ON THE OCCASION OF HIS UPCOMING APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO THAILAND
[19 - 23 NOVEMBER 2019]
On the eve of my apostolic trip to Thailand, I greet you with affection.
I know that, as a multi-ethnic and diverse nation with rich spiritual and cultural traditions, Thailand has worked hard to promote harmony and peaceful coexistence, not only among its people but throughout the Southeast Asian region. In this world that too often experiences discord, division and exclusion, this commitment to forge a unity respectful of the dignity of every man, woman and child can serve as an inspiration for the efforts that people of goodwill around the world are making to promote a great, true development of our human family in solidarity, in justice and in living in peace.
During my trip, I will have the opportunity to meet with the Catholic community in Thailand to encourage them in their faith and in the contribution they make to the whole of society. They are Thais and must work for their homeland. I also hope to strengthen the bonds of friendship that we share with many Buddhist brothers and sisters who bear eloquent witness to the values of tolerance and harmony that are so characteristic of your people. I hope that my visit will help to highlight the importance of interreligious dialogue, mutual understanding and fraternal cooperation, especially in the service of the poor, those most in need, and in the service of peace: at this time we must work so much for peace.
I know that many people are working to prepare for my visit, and I thank you with all my heart. In these days, I remember you all, dear friends, in my prayers. I pray for you, for your families, for your country; and please pray for me as well. Thank you very much.