Saturday, October 01, 2011

Inauguration of the largest square in the inner Mongolian steppe dedicated to "Our Lady of Mongolia"

Inner Mongolia is one Province of China (not to be confused with the country of Mongolia – to the north). Inner Mongolia is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China, located in the northern region of the country. Inner Mongolia shares an international border with the countries of Mongolia and the Russian Federation. Its capital is Hohhot and the largest city is Baotou. Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region was established in 1947. It is the third-largest subdivision of China spanning about 1,200,000 km² (463,000 sq mi) or 12% of China's total land area. Just to give you an idea, this Province is about the size of Mexico. It has a population of about 25 million. 

 Our Lady of Mongolia 

The largest and the most beautiful square in the inner Mongolian steppe, in the diocese of Baotou, was inaugurated a few days ago and dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Over three thousand faithful attended the inauguration and blessing of the square and the statue, depicting Our Lady of Mongolia, presided by three diocesan Bishops and concelebrated by about thirty priests. 

According to what was reported to Fides by Faith of He Bei, the square, which has an area of 7,488 square meters with 4,000 square meters of green belt, is located in front of the ancient church of Ershisiqingdi, which was built in 1904 and is historically considered the starting point of the last phase of the evangelization of the current diocese of Baotou. The church was also the Cathedral of the diocese. The statue of Our Lady is 8.42 meters high and is dressed in the traditional Mongolian clothes, holding baby Jesus in her arms, this is why she has been called with great devotion by the faithful "Our Lady of Mongolia". 

The inauguration of the square completes the reconstruction and restoration of the parish complex, which began in July 2009 with the financial help of local authorities - three million Yuan (about 400,000 Euros), in order to give life to a "Cultural and Religious Tourism Area" around the church.

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