi, Bishop Asajiro Satowaki of Kagoshima was appointed to succeed him on Dec. 19, 1968. He was installed as archbishop of Nagasaki the following March 16.
On Nov. 10, 1977, Father Hisajiro Matsunaga was appointed auxiliary bishop. He was consecrated bishop on Feb. 5 of the following year. On Jan. 15, 1991, Bishop Matsunaga was installed as bishop of Fukuoka.
On June 30, 1979, Archbishop Satowaki was created the third Japanese cardinal.
On Feb. 8, 1990, Cardinal Satowaki resigned as archbishop and Bishop Kaname Shimamoto, bishop of Urawa, was appointed his successor. He was installed on May 8 of the same year.
Sulpician Father Mitsuaki Takami, appointed auxiliary bishop of Nagasaki by Pope John Paul II on Feb. 7, 2002, was ordained bishop in Nagasaki.
Archbishop Shimamoto died Aug. 31, 2002. On October 17, 2003, Pope John Paul II appointed Auxiliary Bishop Takami as the archbishop of Nagasaki. Archbishop-elect Takami was installed on Dec. 14, 2003.
Airplanes, railways, buses and ships are modes of transportation in the area.
Throughout Japan, literacy is 99 percent according to Central Intelligence Agency, US, in 2010.
Gonsalo's martyrdom at Nagasaki with the other Christian missionaries is regarded as the most tragic and historic event for Catholicism in Japan
Calungsod and his companion Father Vitores baptized infants, children and adults, defying the risk of persecution and murder
Despite being an ordinary layman, Ruiz remained defiant while facing torture by the Japanese and died a brave martyr
He was the first Korean-born Catholic priest and is now the patron saint of Korea
This fabled church is also known by its Syriac name Mar Sleeva (Holy Cross) Church
Asian Catholics who cannot visit famous Our Lady of Lourdes shrine in France can revere miraculous Mother Mary at Velankanni shrine in India. The Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health is popularly known as “the Lourdes of the East” and holds the largest Catholic Church in Asia.
Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica at Fort Kochi is one of the finest churches and a historic but also a landmark in Kerala state of southern India. Santa Cruz Church blends Indo-European and Gothic architectural style that draws tens of thousands of pilgrims and tourists every year. The cathedral is a great place of devotion and historic significance that survived colonial conquests and invasions to the city.
Mokama Marian shrine on the southern bank of Ganges River bears the legacy persecuted Nepali Catholics banished from their homeland to India for refusing to renounce their faith. Our Lady of Divine Grace Church at Mokama stands about 90 kilometers from Patna, the capital of eastern Indian state of Bihar. Mother Mary is popularly known as Mokama Mata (Mother of Mokama). The church was built to honor Mary in 1947.
The shrine holds a three-meter-tall, white-stone carved statue Virgin Mary on the Tao Pao Mountain in the Diocese of Phan Thiet in southern Vietnam, about 1,600 kilometers from the national capital Hanoi.
The Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Urakami of Nagasaki is a witness of persecution of Christians from 17th to 19th centuries and deadly atomic bombing during the Second World War. This European-style, red-brick church continues to preserve some relics that survived the atomic bombing. Urakami cathedral, also known as St. Mary’s Cathedral, was almost destroyed when the atomic bomb was dropped on Aug. 9, 1945. The church stood about 500 meters from the hypocenter of atomic explosion. The devastation shattered and charred stone-made statues of saints, which were later preserved as relics along with the surviving head of Virgin Mary statue and one of the church’s original bells.
Our Lady of Akita Catholic Church is Yuzawadai is among the most famous churches in Japan. The church shot into global fame thanks to a wooden statue of Blessed Virgin Mary that wept 101 times and Marian apparitions to Japanese nun Sister Agnes Katsuko Sasagawa that miraculously healed her hearing impairment. Japanese wooden sculptor Saburo Wakasa from Akita city carved the now-famous miraculous statue of Virgin Mary in 1963.
The Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception in Seria is a small church on the western Belait district of Brunei, but it shot into fame thanks to the nation’s most famous Catholic – late Cardinal Cornelius Sim. It is also the second of three churches in Brunei dedicated to Virgin Mary. In fact, Mary has a prominent place not only in Christianity, but also in Islam, the dominant faith in Brunei. Holy Quran mentions Mary seventy times and reveres her as the greatest woman to have ever lived.