The diocese of Kaohsiung covers 5,721.8674 square kilometers and includes Kaohsiung City and the counties of Kaohsiung and Pingtung.
Kaohsiung used to be called "Takau" or "Takou" and both names were used in the historical records of the Ming (1368-1644 A.D.) and Qing (1644-1911 A.D.) dynasties. "Takau" means "bamboo forest" in the language of the Pingpu Tribe who used to live along the Kaohsiung harbor before the 15th century.
Mandarin Chinese is the official language of Taiwan. However, at least half the population prefer to speak Taiwanese at home, especially for those living the southern region. Taiwanese, or the "Minnan" dialect, originated from Fujian province of mainland China. Minnan means "south of the Min River." Many elderly people also understand Japanese as a result of the 1895-1945 occupation of Taiwan by Japan. Taiwan's 10 aboriginal tribes each have its own language. These languages bear no relation at all to Chinese, and are generally regarded as Malayo Polynesian in origin.
Kaohsiung is an important hub for international transportation in the southern part of Taiwan. It is where the busiest container port and one of the two international airports of Taiwan locate.
Kaohsiung city covers 153.6 square kilometers and has a population of 1,523,649 as of July 2008. There are 21 parishes in the city.
Kaohsuing county covers 2,793 square kilometers and has a population of 1,243,000 as of July 2008. The 15 parishes there cover one city, 23 townships and one town in the county.
Pingtung county covers 2,776 square kilometers and has a population of 886,514 as of July. 2008. It comprises one city, three towns and 29 townships, and has 21 parishes.
A famous place in the county is Wanchin, Taiwans's only Catholic village. Wanchin marks the earliest introduction of Catholicism in Taiwan which was in 2009 exactly 150 years ago. Immaculate Conception Minor Basilica (PHOTO ON TOP)in Wanchin is the oldest church in Taiwan. The parish belongs to Kaohsiung diocese, which is based 290 kilometers south of Taipei.
The church was completed in 1863. In 1984, Pope John Paul II elevated it to the status of minor basilica, a church that enjoys special privileges. That same year, the Ministry of the Interior classified the building as a grade-three historical monument. The ministry thereby bears 60 percent of maintenance costs, while the Catholic Church covers the rest. Kaohsiung is located at the latitude of 22° 30´N, characterized by the subtropical monsoon climate. The city has an average temperature of 18.6 degrees Celsius in February while the highest average is 28.7 degrees Celsius in June. It has a dry winter but receives the most precipitation of 569.1mm in July. According to the website of the city government, the industry of Kaohsiung is transforming into a precision industry featuring high technology, automation, high added value and low pollution. Kaohsiung also plays an important role in the world's pelagic fishery industry.
The building facade was painted snow white during the June 2001 renovation and busloads of tourists have since made it a famous tourist site. Built in an architectural style reminiscent of a Spanish castle, it is a favorite photography venue for wedding couples and companies
Kaohsiung is located at the latitude of 22° 30´N, characterized by the subtropical monsoon climate. The city has an average temperature of 18.6 degrees Celsius in February while the highest average is 28.7 degrees Celsius in June. It has a dry winter but receives the most precipitation of 569.1mm in July.
According to the website of the city government, the industry of Kaohsiung is transforming into a precision industry featuring high technology, automation, high added value and low pollution. Kaohsiung also plays an important role in the world's pelagic fishery industry.
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.