Gov’t Gifts Thai-Designed Holy Vestment to Pope Francis

Thai designer Athiwat Chuenwut poses for photos with the four holy vestments he designed for Pope Francis. Image: Athiwat Chuenwut / Facebook

BANGKOK — Four papal outfits made by a Thai designer were delivered to Pope Francis by the Thai government as a gift to mark his visit to the kingdom on Thursday.

The four holy vestments come in what designer Athiwat Chuenwut called “Thai Tone” – four traditional colors of Thai craftsmanship that resemble the Western counterpart of white, red, green, and violet. Each tone also matches the four liturgical colors required for Catholic masses throughout the year.

In an interview with Art and Culture magazine, Athiwat said he used silk from the northeastern region of Thailand for the garments as a homage to seven Catholics murdered there in 1940.

Apart from Catholic symbols like the cross, wheat, and grapevines, Athiwat added traditional Thai textile patterns to the outfits for the sake of local touch.

Athiwat is the same artist behind holy vestments presented to Pope Francis when he visited Myanmar in 2017 and held a Holy Sunday mass at St. Peter’s Basilica in 2018.

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