In 1878 the territory, which now forms the dioceses of Mangalore, Kannur and Calicut was separated from the Vicariate Apostolic of Malabar by the Bull of Pope Plus IX and entrusted to the Jesuits of the province of Venice as a separate Vicariate Apostolic. Subsequently, this Vicariate Apostolic was raised to the status of a diocese with its Episcopal See at Mangalore and called the diocese of Mangalore. The diocese of Calicut, the 25th diocese of India was erected by an Apostolic Brief “Cum AuctusFideliumGrex”, dated June 12, 1923 of Pope Pius XI, by separating from the diocese of Mangalore that portion of the Malabar district and adding on to it the Wayanad Taluk, till then under the diocese of Mysore. Likewise the area west of the watershed of the Walluvabad Taluk, till then under the diocese of Coimbatore was added to the diocese. By a Decree of the Sacred Congregation of Propaganda Fide dated January 12, 1960, the Hosdurg Taluk, till then part of the diocese of Mangalore, was added to the diocese of Calicut.
The extent, therefore, of the diocese may be described as the whole of the former Malabar district up to the ponnani river, part of Palakkad district and the area of the watershed of Valluvanad Taluk, with the addition of the present Hosdurg taluk on the north till Chandragiri river. At the time of erection it numbered in all 8000 Catholics, the majority of whom resided in the three old stations along the shore of the Arabian sea, viz. Calicut, Tellicherry and Cannanore. Mainly due to the steady influx of immigrants from Travancore and Cochin, the total Catholic population had risen by 1953 to 91, 384 of which 17,217 were Latins and the rest Syrians. On March 19, 1954 with the erection of the diocese of Tellicherry, the faithful of the Oriental Rite passed under the jurisdiction of the Ordinary of the diocese or Tellicherry. His holiness Pope John Paul II has created the dioceses of Kannur by bifurcating the diocese of Calicut on December 9, 1998 appointing Rt Rev. Dr Varghese Chakkalackal as its first Bishop. The new diocese consists of the revenue districts of Kannur and Kasargod.
For the first 32 years of its existence the diocese of Calicut was entrusted to the Mangalore-Calicut Mission of the Society of Jesus, but with the erection of the independent Vice-Province of Mangalore on May 29, 1955, the territory of the diocese of Calicut was temporarily assigned to the Madurai province of the society of Jesus, pending the erection of the independent Vice-Province of Kerala, which took place on September 27, 1960. The Jesuit Vice- Province became Kerala Jesuit Province in the year 1983. Bishop Paul Perini, S.J. (1923-1932), Bishop Leo Proserpio, S.J. (1938- 1945), Msgr. PancratiusZanolinS.J. (1945-1948) and Bishop Aldo Maria PatroniS.J. (1948-1980) were the prelates of the diocese who belonged to the Society of Jesus. With the appointment of Rt Rev. Dr Maxwell V. Noronha as the Bishop of Calicut, who took charge of the diocese on September 8, 1980, the administration of the diocese passed into the hands of the diocesan Clergy. On May 19, 2002 Rt Rev. Dr Joseph Kalathiparambil was appointed as the fifht Bishop of the diocese by the Holy See. On June 10, 2012, Bishop VergheseChakkalakkal took over the administration of diocese.
- 1498 May 20
Rev. Fr Pedro De CovilhamO.S.S.T, the first missionary of Malabar,landed at Kappad along withVasco De Gama.
- 1498 July 31
Rev. Fr Pedro De Covilham died as a martyr.
- 1500 September
Under the leadership of Fr Henric Alvaro 8 Franciscan priestslanded at Calicut Port accompanied by the navigator PedroAlvares Cabral.
The Zamorin of Calicut permitted the Portuguese to build afactory cum godown and a chapel
- 1500 December 1
Mr Michael a Sancta Maria became the first Christianconvert
- 1500 December 16
Fr Gasper and three Missionaries were killed during theskirmishes between the Zamorin and the Portuguese.
- 1501 January 15
Four Franciscan priests reached Cannanore with Joao DeNova, a Portuguese navigator.
- 1505 October
Dr Francis Seseo De Almeida, the Viceroy of Portugal builtthe St Angela Fort and St James Church/Chapel attachedto it at Cannanore, with the consent of the king of Kolathiri(Kannur).
There were 344 Catholics in Cannanore. These included theconverts to Catholi- cism.
On the banks of the Kallai river the Portuguese built a godownand a chapel. The work was done under the leadership ofMr Alphonse De Albuqerque. Rev. Fr. Diego Mooeas was theChaplain.
With the help of the Raja of Tanur a chapel was built atChalium.
The great Missionary of the Indies St Francis Xavier arrived onthe shores of Cannanore. This was his first visit to Cannanore.
- 1549 March 2
Calicut was also blessed by the visit of St Francis Xavier.
- 1549 March 7
St Francis Xavier paid a second visit to Cannanore.
