Thai Catholics thank God for the saints and for the king he gave them
by Weena Kowitwanij

Capuchin Brother Anuchitt Somboonpermpoon remembers the visits to Thailand of Saint John Paul II and Saint Teresa of Calcutta.  Thais are “fortunate” to have their own Blessed and King Bhumibol, “who sacrificed himself” for his people.

Bangkok (AsiaNews) – Thailand "is fortunate to have been visited by two great saints, Saint John Paul II and Saint Teresa of Calcutta”, and privileged to have the Blessed Fr Nicholas Kitbamrung, whom John Paul II beatified on 5 March 2000, and the seven Blessed in Song Khon district, whom the pope beatified on 22 October 1989, the first Thai Catholics to be so recognised,” said Brother Anuchitt Somboonpermpoon, a Capuchin friar, during the homily in yesterday’s Mass.

An ethnic Karen and from the northern province of Chiang Mai, the brother remembered John Paul II’s visit to Thailand in 1984, and described the benefits Thai Catholicism gained from the two saints’ time in the country. However, "There is another man to consider,” he noted, namely King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

“I did not know a lot about him before his death,” he said. “When he passed away I read the story of his life. I think His Majesty should be considered a saint on earth and in the hearts of all Thai people. He sacrificed himself with devotion so that everyone could have better living conditions."