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

Let the Games begin!

Team Alberta takes home gold and silver in speed skating on day one

WATCH: Historic night in Red Deer as 2019 Canada Winter Games kicks off

Star-studded Opening Ceremony features athletes from across Canada

Athletes’ medals unveiled at the official kick-off of 2019 Canada Winter Games

Medals depict Central Alberta landscape and pay tribute to First Nations

Alix resident captures beams of light near Lacombe

Lacombe, Blackfalds, Red Deer photos have since gone viral around the world

WATCH: Canada Winter Games are finally here

Final leg of torch relay kicked off at Fort Normandeau

Fashion Fridays: Up your beauty game

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Jason Kenney pledges education revamp if UCP wins power in Alberta

Kenney has said the full United Conservative platform will be rolled out during the campaign

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

‘Mitts don’t just warm hands. They warm hearts’: Mitts for Many Program launches

Donate new or lightly used mittens to bin in the Great Hall of the Gary W. Harris Centre

LOCATED: Innisfail RCMP looking for missing woman

Amanda Kucher was last seen at the Innisfail 7-Eleven on Feb. 15

Red Deer RCMP arrest man after vehicle theft from dealership

Police were able to disable the SUV with assistance from the built-in vehicle assistance system

Red Deer College transforms into Athletes’ Village

Red Deer College’s campus will be home for the athletes during the 2019 Canada Winter Games

Alberta minor hockey team, slammed for Indigenous dance video, forfeits season

Parents say season was too dangerous to finish because the team has been threatened

Trump officially declares national emergency to build border wall

President plans to siphon billions from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts

Most Read