"Holy Mother of the Heaven", which is generally called "Ma Zhu" really existed in the Chinese history. She was born in Fujian as a daughter of Mr. Lin, and named as Lin Mou Nyang. The family was a descendant for the seventh generation of Shao Zhou Ci Shi Lin Yun who was the sixth prefectural governor of Tian Jiu Mei, and was the 23rd generation of Mr. Lin's ancestor Lin Lu Gong in Fujian. According to the genealogy of Lin family, Ma Zhu was born in March 20th, A.D.960, and named as Mou Nyang (a silent girl) because she never cried for a month after birth. As she was a keen intelligent girl, she chanted a prayer to Buddha every morning and evening when she was 10, and at 16 she was given a God's doctrine and a copper label (though there is a various opinion, she was taught how to write the labels from God when she looked into the well.). She got supernatural power and transformation begins to work, expelled the wickedness by the power of the label, turn away the evil, put out misfortune, began to cure peoples disease, redeemed the world. Therefore she was respectfully called as a "Wise and Soulful Woman". She was also called as a "Heavenly Authorized Soulful Woman" by using supernatural power like; getting on a straw mat and crossed the sea, got on a cloud and flew around the islands.
On September 9th, A.D.987, she had passed away and rose to the heaven after her training on one fine day. She was at the age of 28. She was often witnessed flying over the sea in a red costume, and helping people even after death. As she helped the people with her prominent miracle power, people built a shrine and worshipped her. She was presented a posthumous name by a successive emperor such as "Soulful Princess", "Princess of Heaven", "Heavenly Empress", "Holy Mother of Heaven" as her supernatural power spread out.
Ma Zhu became a Goddess from human being, and enshrined as a Goddess of the Sea. Ship owners used to make a household altar in a ship and worshipped her, and after that people did not only prayed for safety of voyage but, as well as flood disaster and drought, cholera, a thief, war and epidemic.
As Chinese went overseas, therefore, the faith in Ma Zhu spread all over the world. You can find Ma Zhu Miao where ever Chinese had settled. According to the imperfect statistic, there are more than 1,500 Ma Zhu Miao in 26 countries and areas, and has over 200 million believers. There are over 800 Ma Zhu Miao only in Taiwan, and 15 million believers. She has been prayed day after day.
Ma Zhu is believed by the people because she realized the excellent traditional culture of Chinese people, and also became to be respected by the International Council of Science. Current research has been extended from folk beliefs to wide fields, such as economy, politics, culture, race, religion etc. formed a World Wide Ma Zhu Culture.