What does anyone do when they return from an exciting overseas trip? They tell their friends what they saw, the highlights of the experience.
Although the Pope isn’t just anyone, he did a post-trip download at his November 27, 2019, at his General Audience in St. Peter’s Square with several thousand of his friends in Christ from around the world. Pope Francis just returned from Thailand and Japan and he was clearly excited to share his
“I returned yesterday from the Apostolic Journey to Thailand and Japan, a gift for which I am very grateful to the Lord. I want to renew my gratitude to the Authorities and to the Bishops of these two countries, who invited me and received me with great solicitude, and I wish to thank especially the Thai people and the Japanese people,” Pope Francis said. “This visit has enhanced my closeness and my affection for these peoples: may God bless them with an abundance of prosperity and peace.”
ZENIT English was on the Papal Flight.
The Holy Father recalled the “rich spiritual and cultural tradition of the Thai people” and mentioned the influence of the peaceful Buddhist religion on the nation. And he pointed to the spirit of service of the small Catholic population.
“The motto of my visit to Japan was ‘Protect All Life,’ a country that has imprinted the wounds of the atomic bombing and is spokesman for the whole world of the fundamental right to life and to peace,” Francis recalled. “I paused in prayer at Nagasaki and Hiroshima; I met some survivors and relatives of the victims, and I reiterated the firm condemnation of nuclear arms and the hypocrisy of speaking of peace while constructing and selling weapons of war.
“After that tragedy, Japan has demonstrated an extraordinary capacity to fight for life; and it did so also recently, after the triple disaster of 2011: the earthquake, tsunami, and incident in the nuclear plant.”