Macao was the cradle and bastion of Catholicism, not only in China but in the Far East. Since the Portuguese established Europe's first settlement in Macao in 1557, pioneering missionaries from the West had used this coastal outpost as an entry point for Catholic missions in the region. Taking over from Malacca, the Macao Diocese was set up on 23rd January 1576 by Pope Gregory XIII. In its prime, the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Macao Diocese covered China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam and Timor with its influence extended to Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand.
The rich documentary heritage of the Macao Diocese comprises records and materials created or collected by the Catholic administration, missionaries and students from the mid 16th to the late 19th centuries. It reflects not only the official religious history, but also events and related activities of training and preaching, as well as different social, cultural, charitable and trading activities of the Catholic Church and their interaction with government authorities and local communities. It offers invaluable information and insights into understanding the development and spread of Catholicism in the Far East and its impact on the history of 'East meets West' during the epochal era of Western expansion. The collection was inscribed on the Asia-Pacific Memory of the World Register in 2010.
MOWCAP Regional Register