Thai Church honours the memory of the late Princess Galyani Vadhana
by Weena Kowitwanij
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.
Bangkok (AsiaNews) – The Thai Catholic Church on Sunday remembered the late Princes Galyani Vadhana who passed away last 2 January at the age of 84. In every community across the country Christians prayed for her. In Bangkok’s Assumption Cathedral (pictured) a mass was held in her memory with the participation of bishops, men and women religious and ordinary worshippers, all of whom were there to honour her.

During the service Card Michael Michai Kitbunchu, archbishop of Bangkok, mentioned the princess’ multifaceted involvement in favour of the Thai people, her work in many areas of everyday life.

The princess was involved in social welfare, help for the poor in degraded urban areas, medical scholarship, promoting “many initiatives on behalf of the king.” She has “with her action testified of how important it is to serve others.”

Jira Sirisamphan, a Thai government official, followed closely the late princess’ work at home and abroad.

“I worked with her for 14 years,” said the Catholic woman. “During that period I felt immensely grateful for the attention the princess paid to the Thai Catholic Church. [. . .] She had deep respect for the places of worship she visited.”

Princess Galyani Vadhana—whose complete name was Kalaynivadhana Krom Luang Naradhiwas Rajanagarindra—was sister to King Anandhamahidol (Rama VIII) and current King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX), who came to the throne in 1946.

She was involved over many years in a number of activities in favour of the country’s Catholic Church and Christian community; she provided in one of her many acts of charity financial aid to a Catholic family in Mae Hongsorn province to pay for a daughter’s cornea operation.