The diocese has a land area of 45,125 square kilometers, covering 10 civil districts -- Bahraich, Balrampur, Barbanki, Gonda, Hardoi, Kheri, Lucknow, Shravasthinagar, Sitapur and Unnao in northern state of Uttar Pradesh. Lucknow is the biggest city in the diocese.
In Lucknow diocese, the population is 22,985,000 at end of 2016.
Hindi, Urdu, Awadhi and English are the main languages used.
The diocese of Lucknow owes its origin to those courageous and selfless missionaries, especially Capuchin Fathers from Italy, who came here 400 years ago. Historical documents prove the existence of European Christian scholars and priests, initially the Jesuits, in the court of Emperor Akbar as early as the 16th century. This Christian presence in the vast Gangetic plain under the umbrella of the "Mughal Mission" and later on the "Tibetan Mission" was the beginning of Christianity in northern India.
There were pockets of Christianity in many places in the empire of Akbar and the later Moghuls, which increased with the advent of the British in India in the subsequent centuries.
On Jan. 12, 1940, the huge diocese of Allahabad was divided to create the Diocese of Lucknow, based in Lucknow, at that time capital of the Central Provinces. Both dioceses were under the care of missionaries from the Bologna Capuchin province in Italy. However, Italy being an ally of Germany in World War II, the British administration interned all these missionaries in camps. Hence the nomination of the first Bishop of Lucknow was delayed until after the war.
Capuchin Father Albert Conrad De Vito was appointed the first Bishop of Lucknow on Dec. 12, 1946, and he took possession of the diocese on Feb. 16, 1947. Bishop Angelo Poli of Allahabad was the administrator of the diocese during the intervening seven years.
The diocese of Lucknow comprised 14 districts of Uttar Pradesh, covering an area of 93,000 square kilometers. On Feb. 4, 1989, this large diocese was divided to form the new diocese of Bareilly, covering six districts.
Bishop Albert Conrad De Vito passed away suddenly in 1970 during a home visit to Italy, and Father Cecil de Sa, Vicar General of Bhopal, was appointed the first Indian Bishop of Lucknow. In 1983, Bishop de Sa was transferred to become Archbishop of Agra, and Bishop Alan de Lastic, Auxiliary Bishop of Calcutta until then, was appointed the new Bishop of Lucknow.
In January 1991, Bishop de Lastic was made Archbishop of Delhi, and Father Albert D'Souza, a priest of Lucknow diocese, was appointed the fourth Bishop of Lucknow. Bishop D'Souza was made Archbishop of Agra in March 2007.
On Nov. 8, 2007, Pope Benedict XVI, transferred Bishop Gerald John Mathias, a priest of Lucknow diocese who had been serving as Bishop of Simla-Chandigarh diocese since 2000, to become the fifth Bishop of Lucknow . He was installed on Jan. 4, 2008.
Cities are managed by corporations. Villages and small towns are administered by panchayat and municipalities, respectively. These local bodies are elected.
The diocesan area is well-connected by roads and railway. Lucknow city has an airport.
Annual per capita income is Rs 16,060 ($356) as of March 2011. Farming is the main occupation with wheat, rice, sugarcane and potatoes the primary crops. The diocesan territory also houses leather industry units.
Government and private operators provide extensive telecommunication facilities in the diocesan area. The diocese is well-served by local cable TV networks.
Nearly 47.26 percent literacy rate.
Gonsalo Garcia was born on Feb. 5, 1556, to a Portuguese father and Indian mother of Konkani descent, at Agashi village at Bassein (now Vasai), near Mumbai city in western India. His father was a soldier stationed at Fort Bassein, a Portuguese fort. Gonsalo received his education under the Jesuits. While assisting at the Church of the Holy of Jesus at Bassein, he developed a friendship with Jesuit Father Sebastian Gonsalves, who eventually became his lifelong mentor and guide.
This Filipino layman martyr saint could be rightly called the patron of infant baptism because it was after the baptism of an infant through his instrumentality that on 2nd April 1672 Pedro was martyred along with his companion missionary Fr. Diego San Vitores who baptised the infant. This infant was of a mother who got converted to Catholicism.
Lorenzo Ruiz, also called Saint Lorenzo of Manila, is a Filipino saint venerated in the Catholic Church. A Chinese-Filipino, he became his country's protomartyr after his execution in Japan by the Tokugawa Shogunate during its persecution of Japanese Christians in the 17th century.
Andrew Kim Taegon was the first Korea-born Catholic priest ordained by the French Bishop Jean-Joseph-Jean-Baptiste Ferréol at Shanghai in 1844.
On every first Friday of the month thousands of Catholics flock to Holy Cross Church of Cherpunkal in Kerala, India to revere Infant Jesus and St. Thomas, the founder of the church. The church stands on the southern bank of Meenachil River. This fabled church, also known by its Syriac name Mar Sleeva (Holy Cross)Church, belongs to Catholic Diocese of Palai of the Eastern-rite Syro-Malabar Church.
St. Mary’s Cathedral Church in Ranchi, the capital of Jharkhand state, is the mother church in the tribal belt of eastern India, where Belgian Jesuits laid the foundation of Catholicism in 19th century. This brownish Church, dedicated to the Immaculate Conception of Virgin Mary, stands on Dr. Camil Bulcke Path and nestles between St. Xavier’s College and St. Albert Major Seminary.
Basilica of Our Lady of Graces in Sardhana is a historic church that lives the memory of love and benevolence of the sole female Roman Catholic ruler in India. Our Lady of Graces Church of Sardhana stands at Meerut district in Uttar Pradesh of northern India. Consecrated in 1822, this 200-feet long church with a high central dome over the main altar, is one of the largest churches in northern India.
Saint Thomas Cathedral Basilica at Mylapore is a monumental declaration on ancient root of Christianity in India. The church was built over the tomb of St. Thomas, the Apostle who is believed to have preached Christianity in India. The cathedral preserves 2000-year-old bones of the saint and the lance that pierced him to death. Popularly known as Santhome Church, the cathedral at Chennai (formerly Madras) in Tamil Nadu state was constructed during the Portuguese era in the 16th century. “San Thome” assumes its name from St. Thomas.
Mokama Marian shrine on the southern bank of Ganges River bears the legacy persecuted Nepali Catholics banished from their homeland to India for refusing to renounce their faith. Our Lady of Divine Grace Church at Mokama stands about 90 kilometers from Patna, the capital of eastern Indian state of Bihar. Mother Mary is popularly known as Mokama Mata (Mother of Mokama). The church was built to honor Mary in 1947.
The Cathedral of Good Shepherd in Singapore is a historic National Monument, but it also holds first-class relics of a French saint who brought Catholicism on the shores of city-state two centuries ago. Built in 1847, the Good Shepherd Cathedral is the oldest Catholic Church and mother church of all Catholic churches in Singapore.
Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica at Fort Kochi is one of the finest churches and a historic but also a landmark in Kerala state of southern India. Santa Cruz Church blends Indo-European and Gothic architectural style that draws tens of thousands of pilgrims and tourists every year. The cathedral is a great place of devotion and historic significance that survived colonial conquests and invasions to the city.
St. Anthony Cathedral at Wahakotte in Kandy is a melting of cultures and religions in Sri Lanka. Wonder worker St. Anthony of Padua is a highly respected saint among Sri Lankans of all ethnicities and faiths. Thousands visit this pilgrimage site all the year round. On the feast of St. Anthony on June 13, this national Catholic shrine draws tens of thousands of faithful from all over the country.