The Vettathu Raja of Tanur was received secretly as a memberof the Catholic Church. He was called Dom Joao.
The Zamorin destroyed both the Chapel and the fort at Chalium.
With the help of the Zamorin of Calicut, Fr Francis Acosta S.J.and Fr Antonio ShipaniS.J built a Church where the presentCathedral stands.
Rev. Fr JacomoFenichiS.J., popularly known as the Apostleof Calicut, become the parish priest of the Mother of GodCathedral, Calicut.
After the Coonan Cross Oath of 1653, the Pope Alexander VIIsent Carmelite fathers to Kerala.
Kerala came under Dutch domination.
The Malabar Region came under the jurisdiction of the Diocese ofKodungalloor.
The Jesuit Fathers built the Holy Rosary Church near theBritish Fort at Thalassery.
Rev. Fr Earnest HaxoneadenS.J, who was known as `ArnosPadiri’ served as the vicar of the main Church (Mother ofGod Cathedral) at Calicut.
Rev. Fr Dominic John of the Cross O.C.D, came to Mahe as itsfirst Missionary.
- 1736 December 1
Fr Dominic O.C.D built the Church dedicated to St Theresaof Avila at Mahe which became the first Catholic pilgrimagecenter of Malabar. Fr Dominic is the founder of the MaheMission.
Hyder Ali conquered Tellicherry.
During the conquest of Tippu Sultan the Christians ofMalabar were frocefully proselytized to accept Islam.
The St Joseph’s Boys’ School attached to the main Churchat Calicut was established.
Opening of St Michael’s Boys’ School at Cannanore.
Church in Vythiri.
- 1834 October 11
Basel Missionaries, namely Rev. Hebich, Rev. Lenar& Rev.Griner started their missionary work at Calicut; Rev. HermanGundert worked as a Missionary at Tellicherry.
The Church in Malabar comes under the jurisdiction of theVicariate of Verapoly.
Church in Mananthavady. – Panamaram cemetery
- 1862 April 1
St Joseph’s European Girls’ School was opened.
- 1862 April 1
Mother Veronica of the Passion – a Religious of the Congregationof St Joseph of the Apparition took charge as the first superiorof newly established St Joseph’s Convent. She eventually becamethe foundress of the Apostolic Carmel.
The Church at Malabar came under the jurisdiction of the Vicariateof Mangalore.
Rev. Fr GalandaS.J. started a European school for boys atTellicherry.
Rev. Fr Louis Mari Martelli OCD started the St Theresa’sEuropean Middle School at Cannanore. The school was then runby the Sisters of St Joseph’s of the Apparition.
- 1868 July 16
The Apostolic Camel Congregation was founded at Bayonne -France, by Mother Veronica of the Passion.
- 1872 March 4
The first Church of Meppadi was built under the patronage of StFrancis Xavier.
The Society of St Vincent de Paul, the second of its kind in India,was started at the Mother of God Cathedral at Calicut.
- 1878 December 10
The Bishop – elect of Mangalore, Dr Nicholas Maria PaganiS.J., of the Jesuit Province of Venice, reached Mangalorealong with eight Jesuit Missioinaries.
Rev. Fr Augustine MulloorS.J. was appointed Vicar of theMother of God Cathedral at Calicut.
- 1884 March 22
The Apostolic Carmel Sisters opened Sacred Heart Girls’School at Tellicherry.
- 1886 August 30
The Santa Cruz Church on Bank Road, Calicut, was renovated.
Rev. Fr Adigard began his praiseworthy mission workamong the Adivasis of Manathavady.
- 1909 October 26
Rev. Fr Armond Jean Marie Jeffrino started his missionaryapostolate among the Kurichiar community by building aChurch at Kaniambatta, Pallikunnu.
Rev. Fr FaustinAranha built a Church at Kanhangad.
Providence Girls’ School was opened on the premises of StJoseph’s Convent and School.
Rev. Fr Paul Rozario Fernandez established the Kolayad Mission.
Rev. Fr John Baptist GalandaS.J. opened a Malayalammedium School at Tellicherry.
Rev. Fr Milbank Francis Barboza S.J. was appointed Vicar of theMother of God Cathedral, Calicut.
- 1923 June 12
Pope Pius XI bifurcated the diocese of Mangalore to form theCalicut diocese, which comprises the Malabar area.
On 12th June 1923 Malabar was separated from the Dioceseof Mangalore and formed the Diocese of Calicut. The first Bishopappointed was Rt. Rev. Dr. Paul Perini S.J. The prime Catholic centresthen were Calicut, Tellicherry, Kannur, Vythiri and ManantavadyBesides these there were chapels in Shoranur, Malappuram, West Hill,Chalil, Dharmadam, Thayyil, Pallikunnu and Kolayad. The Churchin Mahe was under the Pondichery Diocese. Now there are 69churches including Parishes and Mission centres.