Pope Francis said he knows people wonder why he travelled close to 6,000 miles to Mongolia to visit a Catholic community of only 1,450 people.
“Because it is precisely there, far from the spotlight, that we often find the signs of the presence of God, who does not look at appearances, but at the heart,” he told thousands of people gathered in St. Peter’s Square for his weekly general audience on 6th September.
Following his usual practice of speaking about a trip at the first audience after his return, the pope said that during his Sept. 1-4 stay the country’s capital, Ulaanbaatar, he encountered “a humble and joyful church, which is in the heart of God,” but one that was excited to find itself at the centre of the universal church’s attention for a few days.
“I have been to the heart of Asia, and it has done me good,” the pope said. The missionaries who arrived in Mongolia in 1992 “did not go there to proselytise,” the pope said.
“They went to live like the Mongolian people, to speak their language, the language of the people, to learn the values of that people and to preach the Gospel in a Mongolian style, with Mongolian words.”
Picture: Pope Francis talks about his four-day trip to Mongolia during his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican, 6th September 2023. (CNS photo/Lola Gomez)