News & Events

Princess of Thailand Graces the Mother Church of the Philippines

June 5, 2019

On June 4, 2019, the Manila Cathedral was graced by the presence of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand. The visit was part of an educational tour of the student-cadets of the Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy of Thailand where the Princess heads the History Department.

Her Royal Highness was formally welcomed by the Cathedral Rector, Fr. Reginald Malicdem, and was toured inside the Cathedral by the Vice Rector, Fr. Kali Pietre Llamado. A small exhibit of pictures detailing the colorful history of the Cathedral was presented to the Princess, including the photos of the three Papal Masses that were held inside this important Cathedral.

A particular detail that caught the attention of the Princess was the famed Cathedral stained glass windows. Asking about its history and artwork, Fr. Kali explained to the Princess that all the panels were drawn by the Filipino artist Galo Ocampo, manufactured in Italy, and shipped to the Philippines to be installed. Fr. Kali further pointed out that the colorful panels that depict the Seven Corporal Works of Mercy, central to the Christian faith, are also very similar to Buddhist principles of charity and helping the poor. The Princess is known for her appreciation of Interreligious Dialogue.

Her Royal Highness paid respect also to the former Archbishops of Manila who are laid to rest in the Cathedral crypt. She placed flowers and silently offered a sincere prayer for the departed Archbishops. The Princess took interest in the fact that Cardinal Rufino J. Santos was the one who established Caritas in the Philippines. Her Royal Highness mentioned that she too works together with Caritas in Thailand. The Princess is also known for her charitable projects in Thailand.

Before the visit ended, the whole group listened to a special performance of the Manila Cathedral Pipe Organ, the largest in Southeast Asia, of Johann Sebastian Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor, and the Thai Royal Guards March.

Her Royal Highness also graciously bestowed royal gifts that were received by Fr. Malicdem and Fr. Llamado. The Cathedral Rector in turn gave the Princess a copy of the new coffee table book of the Manila Cathedral and a replica of the Cathedral bronze doors. A copy of the book was also given for the library of the Royal Military Academy.

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