Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, Aug 31, 2023 / 20:40 pm
Pope Francis made history Friday morning when he became the first pope to travel to Mongolia, the world’s most sparsely populated sovereign country.
The papal plane touched down in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar at 9:52 a.m. local time on Sept. 1. As Pope Francis debarked from the plane at Chinggis Khaan International Airport, he was welcomed by the Asian country’s foreign minister and a young woman who offered the pope a cup of traditional Mongolian dried curds.
Pope Francis told journalists aboard the chartered ITA Airways plane that to visit Mongolia is to encounter “a small people, but a big culture.”
“I think it will do us good to understand this silence … to understand what it means, but not intellectually, with the senses. Mongolia can be understood with the senses,” he said.