Cardinal Giorgio Marengo was one of the first to welcome Pope Francis to Mongolia on Sept. 1, 2023. Marengo is an Italian cardinal who has served as a missionary in Mongolia for nearly 20 years. He is the current apostolic prefect of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, and the world’s youngest cardinal. / Credit: Vatican Media

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, Sep 1, 2023 / 12:10 pm (CNA).

Pope Francis will be visiting Mongolia from Aug. 31–Sept. 4. Mongolia is one of the world’s largest landlocked nations, sandwiched between its much larger and more powerful neighbors, China and Russia. It has one of the smallest Christian communities in the world with 1,450 Catholics.

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Sept. 2, 2023

Pope Francis arrives to the official welcome ceremony.

People begin to gather in Mongolia’s Sukhbaatar Square for Pope Francis’ official welcome ceremony.

Sept. 1, 2023

Pope Francis received an enthusiastic welcome to Mongolia after a nearly 10-hour flight on the papal plane. Here are some pictures from his first day in the country.

Two little girls proudly show off their rosaries given to them by Pope Francis.

A look at Mongolian culture at a traditional “Besreg Naadam” festival.

Pope Francis made history Friday morning when he became the first pope to travel to Mongolia, the world’s most sparsely populated sovereign country.

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Aug. 31, 2023

Pope Francis sent a telegram to China President Xi Jinping and the people of China as the papal plane entered Chinese airspace on its way to Mongolia.

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Aug. 30, 2023

As is customary before any papal trip, Pope Francis spent time in prayer before the icon of the Salus Populi Romani at the Basilica of St. Mary Major.