While papal Masses on the pope’s other international trips can draw hundreds of thousands of people, the Mass in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar only had an estimated 2,000 in attendance — presenting a rare opportunity to personally meet the pope for attendees.
In a meeting with Mongolian Buddhists, Shamans, Shintoists, and other religious representatives, Pope Francis said Sunday that interreligious dialogue is “not antithetical to proclamation,” but helps religious traditions to understand each other.
Sept. 2, 2023
Pope Francis met Tsetsege, the woman who found a Virgin Mary statue in a garbage pile. The Holy Father blessed the statue and is now venerated in Ulaanbaatar's Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul.
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While the Catholic population in Mongolia is one of the smallest in the world, “being little is not a problem,” Pope Francis assured the local missionaries, because God can accomplish great things with small numbers.
“God loves littleness, and through it he loves to accomplish great things, as Mary herself bears witness,” Pope Francis said in Ulaanbaatar’s Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul on Sept. 2.
Pope Francis called Mongolia a “symbol of religious freedom” in his first speech in Mongolia and underlined how its democratic government is in a unique position to play “an important role on behalf of world peace.”