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St John Paul II's Apostolic Visit to Thailand

10th - 11th May 1984

Pope St John Paul II was a pilgrim to Thailand on the last leg of his 21st apostolic voyage, during which he also visited the USA, South Korea, Papua-New Guinea & the Solomon Islands.

John Paul II's Act of Entrustment to Mary

O Blessed Virgin Mary, I thank you for your maternal love for all your dear sons and daughters in Thailand. As Pastor of the universal Church, I entrust them all to your Immaculate Heart, asking you to watch over them always and to guide them in the ways of holiness and peace.

O Mary, Mother of priests, with filial devotion I entrust to you these newly ordained priests, whom your Son has called to be his friends and whom he is sending forth to proclaim the Good News of the Redemption. Keep them always faithful in generous service to God’s people. Draw them ever closer to your own Pure Heart and to the Sacred Heart of your Son.

O Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, at every step of human history you are near to the People of God, supporting them with your prayers and giving them courage to witness to the truth of the Gospel. Intercede today for all the clergy, religious and laity of Thailand, that they may be strong in faith and hope, and that they may persevere in the love of Jesus Christ your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


Thursday, 10th May 1984

"This is a moment of intense joy for me. With great pleasure I have set foot on Thai soil. I am greatly honoured to be received by Your Majesties in this "land of smiles", as Thailand is known the world over, in this "land of freedom", which is what your name means." 

JPII - Welcome Ceremony Address (in English & Italian) - Royal Palace of Bangkok

"The true peacemaker is one who not only renounces the use of violence as the normal course of action, but who also has the courage to combat the enemies of peace. The peacemaker struggles, not with physical weapons or against another individual or nation, but against that selfishness, in all its forms, which impedes us from seeing others as brothers and sisters in the one human family. He fights against indifference or apathyin the face of poverty, pain or suffering, for in the Christian vision of human life these conditions neither justify fatalism nor are they signs of being accursed. Rather, they lead us to our Redemption when they are joined to the Cross and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, our saving Lord, whose innocent suffering remains forever a sign of hope for all humanity."

JPII - Homily at Mass for World Peace (in English & Italian) - National Stadium of Bangkok

Friday, 11th May 1984

"Listen to these words that come from my heart: I want you to Know of my love. We are truly brothers and sisters, members of the same human family, sons and daughters of the same loving Father. I wish to share with you your sufferings, your hardships, your pain, so that you may know that someone cares for you, sympathizes with your plight, and works to help you find relief, comfort and a reason for hope.

Have faith in yourselves. Never forget your identity as free people who have a rightful place in this world. Never lose your personality as a people! Remain firmly rooted in your respective cultures, from which the world can learn much and come to appreciate you in your uniqueness.

Have hope in the future. Our world is in full development. It needs you and your contributions. Take every opportunity offered you to study a language and perfect a skill, in order to be able to adapt socially to the country which will open its doors to you and be enriched by your presence." 

JPII - Address to the Refugees (in English & Italian) - Refugee Camp, Phanat Nikhom

"May our Father in heaven become known, through you, in the very values that characterize your Thai culture! May the Holy Spirit form Jesus Christ in you, and through your lives and teaching communicate him to the world. May Mary, the Mother of our divine Saviour, be for ever the cause of your joy!"

JPII - Address to Clergy, Religous People & Laity (in English & Italian) - Cathedral of Bangkok

"The Lord has taken you by the hand. He calls you by name. He gives you as a covenant to the people and a light to the nations. He chooses you to offer, in the person of Christ, the new covenant established in his Blood, and to spread the light of Christ’s saving message throughout the world.

Be faithful to this vocation. Be generous in your service. Follow the example of Christ, who came to serve and not be served. Accept as a special challenge the call to preach the Gospel to the people of your native land. Encourage and strengthen those who have already heard Christ’s message, and proclaim it boldly and perseveringly to those who have not yet come to believe. Your vocation requires of you a missionary spirit."

JPII - Homily at Mass with Diaconal Ordinations (in English & Italian) - Seminary of Sampran

"Ladies and Gentlemen, from this place tonight I wish to renew the appeals I have made on other occasions to representatives of governments and international organizations, to increase and intensify all efforts so that the refugees, both here in Thailand and elsewhere, may be received back into their homeland, in which they have a natural human right to live in freedom, dignity and peace.

The Catholic Church, for her part, offers the assurance of her unflagging support for any measures which pursue this goal. She likewise pledges her constant availability to assist, as much as she can and solely out of her love and respect for the human person, in any efforts aimed at re-establishing the just conditions and circumstances to which every refugee has a human right and without which true and lasting peace cannot be possible.

May our common endeavours on behalf of the dignity of the human person bring upon us abundant blessings from God, who is the source of all human dignity and who calls us to acknowledge and respect that dignity as his precious gift."

JPII - Address to Members of Government of Thailand & Diplomatic Corps of Bangkok (in English & Italian) - Government Palace of Bangkok

"This great treasure must be presented in an especially dynamic way to the young people of the Church. It is they who are assailed most by the problems of the modern world; it is they who need a particular grace from Christ to endure the Christian combat with temptation and sin. In Christ the young people can find the answers to the deep questions that are at the basis of all Christian choices. How greatly they need the pastoral support of their Bishops, together with their priests, in order to develop and persevere in their Christian vocation.

In speaking of the young people and their needs we cannot ignore the formidable problem of narcotics in the world today, as well as the causes of this phenomenon and the means needed to face this crisis of humanity. The whole human community must be mobilized to confront this issue. But here the Church has a specific task of educating to human dignity, to the respect of self, to the values of the spirit, to the search for that true joy which abides in the heart and not in the passing exhilaration of the senses."

JPII - Address to Thai Bishops (in English & Italian) - Saint Louis Hospital, Bangkok

"This visit to the noble people of Thailand, and in particular to the faithful and persevering Catholics of this country, will be etcher forever in my memory and in my heart. I will continue to pray for you as I do for all peoples, that God may bless you with happiness, prosperity and lasting peace. Thailand - "Land of the Free" - I salute you. People of Thailand - I bid you farewell. People of Thailand - May God bless you!

JPII - Farewell Address (in English & Italian) - Don Muang Airport, Bangkok