Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - The Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Cardinal Fernando Filoni, will be on a pastoral visit to Thailand for the celebration of the 350th anniversary of the Apostolic Vicariate of Siam (1669-2019), which marked the beginning of the presence of the Catholic Church in Thailand.
Cardinal Filoni arrives tomorrow, 16 May, in Bangkok. On Friday 17th, he will visit the Cathedral of the Assumption and meet with Thai Bishops. On Saturday 18 he will travel to Sampran, about thirty kilometers from Bangkok, to preside over the solemn Eucharistic Concelebration for the 350th anniversary of the Apostolic Vicariate of Siam. In the afternoon he will meet the men and women religious, seminarians and catechists in the church dedicated to Blessed Father Nicolas Boonkerd Kitbamrung (1895-1944). Beatified by St. John Paul II in 2000, Fr. Nicolas died in prison accused of espionage, at the end of a life entirely dedicated to Christ and to the announcement of the Good News in this land.
On Sunday 19 May the Cardinal will travel to Chiang Mai, in northern Thailand, where there is a strong presence of tribal populations, and will be welcomed by the Lanna and Akha ethnic groups. Here he will meet priests, religious, catechists and senior village leaders and will celebrate Mass in the evening. On Monday 20th the meeting with the Karen ethnic groups in the Mae-Porn missionary village and the celebration of the Mass.
On Tuesday, May 21, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples will visit the Church of St. Joseph and the Portuguese village, where the missionaries sowed the first seeds of the Good News, the then the capital of the Kingdom of Siam, Ayuthaya, considered the birthplace of the Vicariate of Siam. He will then visit the historic ruins of the ancient city, with important Catholic and Buddhist remains (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 15/5/2019)