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Diocese in the Republic of Mexico, suffragan of the Archbishopric of Yucatán. It comprises the State of Tabasco, having an area of 10,872 sq. miles and a population (in 1910) of 183,805. The bishop and the governor reside at San Juan Bautista, founded in 1598 under the name of Villa de Felipe II, known as Villa Hermosa till 1826, when it got its present name. The city has at present (1910) a population of 12,084 inhabitants. In the decree of Charles V, 19 September, 1525, we read: — "At the request and with the express assent of the said Bishop Don Fray Julián Garcés, we declare, make known, and appoint as the boundaries of the said Bishopric of Yucatán and Santa Maria de los Remedios the following provinces and territories: First, the entire Province of Tlaxcaltechle, and San Juan de Ullua . . . .; the Villa de Medellín and the territory of Tabasco", etc. The Gospel was preached here in the early period of the Spanish conquest. In 1545 the Dominican Fathers going to Chiapas passed through Tabasco and in 1578 organized the house of Oxolotlán, the first vicar of which was Padre Tomás Aguilar. Christianity in Tabasco must already have made considerable progress, for Philip II during the time of the Viceroy Velasco planned the erection of a see there. Philip III also intended to do so, in 1609, but was unsuccessful. Another futile attempt was made in 1680. Finally, in 1864, Mgr. Rodriguez de la Gala, Apostolic administrator, later Bishop, of Yucatán, promoted the establishment of a see which was created by Leo XIII on the petition of Mgr. Labastida, Archbishop of Mexico. The new diocese was established in 1880 from parishes taken from the Sees of Chiapas, Oaxaca, and Yucatán. It was suffragan to the Archdiocese of Mexico until 1891; to the See of Oaxaca from 1891 till 1906; and finally in 1906 to the See of Yucatán. The diocese contains: an ecclesiastical seminary with 6 students; 7 parochial schools ; 4 Catholic colleges, and about 600 alumni; a Protestant college with 25 pupils; and 3 churches.
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