Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Maracaibo

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Archdiocese of Maracaibo
Archidioecesis Maracaibensis
Fachada catedral maracaibo.JPG
Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul
Country Venezuela
Ecclesiastical province Maracaibo
Area 10,761 km2 (4,155 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2004)
1,863,690 (92.9%)
Parishes 65
Denomination Roman Catholic
Rite Roman Rite
Established 28 July 1897 (119 years ago)
Cathedral Catedral de San Pedro y San Pablo
Current leadership
Pope Francis
Archbishop Ubaldo Ramón Santana Sequera, F.M.I.
Auxiliary Bishops Ángel Francisco Caraballo Fermín

The Archdiocese of Maracaibo (Latin: Archidioecesis Maracaibensis) is an Archdiocese in Venezuela. Since November 2000, its Archbishop has been Ubaldo Ramón Santana Sequera. The city of Maracaibo, the second largest in Venezuela, has a population of approximately 2,800,000. The Archdiocese covers a total area of 10,761 square kilomenters (4,156 square miles) in Zulia State.[1]


The archdiocese was first established as the Diocese of Mérida by Leo XIII on 28 July 1897 as part of the Archdiocese of Mérida. It was renamed the Diocese of Zulia (2 January 1953) and renamed again as the Diocese of Maracaibo (23 July 1965). Finally it was elevated to Archdiocese on 30 April 1966.[2]

Maracaibo was visited by Pope John Paul II in 1985.[3]


  • Francisco Marvéz † (25 Oct 1897 – 17 Dec 1904)
  • Arturo Celestino Álvarez † (16 Aug 1910 – 18 Dec 1919) Appointed, Coadjutor Bishop of Calabozo
  • Marcos Sergio Godoy † (8 Mar 1920 – 21 Oct 1957)
  • José Rafael Pulido Méndez † (21 Jun 1958 – 16 Jan 1961) Appointed, Coadjutor Archbishop of Mérida
  • Domingo Roa Pérez † (16 Jan 1961 – 23 Dec 1992)
  • Ramón Ovidio Pérez Morales (23 Dec 1992 – 5 Jun 1999)
  • Ubaldo Ramón Santana Sequera, F.M.I. (11 Nov 2000 – present)

Our Lady of Rosario of Chiquinquirá[edit]

This basilica in Maracaibo is one of the many popular representations of the Virgin Mary in Venezuela. The story of an apparition of the virgin dates from the 18th century.

An old lady made her living by washing other people's clothes, a job she did every morning on the shores of the lake. On 18 November 1709 she had collected a load of clothes, and as usual, headed to the lake to wash them. This old lady was at her chores when she saw a wooden board floating towards her, and picked it up thinking that it might be of some use. When she had finished her work, she went home carrying the clothes, the board and a small vase of fresh water. Having placed the board on top of the vase, she noticed a small figure in the board but could not tell what it was.

She fell asleep, and when she awoke it was already late and dark. She decided to go to a local grocery store (in 1709?!) to buy some candles. On her way back a small group of people had gathered outside her house, and coming closer she noticed that her home was filled with light. After entering she and some of the neighbours witnessed the small wooden board floating in the air surrounded by light with a bright crisp image of the Virgin Mary, an event since popularly held a miracle.

Since that day the street where she lived has been known as El Milagro meaning ¨Miracle¨ in Spanish, and to this day it is one of the most important streets in the neighbourhood of El Saladillo in the city of Maracaibo.

Suffragan dioceses[edit]

See also[edit]


Coordinates: 10°38′30″N 71°36′25″W / 10.6416°N 71.6069°W / 10.6416; -71.6069