Video: Athonite monks celebrate Divine Liturgy for the first time in Eastern Antarctica

Athonite monks celebrated the Divine Liturgy on the eastern side of the continent of Antarctica for the first time ever on January 30, reports the Union of Orthodox Journalists.

Footage of the monks’ visit was shot, and a video has been posted on the YouTube channel of the Information Portal of Holy Mt. Athos.

The monks celebrated the Divine Liturgy on January 30, when according to the unrevised julian calendar is the commemoration day of St. Anthony the Great, the father of Orthodox monasticism.The video includes footage of the blessing of a memorial cross.

On the western side of Antarctica, there is a metochion of the Saint Sergius Lavra dedicated to the Holy Trinity, built 10 years ago. Two years ago, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow visited the Russian scientific station of Bellingshausen, founded on 22 February 1968, where the Holy Trinity Church is located.

Russian Patriarch Kirill visiting the Russian scietific station of Bellingshausen on Waterloo island in Antarctica. Photo: AFP / Moscow Patriarchate / Igor Palkin

The first visit of a Russian Patriarch to Antarctica drew the attention of the international press, especially since it took place one week after the meeting of Patriarch Kirill and Pope Francis at Havana in February 2016, two years from now.

During the meeting, the Patriarch of Moscow and the pope signed a joint declaration pointing to the fact that the traditional family is formed through marriage between a man and a woman. ‘The family is based on marriage, an act of freely given and faithful love between a man and a woman,’ they noted adding that ‘love that seals their union and teaches them to accept one another as a gift.’ Furthermore, the two religious leaders expressed their regret that ‘other forms of cohabitation have been placed on the same level as this union, while the concept, consecrated in the biblical tradition, of paternity and maternity as the distinct vocation of man and woman in marriage is being banished from the public conscience’ (Joint Declaration by Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill, 20).

Photo: UOJ

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