[map of India] Name applied in general to nearly all the territory of southern Asia, whose total area exceeds 1,800,000 square miles. Tradition claims that the body of Saint Thomas the Apostle was buried at Mylapore after his efforts to Christianize the Hindus, but nothing certain is known of early missionary work in India until the arrival of the Franciscans from Portugal, c.1500, who found the natives converted to Nestorianism. Franciscans, Dominicans, Jesuits, and Augustinians were the first missionaries in India. Vicariates Apostolic were established, c.1637, and administered by European missionaries of different orders and nationalities, assisted by native secular clergy. The hierarchy was established, 1886.

Archdioceses, past and present, include Dioceses, past and present, include: See also:
New Catholic Dictionary

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