Boys rescued from Thai cave ordained at Buddhist temple

The 11 boys, ages 11 to 16, became Buddhist novices in a religious ceremony, while their 25-year-old coach was ordained as a monk.

The young soccer teammates and their coach who were rescued after being trapped in a cave in northern Thailand were ordained Wednesday at a Buddhist temple, a merit-making activity to show thanks for their rescue.

The 11 boys, ages 11 to 16, became Buddhist novices in a religious ceremony, while their 25-year-old coach was ordained as a monk. One boy did not participate because he isn’t Buddhist.

The group prepared for their ordinations on Tuesday with ceremonies that included shaving their heads. The white clothes they donned then were exchanged Wednesday for the traditional orange robes. They prayed with guests and local officials attending the ceremony.

The ordainment ceremony took place at a mountaintop temple in Chiang Rai province. The group will spend a bit more than a week there.

Buddhist males in Thailand are traditionally expected to enter the monkhood, often as novices, at some point in their lives to show gratitude, often toward their parents for raising them. It’s believed that once a person is ordained they gain merit that is also extended to their parents.

Related: After cave rescue, soccer boys pray for protection at Thai temple

Related: Daring rescue saves all 12 boys, soccer coach from Thai cave

In this case, said Praphun Khomjoi, chief of the regional branch of the National Office of Buddhism, the boys were dedicating the act of entering the monkhood to a volunteer diver and former Thai navy SEAL, Saman Gunan, who died while diving during a mission to supply the cave with oxygen tanks essential to helping the boys’ rescue.

“The teachings that we would like to the boys to learn is the awareness of themselves and the importance of their lives,” Praphun said. “It is extraordinary to be born as humans. And as we are given this opportunity, we should use Buddhist principles or principles of any religions as guidance for living. That’s the lesson that we want them to learn.”

Guests included Saman’s family and a doctor who accompanied the team inside cave for nine days while waiting for the divers to bring them out.

The 12 boys and their coach were released from a hospital last week. They became trapped on June 23 and were finally found by two British divers on July 2. They were brought out of the cave in a daring rescue mission that ended on July 10. Doctors say their basic health is good.

Tassanee Vejpongsaa, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Baby, it’s nasty outside: wind and rain will continue across Vancouver Island

Police warn drivers and pedestrians to use precaution during expected rain and winds

Ladysmith Maritime Society wants to be known as the Friendliest Marina on the Coast

Group marks 33 years of marine preservation and community

John murder trial at Duncan courthouse on pause until spring

John is charged with the May 2016 murder of 20-year-old Derek Descoteau

Ladysmith proving once again, it’s a small town with a big heart

It takes a town full of volunteers to ensure no child goes hungry

Prosecution in Colin John murder trial wrapping up in Duncan

John on trial for stabbing death in Chemainus in 2016

B.C. businesses evacuated due to emailed bomb threat, also received in U.S.

Penticton and Comox Valley businesses evacuated Thursday morning

No plans yet for free WiFi on BC Transit buses

BC Transit says they are monitoring the roll-out of free WiFi on Translink vehicles

Some Kotex tampons recalled in Canada and U.S.

In some cases, tampon users sought medical attention “to remove tampon pieces left in the body.”

Sex-assault squad investigated eight incidents at Toronto all-boys’ school

The interim president of a Roman Catholic all-boys school rocked by student-on-student abuse allegations said the football program was cancelled for next year.

Coal power in Canada must disappear by the end of 2029, new regulations say

Canada has significantly cut its dependence on coal largely due to the closure of all coal plants in Ontario.

‘Naive approach’ to China at fault in Meng mess: Scheer

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer called on the Trudeau government to “unequivocally denounce any type of repercussions to Canadians on foreign soil.”

Omar Khadr ‘a model of compliance,’ wants changes to bail conditions: lawyer

Former Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr is back in court today to seek changes to bail conditions.

Police respond to alleged bear-spray threats in Vancouver Island park

A number of Comox dog owners have reported their off-leash dogs being threatened with bear spray

B.C. man linked to human remains probe gets absolute discharge on unrelated mischief count

Curtis Sagmoen was in Vernon Law Courts Dec. 13 for a mischief trial

Most Read