Phan Thiet diocese's territory covers the whole civil province of Binh Thuan with 7,799.4 square kilometers. The southern diocese borders Nha Trang diocese on the north, Da Lat diocese on the west, provinces of Ba Ria and Dong Nai on the south and sea on the east.
The country's second youngest diocese was carved out of Nha Trang diocese on Jan. 30, 1975. It belongs to the Ecclesiastical Province of Ho Chi Minh City.
Diocesan website: www.gpphanthiet.com
The population in the diocesan territory is 1,207,389 at the end of 2016. Population density is 155 people per one square kilometer. Ethnic Kinh or majority Vietnamese dominates among local ethnic groups of Cham, Ma Lam, Nung, Raglay, K'hor, Tay and others.
Brief History As early as the middle of the 17th century, foreign Jesuits introduced the Good News to local people. Local Catholics suffered from religious persecution executed by soldiers in the 19th century. Many priests, nuns and laypeople died for their Catholic faith.
Phan Thiet diocese was established on Jan. 30, 1975. Three months earlier northern communist forces had taken control of South Vietnam. The diocese then had 52 priests serving 68,110 Catholics.
Parishes of Kim Ngoc and Tam Hung that were established in the 18th century are the oldest parishes in the diocese.
The government has been eased its religious policies in recent years, so many churches have been built in local parishes. The local Church also has few difficulties in priestly ordination and reshuffles.
The diocese's top priority is to evangelize local people, especially ethnic groups, through health care, education and charitable activities.
The diocese's patron is Mary, Mother of God, observed on January 1.
Main transport in the diocese includes buses, motorbikes, boats and trains.
The diocese has two seasons. The rainy season lasts from May to October and the dry season lasts from November to April.
The yearly average temperature of the region is 26.5-27.5 degrees Celsius and the average annual rainfall is 800-1,600 millimeters.
Mui Ne is a popular tropical beach close to Phan Thiet city. Strong sea breezes make it very popular for kite surfing and windsurfing. Mui Ne attracts many domestic and foreign visitors annually.
Growing rice and fruit trees, and catching fish are popular among local people. The province is known for the fruit Thanh Long or Green dragon and Nuoc Mam or fish sauce that are exported to foreign countries.
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.