On November 28, 2017, the second day of his Apostolic Journey to Myanmar, Pope Francis met the President of th, Republic Htin Kyaw, as well as the Counsellor of State and Minister of Foreign Affairs Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Peace Prize laureate in 1991, at Naypyidaw, the Burmese capital.
It was the official welcome ceremony for the Pope, who arrived in the country the day before. In the morning, the Holy Father met with the religious leaders of Myanmar, a country of Buddhist majority, at the Archbishopric of Yangon where he is residing. Then he celebrated Mass, reported a press release of the Holy See Press Office.
After lunch, he went by car to Yangon’s International Airport, where he took off at 2:00 pm local time (8:30 am in Rome), onboard flight B737 of the Burmese company MAI. On his arrival at Naypyidaw’s International Airport, about an hour later, the Pontiff was received by a Minister Delegate of the President.
Then he went by car to the Presidential Palace, in front of which a ceremony was held at 3:50 pm (10:20 am in Rome) with hymns, military honors and the introduction of delegations. Then the Pope met President Htin Kyaw in private, in the Palace’s “Credentials Hall,” where he also signed the Guest Book: “I invoke upon all the beloved people of Myanmar the divine blessings of justice, peace, and unity,” he wrote in English.
During this meeting, the Holy Father gave the Head of State a manuscript of the Apostolic Vatican Library containing the story of Malalankaravatthu, the life of Buddha in seven episodes, in images and in Burmese: the conversion of the city of Rajagaha, the reception of King Bimbisara, the meeting with Sariputta and Assaij, the conversion of Sariputta and Moggallana, the conversion of Suddhodana at Kapilavatthu, the events of Anathapindika and the history of Doctor Jivaka.
After his meeting with the President, Pope Francis was received by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who has visited the Vatican several times. Then he met with the Authorities, the Civil Society and the Diplomatic Corps, at Myanmar’s International Convention Center.