She is the gentle guardian of Footscray. A vision in gold rising beside a traditional Chinese temple built in her name. But who is the Heavenly Queen?
The story goes that when the Heavenly Queen, also known as Mazu, was born in 960 AD in the FuJian Province in China, a brilliant light appeared in the sky and perfume filled her home. She became a highly intelligent young woman who could heal the sick and help the poor. She had a knack for predicting the weather and saved the lives of many fishermen with warnings of rough seas.
After her death, people built a temple on Meizhou Island where she was born, at the spot where it is said she ascended to heaven and became immortal. While her life was short – she lived to only 17 years of age – she became an important religious figure in traditional Chinese culture. Today the devoted pray to the Heavenly Queen for protection on sea voyages.
The Heavenly Queen temple is on Joseph Road by the Maribyrnong River.