Taipei archdiocese is situated at the northern part of Taiwan, which includes Taipei City, Keelung City, Taipei and Ilan counties. It covers a total area of 4,605 square kilometers.
Spanish missionaries arrived Taiwan in 1626 when Taiwan was part of Fujian Apostolic Vicariate. However, it did not take root there. In 1883, Taiwan became part of Xiamen Apostolic Vicariate. Taiwan Apostolic Prefecture established in 1913 and ran by Spanish Dominicans.
In 1950, Taiwan split into 3 Apostolic Prefecture which are Taipei, Kaohsiung and Taichung. Substantial Church growth began since then after many priests, nuns and missioners left mainland China, following Kuomintang (Nationalist Party) members who retreated to Taiwan when the Communists took over the mainland in 1949.
To the east of Taipei is the Pacific Ocean, while to the north and west the Taiwan Strait. With an area of 278 square kilometers, Taipei has 12 administrative districts, namely Songshan, Zhongzheng, Datong, Wanhua, Wenshan, Nangang, Neihu, Shilin, Beitou, Zhongshan, Da'an and Xinyi, with Da'an the most densely populated while Shilin and Beitou the least.
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.
Taipei city is the capital of Taiwan. It is the political, economic and cultural centre of Taiwan. In 1945, the central government of China designated Taiwan as a province and Taipei became a provincial-level municipality. Taipei became the provincial capital of Taiwan in 1949 when the central government of China relocated to Taiwan. As at July, 2008, Taipei city has a population of 2,628,699.
Keelung City, originally named Jilong (hencoop) before 1875, has an area of 133 square kilometers. It is situated at the northernmost of Taiwan. It is surrounded by mountains on its east, south and west, and on its north the Keelung Harbour faces the Pacific Ocean which reaches downtown. Due to the inconvenience to travel to other area in the olden days because of the mountainous landscape, it has its own marine culture. Keelung City is the largest port in Taiwan. Keeling City has 7 administrative districts and 7 subsidiary islands. As at July, 2008, it has a population of 389,213.
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.