Introduction to Our Lady of Mang Den

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The statue of Our Lady of Fatima in Mang Den (also known as the statue Mother of Mang Den or Mother of amputated hand) is a monument, a Catholic pilgrimage site of the Diocese of Kon Tum, located in Mang Den village, Dak Long commune, Kon Plong district, Kon Tum province, next to Highway 24, 53 km North of Kontum city. Distance from Our Lady of Mang Den to Kontum Cathedral is 55 km, about 1h20′ by car.

1. Origin

According to documents from the bishopric of Kon Tum, and reported by priest Joseph Nguyen Minh Kong (also known as “Cong”), this is a statue carved after image of Our Lady of Fatima, which was presented by priest Thomas Le Thanh Anh. This statue was brought to the outpost of Mang Den by helicopter. The statue was erected on a simple pillar in mid-1971. In 1974, due to the firepower of the Vietnam War, the outpost of Mang Den was removed, the statue was also damaged more or less in deep forest.

2. Statue of  Our Lady of Mang Den is forgotten

After the war (after 1975), the statue was forgotten for a long time because there was no traffic and no residents living nearby. In the early 1980s, due to the influence of the new economic policies of the government of Vietnam, some people living in the Mang Den Forest Enterprise discovered the statue, but did not have any special interest.

As noted by Rev. Gioakim Nguyen Hoang Son, recording of the conversation with Ms. Dao Thi Huong, who is supposed to have preserved the statue, until early 1987, the statue is still intact. However, at the end of 1987, the statue lost its head, lost its hands, but no one knew any cause.

In 2002, the new Kon Plong district was formed by dividing the old Kon Plong district into new Kon Plong district and Kon Ray district. The new Kon Plong district is located in Mang Den. National Highway 24 is also planned to extend to serve as the main transportation route across the district and link up to Mo Duc district, Quang Ngai province. In 2004, when the road started construction, road builders who saw the design accidentally crossed the statue’s location adjusted the route to avoid invasion of the statue. Among the road builders there was a Catholic named Hoang who restored the head and hands. The first was restored with the face no longer the same version of the statue of Mary Fatima, but the appearance of women in Central Highlands Vietnam. However, it is unclear why the hands can not be restored, after the restoration has fallen to the foot of the statue, so the statue still has the shape of amputated hand like today. According to priest Phi Khanh Vuong Hoang Khoi, from the document provided by the Kon Tum Bishopric, Father Giacim Nguyen Hoang Son “found a part of his hand and partial his mother’s index finger” on December 28, 2006. , is currently kept at the Kon Tum Bishopric. Perhaps this is the rest of the restored hand.

3. Mang Den is a Catholic pilgrimage place

It was not until the end of August 2006 that a Catholic named Lam, who was passing by, accidentally heard the story, sought to confirm the statue and announce the existence of the statue to the Kon Tum Bishopric. On December 28, 2006, a religious delegation led by Bishop Kon Tum Micael Hoang Duc Oanh visited the statue. A year later, on December 9, 2007, Bishop Hoang Duc Oanh, priests, religious and more than 2,000 civilians celebrated the solemn Mass of Our Lady. After that, it became a pilgrimage place of the faithful in the Central Highlands and December 9th became the annual Pilgrimage date of Our Lady of Mang Den in Kon Tum diocese.

  

4. Some more information

The statue is made of reinforced concrete, about 1 meter high. The statue is placed on a pedestal made of cement with natural pebbles. The statue have the shape of the statue of Our Lady of Fatima, but the restoration has many forms of women in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. Hands are restored many times, but later kept the shape of the amputated hand. Many laypeople think that with the amputated hand figure, people think of the image of Mother, which blesses the unfortunate people with diseases such as leprosy, HIV / AIDS …

Since 2007, many parishioners have prayed here, forming a religious pilgrimage site in Mang Den. Hundreds of stone benches and pedestals stacked hundreds of tiny stone tablets engraved with the thanksgiving of the faithful for their blessings. There are pilgrims from many parts of the country come to admire, worship, They are Christian, but  there are many non-Catholics come to pray for their fortune, children, etc. The statue shows sacred, mysterious.

A center for pilgrimage and religious tourism is also planned to be built in the area of ​​the statue, with an area of ​​over 20 hectares.

On September 10, 2011, the Apostolic Nuncio, the non-resident representative of the Holy See in Vietnam, Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli visited and presided over the feast of Our Lady.

At the end of November, the Kon Tum Provincial Department of Home Affairs also sent a letter to the Kon Tum Bishop’s Office about officially accepting the organization of religious pilgrimage in Mang Den. The Kon Tum Bishopric also announced the establishment of Kon Xum Luh Parish, in charge of the management of the Mang Den. On December 12, 2011, a solemn ceremony was held here, presided over by the diocesan Bishop in celebration of the event.

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