My dear Friends,
You have come to Rome to be present at yesterday’s solemn and meaningful ceremony in which Cardinal Michael Michai Kitbunchu took possession of this titular Church of San Lorenzo in Panisperna.
On this occasion you have wished to meet the Pope, and indeed I am greatly pleased to spend this all-too-brief moment with you. I greet each one of you: the bishops, priests, religious and lay men and women who are here. You represent the whole Church in Thailand. At the tomb of Saint Peter you manifest the vibrant spiritual life and evangelical commitment of all your brothers and sisters in the household of God.
When you return to your homeland you will take with you the memories of this visit. May it be for each one of you a pressing invitation "to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called", as Saint Paul urges us (Eph. 4, 1). May the ministers of the Lord among you lead God’s people to knowledge and holiness with all solicitude and generosity and spiritual joy. May the laity, by their secular activity, aid one another to greater holiness of life, so that the world may be filled with the spirit of Christ and may more effectively attain its destiny in justice, in love and in peace (Cfr. Lumen Gentium, 36).
My brothers and sisters, I thank you for your courteous visit. I ask you to pray for the Church and for the many needs of the human family. Pray for me. On my part, I commend you all to the love of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the intercession of Mary, whom we honour in a special way in this month of May.
I invoke peace, harmony and well-being upon your country and its rulers. God bless Thailand.