On March 25, in the St. Michael’s Golden-domed Cathedral, the Archbishop of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Epiphanius, prayed for a happy journey of 12 Ukrainian polar explorers and a good start of their work in Antarctica. The Archbishop handed over to the participants of the 24th Ukrainian Antarctic Expedition a copy of Tomos, which will be kept at the Akademik Vernadsky station in the chapel of the holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Prince Volodymyr, as well as the icon of St.Nicholas the Miracle-Worker, who is known to be the protector of sailors and travelers.
After the solemn prayer the Archbishop Epiphanius communicated with the participants of the 24th UAE and the representatives of the National Antarctic Scientific Center in the premises of the Theological Academy. Deputy Minister of Education and Science Maxim Strikha spoke about the nature and significance of scientific research at the Antarctic station, and the NASC Head Evgen Dykyi spoke about the innovations at the station and, in fact, the chapel itself at Vernadsky station.
We recall that the chapel at Vernadsky station was built in 2011, during the presidency of Viktor Yanukovych. Following the instructions from the “top”, the UOC of the Moscow Patriarchate was entrusted to build the chapel. Considering that those members of the Antarctic expeditions who are believers are spiritually committed to the idea of a single local Ukrainian church, it was decided to ask the Archbishop of the PCU Epiphanius to transfer the chapel to the bosom of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. Voting for this decision will take place during the rotation of the Ukrainian Antarctic expedition, when the participants of the 23rd and 24th UAE, as well as the seasonal group of scientists, will be present at the Akademik Vernadsky station.
We recall that the participants of the 24th UAE will depart from Kyiv on March 26. Their journey to the ice continent will last at least 6 days.