Pope Francis arrives in Thailand, welcomes by his cousin Sister Ana Rosa

Pope Francis arrived in Bangkok on Wednesday, November 20 around 12:30 PM at the Military Air Terminal 2 in Don Muang.

The Pope was welcomed at Don Mueang Airport by Gen. Surayud Chulanont, the Privy Council President, as a representative of King Rama X, Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak representing the government and Catholic Church leaders.

His second cousin, Sister Ana Rosa Sivori, who has been a missionary in Thailand since the 1960s was also present and the first one to welcome the Pope as he deplaned.

The Vatican leader is in Thailand for a 3-day apostolic visit. Pope Francis will meet with Thailand’s supreme Buddhist leader, His Majesty King Rama X, Thai authorities, as well as all the Catholic bishops of Asia. 

Thailand, a country of 69 million people, has 389,000 Catholic faithfuls, 835 priests, 1,461 religious men and women, and 1,901 catechists.

Pope Francis is the second pontiff to visit the country, which also marks the 350th anniversary of the formation of the Apostolic Vicariate of Siam.

In 1984, Pope St. John Paul II journeyed to the country, which is known for its respect for religious diversity and inter-religious dialogues.

Pope Francis arrives today
Itinerary, program, guidelines for attending Pope Francis’ masses
Where to watch: Pope Francis’ visit live on TV
Program at Pope Francis’ biggest mass in Thailand on November 21
800 Thai students to perform dance for Pope Francis after mass
LOOK: Pope Francis’ popemobile for Thailand November 20-23 visit

Sources; Bangkok Post, CBCP