Denver Newsroom, Sep 14, 2022 / 13:15 pm (CNA).
Ozernoye is the name of a village located in northern Kazakhstan where the Shrine of Our Lady of Peace is located, the only Marian shrine in Central Asia and where Our Lady is credited with a miracle that saved the lives of numerous people.
In a statement to EWTN, Father Mariusz Stawasz, the shrine’s rector, explained that in that place during World War II, people prayed for the intercession of the Virgin Mary to end the famine.
It was on March 25, 1941, when the miracle occurred. Suddenly, temperatures rose and the snow melted, forming a large lake around the village of Ozernoye.
A large number of fish began to appear in the lake and the villagers were able to sustain themselves with the fish and thus were spared from starvation.
After the miracle, the village of Ozernoye became the site of the only Marian shrine in the entire Central Asian region, including Mongolia and Afghanistan.
A church was built there in 1990 and soon became a place of pilgrimage, especially for young people, who gather every year in August to participate in a festival.
In addition, since 2014 this shrine has held one of the 12 peace altars, where pilgrims come every day of the year to pray for peace in the world.
The concept behind the altars is that each is to be one of the 12 stars in the crown of the Mother of God. It was an initiative of the lay community “Regina della Pace” (Queen of Peace) in Poland. These altars are located in different countries of the world.
In fact, during his visit to Kazakhstan, St. John Paul II wanted to make “a spiritual pilgrimage” to this shrine, and in front of the faithful assembled before him listening, he prayed in silence, spiritually making the visit to this shrine.
The image of this Virgin, who holds the Child Jesus in her arms and extends her hand toward a lake full of fish, appears on the medal designed for Pope Francis’ trip to Kazakhstan, which is taking place Sept. 13–15.
This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.
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