Dioceses of India
Total: 1

Diocese of Calicut

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Rite: Latin
Region : Kerala
Patron: St. Francis Xavier
Founded: 12 June 1923
Province: Verapoly
Status: Diocese
Total area: 12,505 Sq kms
Total Population : 92,45,689
Catholics Total: 50,201
Diocesan Priests: 52
Religious Priests: 70
Religious Sisters: 709
Minor Seminarians: 0
Major Seminarians: 0

Diocese of Calicut at a Glance

Ecclesiastical Institutions

Parishes & Substations : 69Retreat Centres: 0
Major Seminaries : 0Diocesan Minor Seminaries: 0
Congregation Minor Seminaries: 0Religious Formation Houses : 0
Men Religious Houses: 12Women Religious Houses: 58

Charitable Institutions

Hospitals : 04Dispensaries / Clinics / Health Centres: 05
Orphanages : 06Homes for Aged & Destitute : 07
Schools for Physically Challenged: 0Homes for Physically Challenged : 0
Crèches: 0Boarding Houses : 23
Counselling Centres : 0De-addiction Centre: 0
Social Centres : 0HIV / AIDS Centre: 0

Educational Institutions

Professional Colleges : 26Degree Colleges: 1
Parallel Colleges : 44Vocational / Technical Training Centres : 0
Higher Secondary / Junior Colleges : 12High Schools : 18
Upper Primary Schools: 27Lower Primary Schools:38
Nurseries / Pre-Primary Schools :36Presses & Media Centres : 0


Calicut diocese came into existence on 12th June 1923. Established by Holy Father Pope Pius XI of happy memory separating Malabar from the Diocese of Mangalore and Wayanad from the Diocese of Mysore, it was spread out into the six Districts of North Kerala extending from Shoranur to Kasargod. People of different culture, language and heredity, the descendants of Europeans, Portuguese, Dutch, French and British, Anglo- Indians, Konkani speaking settlers from Goa and Mangalore, Tamilians who came in seeking job opportunities, Tribals who were converted to Christianity, Dalit Christians, natives of the place, orthodox Christians who were accepted into the Catholic fold, Marthomites, Protestants and Latin Catholics who came from other dioceses belonged to this diocese. The period from 1926 saw the immigration of Syrian Catholics from Travancore and they settled down along the high ranges of the western ghats and its vallies along the Malabar area. They were welcomed and looked after by the Diocese of Calicut till the formation of the Diocese of Tellicherry in the year 1954. The Diocesan priests and the Jesuit fathers in Calicut Diocese rendered valuable and whole hearted support to these Syrian Catholics to acquire land at low costs and saw to their all around development in spiritual, social, educational, cultural and financial conditions. Health care and free medical facilities were made available to these people who were attacked by malaria and other contagious diseases. In the fields of education, culture, social commitment and inter-religious dialogue Calicut Diocese holds high influence in the city of Calicut, the cultural centre and capital of North Kerala.

Though the Diocese was erected as the 25th Diocese in India, and has completed just 81 years Catholic Church in Malabar has a long history of about 500 years. There are no evidences to show that a catholic community lived in North Malabar before that. When Vasco-De-Gama landed in Kappad beach in Calicut on 20th May 1498. There was with him Rev. Fr. Pedro De Covilam, a member of the Trinitarian Religious Order. While Vasco-Da-Gama was settling trade relationship with the Zamorin Raja of Kozhikode Rev Covilam did the work of Evangelization. It was recorded by a Co-traveller Alvaro Wehoe, in his diary. The historians like Fr. De Feroli had pointed out that the First missionary of Malabar Rev. Fr. Covilam died on July 31st 1498.

Along with Navy Captain Alvares Cabral there were eight (8) Franciscan Priests and eight (8) Diocesan priests and they landed in Calicut on 13th September 1500 . The Zamorin then reigning in Kozhikode gave permission to the Portuguese to build store houses along the shore and also allowed the missionaries to have evangelization in his territory. In Calicut the missionaries converted a Brahmin to Catholic religion giving him the name Michael De Sancta Maria. He was the first converted Catholic in Malabar. On 16th December 1500 about fifty (50) Portuguese men were got killed in a clash between the Portuguese and the Zamorins and their store house were destroyed. During this fight Rev. Fr. Gasper, Pedro Netto and the Masse were killed.

In the year 1501. under the leadership of Joao De Nova the Portuguese Naval Company reached Kannur. The Raja of Kolathiri(Kannur) gave them a warm reception and permitted the four missionaries who were in the group to do the work of evangelizaiton there. It was in the year 1501 that the first Catholic Church was built in Kannur in North Malabar. The records show that in the year 1504 four bishops of the Eastern Syrian Church who came along with the Portuguese from Persia offered sacrifices in this chapel.

The Portuguese Viceroy Francis Seseo De Almeida built the famous St. Angelo Fort in Kannur and along with it he got ready St. James Chapel inside the fort in the year 1505. There were 344 (three hundred and forty four) Catholics in Kannur in the year 1514. It was found recorded among the Archeological collection preserved in the Palace of Lisbon. In the year 1516 Alphonse -de- Albuqarque built a godown and a chapel on the shore of the Kallai river in Calicut. The vicar of this church was Rev. Fr. Diego Moroeas. Vettathuraja of Tanur gave permission to build a church at Chaliam. St. Francis Xavier visited Kannur on 25th December in 1543 and Calicut on 7th March 1549.

It was the Franciscans, Dominicans and Augustinian religious Priests who served in Malabar are during the 16th Century.

Pilgrim Centres

Pilgrim Centres:  

Former Bishops

Most Rev. Joseph KalathiparambilBishop2002-2011
Most Rev. Aldo Maria Patroni, SJBishop1948-1980
Most Rev. Leo Proserpio, SJBishop1938-1940
Rev. Msgr. Benjamin .M. Ranzani, SJApostolic Administrator1933-1938
Most Rev. Paul Perini, SJBishop1923-1932