The first missionaries in the diocese were the Augustinians, and they remained until the revolution against Spain. Among the first missionaries were eminent men like Alfonso de Albuquerque, Diego Espinas, Juan de Montojo and others.
The first centers of faith were established in Taal, then in Balayan, Bauan, Lipa, Sala, Tanauan, all around the lake of Bombon (Taal).
The first missionaries were extraordinary men. And during the first ten years, the whole region around the lake of Bombon was completely Christianized. It was done through the preaching of men who had learned the first rudiments of the language of the people. At the same time they started writing manuals of devotion in Tagalog. What is more, they wrote the first Tagalog grammar that served other missionaries who came.
The year of foundation of important parishes follows: 1572 the Taal parish was founded by the Augustinians; 1581 the Batangas parish under Fray Diego Mexica; 1596 Bauan parish administered by the Augustinian missionaries; 1605 Lipa parish under the Augustinian administration;1774 Balayan parish was founded; 1852 Nasugbu parish; and 1868 Lemery Parish.
Batangas Became a Diocese
The diocese of Lipa, created on April 10, 1910, had an extensive territory comprising the provinces of Batangas, Laguna, Quezon, Marinduque and Mindoro. The first segregation from the diocese was that of Mindoro which was erected as Apostolic prelature on July 2, 1936. It was elevated to apostolic vicariate on October 3, 1951.
The second segregation came after the Second World War when the diocese of Lucena was erected on March 28, 1950, with Msgr. Alfredo Obviar as apostolic administrator. The relation of Infanta was also segregated from the diocese of Lipa in April 4, 1950. This new diocese included the island of Marinduque.
Not long after, the prelature of Infanta was erected on April 25, 1950, comprising the northern part of Quezon province, Polilio, Aurora, and Palanan, Isabela, Boac and Marinduque. The diocese of Lipa was further divided when Laguna province became a separate diocese on November 28, 1966, with the Most Rev. Pedro N. Bantigue as residential bishop of the diocese of San Pablo.
Batangas Became an Archdiocese
On June 20, 1972, His Holiness Pope Paul VI deigned to raise the diocese of Lipa to the rank of an archdiocese, comprising the civil province of Batangas. By the apostolic letter "Qui Summi Numinis" issued by the Sacred Congregation for Bishops, by order of the Holy Father, the diocese of Lipa became the tenth archdiocese and ecclesiastical province in the Philippines.
By the same decree, the Most Rev. Alejandro Olalia, DD was elevated to the rank of archbishop with all the rights and privileges attached to this dignity. However, he held office only for a short time from August 15, 1972 till his early demise on January 2, 1973.
While the archdiocesan seat was vacant, Rt. Rev. Msgr. Cirilo Almario Jr., held office as vicar capitular until October 8, 1973, the date His Excellency Most Rev. Ricardo Vidal, DD was installed second resident archbishop. Upon transfer of His Excellency Most Rev. Ricardo J. Vidal to the archdiocese of Cebu, the Most Rev. Mariano G. Gaviola, DD was installed third archbishop on August 15,1981.
Upon his retirement, the Most Rev. Gaudencio B. Rosales, DD, until then bishop of Malaybalay, was appointed archbishop of Lipa on December 30, 1992 and was installed on March 18, 1993.
Presently assigned suffragans to the metropolitan see of Lipa are the dioceses of Lucena, Gumaca, Quezon, Boac, Marinduque; the prelature of Infanta which covers the sub-province of Aurora; and the apostolic vicariates of Calapan, Mindoro Occidental and San Jose, Mindoro Oriental.