The program of the visit will be announced later. Pope Francis will be the second Pope to visit Thailand, after Pope John Paul II visited the country in 1984. Apart from Thailand, he will also visit Japan.
The motto of the first stage of the Apostolic Journey is "Disciples of Christ, Missionary Disciples," and is a reference to an important anniversary. 2019 marks the 350th anniversary of the founding of the "Mission de Siam" by Pope Clement IX to oversee Catholic missionary work in the country.
According to the Catholic Social Communications of Thailand, the Catholic minority accounts for 0.58 percent of Thailand's population, with 388,468 devotees and 524 churches.
Pope Francis is the 266th Supreme Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. Born as Jorge Mario Bergoglio on 17 December 1936 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the pontiff completed a Master's in Chemistry and studied theology before his consecration into the priesthood.