The Diocese of San Jose lies in the northern part of Nueva Ecija. Evangelized by the Agustinian missionaries, Nueva Ecija was created as a province in 1705 by Spanish Governor Fausto Cruzal. The name of the province is attributed to Governor Cruzal, who chose this name after his hometown Ecija in Seville, Spain.
The Franciscan Fathers took over from the Agustinians and continued the work of evangelization. Later on, the diocesan clergy, helped by the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, carried on the apostolate.
In 2017, population is around 907,510.
The Diocese of San Jose, Nueva Ecija, was created on Feb. 16, 1984 by Pope John Paul II and canonically erected on July 14, 1984. Its territory was taken from the Diocese of Cabanatuan which at the same time of the division comprised the entire province of Nueva Ecija.
Sixteen parishes, out of 41 parishes of the Diocese of Cabanatuan were adjudicated to the Diocese of San Jose, Nueva Ecija. 80 percent of the people are Roman Catholics and the rest of 20 percent are members of different sects and denominations.
Bishop Florentino F. Cinense, DD, was appointed the diocese's first residential bishop on July 14, 1984. When appointed co-adjutor bishop of Tarlac, he remained as Apostolic Administrator of San Jose, until the appointment of his successor Bishop Leo M. Drona, SDB, DD, on July 25, 1987. Bishop Leo M. Drona had been a Salesian of Don Bosco for twenty nine-years prior to his Episcopal appointment. He is the first Filipino Salesian priest as well as the first Filipino Salesian Bishop. In June 2004, Bishop Drona was transferred to the Diocese of San Pablo, Laguna as its third bishop. He was succeeded by Bishop Mylo Hubert C. Vergara who was installed as the third bishop of the Diocese of San Jose de Nueva Ecija on May 14, 2005.
On July 14, 2009, the diocese will celebrate its 25th Silver Jubilee. A Year-long celebration is being prepared. For more information please check the website.
The Diocese of San Jose is located approximately 160 kilometers north of Manila. It is bounded by the Sierra Madre mountains in the east and the Caraballo Mountain ranges in the north.
The people of San Jose are mostly tenant-farmers. Agricultural in nature, the diocese's major source of income come from producing rice, corn, sugar cane, coconut, mongo, onions, fruits and vegetables.
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.