In India, Catholics represent only 1.7% of the Indian population, but they are 20% in the State of Kerala, 6% in Tamil Nadu, and 8% in Puducherry.
The evangelization of India goes back to the Apostle Saint Thomas, whose memory is celebrated at Mount Saint Thomas (Tamil Nadu), with Our Lady of Hope.
The first Marian shrine of India is the church of Our Lady of Kuravilangad, built in 335; next comes the church of Elangulam, dating from 417 AD. After that Marian shrines have multiplied.
The first Marian congress was held in 1921 in Madras, the city of the "Mother of God." The second congress took place in 1954 in Bombay.
India became independent from the United Kingdom on August 15, 1947. This date coincides with the feast of the Assumption of Mary, and this is how Catholics came to proclaim Mary "Our Lady of India" in January 1950.
The Indians love to go on pilgrimages, and Marian places of pilgrimage are also visited by members of the other religions.
Saint John Paul II visited the Shrine of Bandra in 1986.