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    » 01/09/2008, 00.00

    THAILAND

    Catholics mourn the loss of Princess Galyani Vadhana

    Weena Kowitwanij

    The princess was the sister of King Anandhamahidol (Rama VIII) and King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX), on the throne since 1946. She played a key role in the country’s development, especially of its remotest areas. Bishops and faithful remember her.

    Bangkok (AsiaNews) – Seven days after the death on 2 January of Princess Galyani Vadhana, 84, Buddhist believers are donating food to monks in an act of charity. The country’s Christian community and its bishops are also mourning the passing of a woman who played a key role in the country’s destiny.

    According to Thai tradition a body must wait 100 days before it is cremated. Mgr George Yod Phimphisan, chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Thailand, invited the faithful to pray for the princess’s soul as well as celebrate a daily Mass during this period.

    Bishop Phimphisan voiced his sadness for the “great loss,” urging Catholics to pray for God’s “protection for the country and the monarchy as well as peace, happiness and progress for its people.”

    Card Michael Michai Kitbunchu, archbishop of Bangkok, and Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio, apostolic nuncio, will celebrated a funeral Mass on 13 January in Bangkok’s Assumption Cathedral.

    During her life Princess Galyani Vadhana was responsible for several actions in favour of the Catholic Church.

    On 2 April 1995 she attended the opening ceremony of the Portuguese Shrine, the first Catholic community in Ayutthaya, the Thai Kingdom’s old capital.

    On 1 March 1997 she presided over the opening ceremony of the building dedicated to King Bhumibol at the Mater Dei School, an institution that is run by Ursuline Sisters.

    On 9 January 2000 she took part in the Great Jubilee at the National Stadium in Bangkok (see photo).

    On 14 June 2000 the princess visited an HIV home run by Redemptorist Fr Joseph H. Myer.

    On 28 September 2004 she attended the performance of Mozart’s Great Mass in C Minor at Bangkok’s Assumption Cathedral.

    In one of her many acts of charity she helped a Catholic family in Mae Hongsorn province to pay for their daughter’s cornea operation.

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    See also

    17/11/2008 THAILAND
    Thai Church honours the memory of the late Princess Galyani Vadhana
    Masses and prayers are held in all of the country’s dioceses for one of the most beloved members of the royal family who passed away last 2 January. The archbishop of Bangkok stresses her commitment to the Thai people and the many initiatives she personally promoted. A Catholic government official remembers her profound respect for Catholic places of worship.

    14/01/2008 THAILAND
    Buddhists are impressed by the spirituality of the Requiem for Princess Galyani Vadhana
    Cardinal Kitbunchu celebrates a solemn Requiem Mass in Bangkok’s cathedral for the soul of the late princess. Buddhist monks present at the function are surprised by its spirituality; they urge Catholics not to feel like a minority in the country.

    03/07/2008 THAILAND – VATICAN
    “Witnesses to the faith to follow the example of the Apostle Paul,” Card Kitbunchu says
    During the opening celebrations for the Pauline Year, the archbishop of Bangkok emphasises Saint Paul’s missionary role, reminding people of Pope Benedict XVI’s call for the unity of the faithful. Every Christian is called to proclaim the “Word of God.”

    11/05/2009 THAILAND
    Church remembers John Paul II’s historic visit
    Yesterday and today celebrations take place to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Polish pope’s trip to Thailand. In Bangkok cathedral, Benedict XVI’s special envoy Cardinal Zen celebrates solemn Mass. Prelate is joined by 23 priests ordained in 1984 by John Paul II.

    11/02/2009 THAILAND
    Paris Foreign Missions celebrate 350 years serving the Thai people
    From the time the first priest set foot on Thai soil in the mid-1600s to today’s educational and welfare facilities, the Missions’ long history is an invitation for the future, to continue its dialogue with Buddhism and to push the Thai Church to fulfill its universal mission. Today 23 of its members still call Thailand home.



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