Chiang Mai (Agenzia Fides) - "The visit of Pope Francis last November 2019 had an incredible missionary effect (see Fides, 25/11/2019). It allowed the Thais to get to know the educational, charitable and spiritual depth of the small Catholic Church". In the Christmas greetings Fr. Attilio De Battisti, fidei donum missionary in Chiang Mai, highlighted the atmosphere of communion which is still present. "The news of his coming had been in the air for months, but for diplomatic reasons it was made known shortly before. The Christian community immediately became active and brought into play every skill, energy, resource. Everyone was aware of the importance of the event both for the approximately 380,000 Catholics and for the predominantly Buddhist Thai society", explained the missionary.
"The news, radios, magazines, social networks were filled with images, testimonies, Catholic traditions. Press conferences, interviews, dances, songs were handled in an excellent manner. The official places were decorated elegantly. It was not a show of greatness but an authentic joy of showing the best of oneself to the Pope and the world. Everyone took part: civil institutions, businesses, ordinary people and members of other faiths. Even the most remote parishes participated in the event".
"The Diocese of Bangkok was extremely hospitable - Fr. Attilio continues - . Thousands also came from neighboring states of Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia to meet the Pope, since for political reasons the Pope cannot set foot in these countries. It was a feast of colors, emotions and signs. One could study Thai culture just by watching the videos of these events. In short, a beautiful Thailand for the Pope". (AP/AdB) (Agenzia Fides, 2/1/2020)