Independent republic of Central America; area, 44,275 square miles.
It was discovered by Europeans in 1502 by Columbus on his fourth voyage, and the first settlement was made in 1524 by Cristobal de Olid, lieutenant of Cortes.
The first missionaries were Franciscans who entered the country with Cortes, c.1525, but their records were destroyed in the insurrections of the 19th century during which much church property was confiscated.
The Diocese of Honduras was erected by Clement VII in 1527, with residence at Trujillo in 1540, Comayagua in 1561, and Tegucigalpa in 1907.
The Church grew rapidly, but in the 17th century English pirates scattered the missionaries.
Honduras threw off Spanish rule in 1821, and in 1839 became established as an independent republic.
Catholicity is the prevailing religion, but freedom of worship is granted to all, and no denomination receives support from the state.
Archdioceses, past and present, include
Dioceses, past and present, include:
- San Pedro Sula
- Santa Rosa de Copán
New Catholic Dictionary