In either a step down for the Pope or a coup for troubled car-maker Nissan, Pope Francis will take to the streets of Thailand in a locally-manufactured open-top Papal Pick-up. Pope Francis visits Thailand from November 20–23.
The vehicle was unveiled yesterday at Assumption Cathedral in Bangkok. For shorter trips, the Papal Golf Cart was also revealed.
The Thai “popemobile” will be open and not feature a glass top because, as the Pope commented in a June 2014 interview with Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia, the glass makes the vehicle like a “sardine can” that separates him from his flock.
The Popemobile will bear the Vatican City’s registration plate “SCV 1”, an abbreviation of the Latin, Status Civitatis Vaticanæ (Vatican City State). It features a specially-designed adjustable staircase to make it easier for boarding and disembarking. The pope will travel around the national stadium in the Popemobile.
Another highlight during the papal visit is the Holy Chalice, which will be used by the Pontiff during a mass Mass to be held at the Supachalasai National Stadium on November 21. Up to 70,000 Catholics from across Thailand and neighbouring countries have already registered to attend the Mass. The Holy Chalice is believed to have been made in France in 1846, which coincided with the reign of King Rama III of Thailand.
Pope Francis will be the first Pontiff to visit Thailand for 35 years, since Pope John Paul II in 1984. This year also marks the 350th anniversary of the establishment of the Catholic Mission in Thailand.
SOURCE: Thai PBS World
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