February 17, Patriarch Kirill visited an Antarctic station "Bellingshausen" on Waterloo Island in Antarctica where he walked among the penguins, reported the website of the Russian Orthodox Church.

The ROC Head's visit to Antarctica has become the first ever visit of the southern continent of the Earth by the Russian Orthodox Church.

The Patriarch was taken to Ardley Island by a motorboat. He was told how penguins nest in Antarctica and what the size of this colony is.

Patriarch also visited the station "Bellingshausen," where he blessed water in the only one current temple in Antarctica - Russian Orthodox Church of the Holy Trinity. In memory of the first visit to Antarctica, the Patriarch gave the Trinity Church an icon of Sts Cyril and embroidered aers.

Reportedly, February 11-22, Patriarch Kirill is to pay a number of visits to the countries in Latin America. The Patriarch flew to Antarctica from the Chilean city of Punta Arenas.

In the course of Patriarch’s travels to Latin America, he met with Pope Francis. The preparations for this meeting have been made for 20 years and discussed two years in secrecy. As a result, the Patriarch and Pope Francis adopted a joint document aimed to strengthen the inter-Christian relations between two churches.

Photo: ROC