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Supreme Patriarch of Vietnam’s Buddhist Sangha Dies at 105

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Venerable Thich Pho Tue. From sggpnews.org.vn

The most senior Buddhist monastic in Vietnam, Venerable Thich Pho Tue, supreme patriarch of the Patronage Council of the Viet Nam Buddhist Sangha, died in the early hours of Thursday morning. He was 105 years old.

Local media reports stated that Ven. Thich Pho Tue was also a member of the Viet Nam Fatherland Front Central Committee and served as head monastic at Vien Minh (Rang) Pagoda, a monastery in Hanoi’s Phu Xuyen District.

Funeral rites at Vien Minh Pagoda began early today and are to continue through to Saturday, with a memorial service scheduled to be held at 9am on Sunday. Ven. Thich Pho Tue’s body has been placed in a specially designed coffin for dignitaries and followers to pay their respects.

Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc offers incense to Ven. Thich Pho Tue. From vovworld.vn

Earlier today, Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc visited Vien Minh Pagoda to lay a wreath and offer incense to Ven. Thich Pho Tue. Phuc offered condolences to the Viet Nam Buddhist Sangha’s Patronage Council, and to monastic and lay followers around the world.

Describing Ven. Thich Pho Tue as a symbol of national unity and religious solidarity, Phuc expressed hope that the senior monk’s monastic and lay followers would learn from his teachings and contribute to the development of Vietnam and to building the Viet Nam Buddhist Sangha into a strong and united Buddhist organization. Phuc noted that the supreme patriarch’s life vividly reflected Buddhism’s cultural and ethical values. 

Ven. Thich Pho Tue was born Bui Van Quy in 1917, the second of three brothers, in Phung Thien Hamlet, Ninh Binh Province. He left home at the age of nine under the tutelage of Ven. Thich Dam Co, the head monk of Phuc Long Pagoda in Ninh Binh Province.

At the age of 13, Ven. Thich Pho Tue was invited to become a disciple of Patriarch Thich Tam An, abbot of Duong Pham Pagoda in Nam Dinh Province, and was ordained as a novice monk by the master at the age of 16 at the Undergraduate School of Dong Cao Pagoda, Nam Dinh Province, where he continued his studies. Ven. Thich Pho Tue received full ordination at the age of 20 at But Thap Pagoda in Bac Ninh Province, led by Master Thich Quang Ton.

Ven. Thich Pho Tue received numerous recognitions for his contributions and services to Buddhism and to secular society. The senior monk was honored with the Ho Chi Minh Order, the Second-Class Independence Order, the Great National Unity Medal, the Prime Minister’s Certificate of Merit, and many other notable awards.

Throughout a long and varied monastic career, Ven. Thich Pho Tue earned renown as an intelligent and learned monk with a deep understanding of the Tripitaka, making significant contributions to compiling, translating, and composing numerous Buddhist texts, and as a poet.

All my life, I just wished to recite the Buddha’s name and recite the sutras, not seek fame or fortune. . . . Please don’t call me Dharma master, but instead look at me as a poor old monk living in a village temple and I’ll be satisfied. — Ven. Thich Pho Tue

See more

Supreme Patriarch of Việt Nam Buddhist Sangha passes away (Việt Nam News)
Supreme Patriarch of Vietnam Buddhist Sangha passes away (Vietnam+)
Supreme Patriarch of Vietnam Buddhist Sangha passes away (Saigon Online)
VBS Supreme Patriarch Thich Pho Tue passes away at 105 (DTI News)
VBS Supreme Patriarch Thich Pho Tue passes away at 105 (VOV)
State President pays tribute to Buddhist Sangha leader (VOV)

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