Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

PREFECTURE APOSTOLIC OF MAYOTTE, NOSSI-BE, AND COMORO (MAYOTTÆ, NOSSIBEÆ, ET COMORÆ).

Mayotte is the farthest south and most important of the group of Comoro Islands: Mayotte (Maote), Anjuan (Inzuani), Mohilla (Moheli), and Great Comoro (Komoro, i.e. where there is fire, or Angazidya). These islands, with Nossi-Bé (large island) and Santa Maria (Nossi Burai, Nossi Ibrahim), form the archipelago known as "the Satellites of Madagascar ". The Comoro Islands, with their craggy evergreen shores, look like the cones of submerged groves separated from the mainland by deep abysses. The summits are not all of the same altitude; the highest point of Mayotte is not over 1800 feet, where the highest peak of Anjuan is about 5000 feet, while the central cone of Great Comoro, whose volcanic activity is not yet exhausted, rises to over 7000 feet. Two monsoons, consequently two seasons, alternately affect the climate of the archipelago, which is sometimes visited by cyclones. The soil of these islands is very fertile, and produces in abundance vanilla, cloves, sugar-cane, coffee, etc. The total population is about 80,000, mostly African negroes, often erroneously called Makoas (a Mozambique tribe). There are also some Sakalavas from Madagascar, mostly former slaves freed when the islands were occupied by the French. This Comoro Archipelago was for many centuries an Arabian colony and was once very prosperous. As they navigated along the African coast, the merchants of Idumea and Yemen created a special and interesting type, the Comorinos. Commingled with these Arabian half-breeds, once the sole owners of the country, there are now Banians from Cutch and Hindus from Bombay, who carry on almost the entire commerce. There are also a few European or creole planters and officials from Reunion or Mauritius. In 1843 the French Government, called in by the sultan, took possession of Mayotte, which became, with Nossi-Bé, a post of surveillance over Madagascar. All these islands now form a French colony. In 1844, Mayotte, Nossi-Bé, and the Comoros were made an Apostolic prefecture and confided to the Fathers of the Holy Ghost . In 1898, when the same missionaries were given the ecclesiastical administration of Northern Madagascar, these smaller islands and Santa Maria were attached to the Apostolic Vicariate at Diego Francisco Suárez. Santa Maria and Nossi-Bé have resident missionaries; the other islands are regularly visited.

The population of these islands is largely Mohammedan and therefore strongly anti-Christian; for this reason little religious progress is made. In all of the islands there are hardly three or four thousand Catholics. There are no Protestants.


More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 2:1-10
1 And you were dead, through the crimes and the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 100:2, 3, 4, 5
2 serve Yahweh with gladness, come into his presence ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 12:13-21
13 A man in the crowd said to him, 'Master, tell my ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 20th, 2014 Image

St. Paul of the Cross
October 20: St. Paul of the Cross was born at Ovada in the Republic of ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter