Lin Moniang (960–987)

  • The silent girl from Fujian

    “The spirit of Lin Moniang was already very powerful in her lifetime. She had been initiated early into the teachings and was able to predict joy and suffering, to ride on a cloud over the ocean to faraway islands and to swim through the sea as daughter of the dragon king.”

    Lin Moniang was born around 960. As a child she did not utter a sound and was thus baptised “silent girl” (Chinese Moniang). She displayed signs of supernatural skills from an early age, and in her youth she acquired a magic amulet which apparently gave her supernatural powers and allowed her to triumph over demons and calm storms. At the age of twenty-seven, Lin Moniang is said to have found the Dao and flown off into the heavens as an immortal in broad daylight.

    Since then innumerable rescues of sailors in distress have been attributed to her. Thanks to these miracles she rose in the official imperial hierarchy of gods to the rank of highest sea deity. She gained her first promotion in 1123 and by the end of the Qing Dynasty in 1911, she had received more than seventy honorary titles.

    Today Lin Moniang is known by the name Mazu, little mother, or Tianfei, heavenly concubine, and is greatly venerated especially in southern China and Taiwan. In Taiwan alone, there are more than eight hundred splendid temples dedicated to her.