Vatican City, Aug 31, 2023 / 13:00 pm
Pope Francis entrusted his apostolic journey to Mongolia to the Virgin Mary at the Basilica of St. Mary Major on Wednesday. Thursday, the pope is traveling to Mongolia, where during his Aug. 31–Sept. 4 trip he will bless a statue of Our Lady known as “Heavenly Mother,” which was miraculously discovered in a landfill in the northern region of that country by a Buddhist woman.
Father Andrew Tin Nguyen, SDB, the parish priest of Mary Help of Christians Church in the city of Darkhan, shared with CNA that the woman who found the statue can’t recall the exact year she discovered it. However, she insists that it was even before the missionaries arrived in Darkhan 18 years ago.
“This discovery might signify something profound, perhaps a sign from our Blessed Lady Mary that she had been present here before us, preparing for our arrival. She appeared in the humblest and poorest of places, which could signify her desire for us to care for the poorest among us,” he reflected.
The statue was bestowed with the title “Heavenly Mother” by Pope Francis himself. In an interview with catholic-kazakhstan.org, Cardinal Giorgio Marengo, apostolic prefect of Ulaanbaatar, explained that in January, he presented various titles collected from the Mongolian faithful to Pope Francis. The pope chose “Heavenly Mother” as the most fitting title, recognizing the significance of heaven in Mongolian culture.