New Supreme Patriarch named

His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn has officially named the abbot of Wat Rajabopit as the kingdom's 20th supreme patriarch.

According to National News Bureau of Thailand, the 89-year-old Somdej Phra Maha Muniwong, the abbot of Wat Rajabopit, will succeed his predecessor, Somdet Phra Nyanasamvara Suvaddhana Mahathera, who passed away in 2013 at the age of 100.

Somdej Phra Maha Muniwong was born on June, 1927 in Rachaburi province.

He became a novice at the age of 10 and received Nakdhamtri or dhamma scholar elementary level 3 years later.

At 20 years of age, he was ordained as a monk and completed Nakdham-ek or dhamma scholar advanced level in 1943.

Four years later or in 1947, Somdej Phra Maha Muniwong moved to Wat Rajabopit in Bangkok where he was introduced to Somdet Phra Ariya Wongsa Khottayan, the then supreme patriarch.

He then attended Mahamakut Buddhist University where he graduated with a bachelor's degree in religious studies before pursuing his master's degree in history and archaeology at Banaras Hindu University in India. The new supreme patriarch completed his doctorate degree at Mahamakut Buddhist University in 2009.

The official ceremony for his appointment will be held on February 12, 2017 at Wat Phra Sri Rattana Satsadaram or known to Thais as Wat Phra Kaew.

The ceremony will be officiated by HM King Maha Vajiralongkorn himself.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)