The Archdiocese of Verapoly lies in the civil districts of Ernakulam and Thrissur of Kerala State. Since 1904 it has its headquarters at Ernakulam in the Corporation of Cochin. Within the Corporation, the Archdiocese of Verapoly and the Diocese of Cochin (both the Latin Rite) and the Archdiocese of Ernakulam (of the Syrian Rite) have their headquarters. The Corporation of Cochin, according to the statistics of 1988 has a population of 5,13,000 of which about 2,20,000 are Catholics. The above statistics shows that its 88% of the Catholic population is of the Latin Rite of which more than half of the Latins belonging to the Archdiocese of Verapoly and the rest to the Dioceses of Cochin and Aleppey. Present population of Latin Catholics in the Archdiocese is 3,57,149.

The Archdiocese of Verapoly was originally known as the “Apostolic Vicariate of Malabar”. It has its origins in 1657, with the arrival of Carmelite Missionaries, most prominent among whom was Father Joseph of St. Mary, better known as Joseph Sebastiani. They had been deputed by Pope Alexander VII to effect reconciliation of St. Thomas Christians of the Syro – Chaldaic Rite, who had seceded from their Archbishop forsaking his authority by taking an oath for that purpose at the foot of a cross – thereafter called the ‘Coonen Cross’ situated in Mattancherry, Read more…

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