Malyn, Ukraine, September 28, 2017
The solemn opening of a unique wooden monument to the baptizer of Rus’ St. Vladimir the Great was celebrated on Monday in Malyn, Ukraine, in the Zhytomyrs'ka Province, 70 miles northwest of Kiev. The monument was installed on a site where a memorial to Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin once stood, reports the Ukrainian news station The First Cossack.
The perpetuation of the image of Great Prince Vladimir in Malyna has both an historical as well as spiritual foundation. According to one version, St. Vladimir’s mother Malusha was the daughter of the Drevlian prince Mala, from whose name allegedly derives the name of the city Malyna. Thus, in the city named after the grandfather of the equal-to-the-apostles there appeared a monument to the baptizer of Rus’.
The creation of the wooden monument was inspired and supervised by Fr. Paul Linnik of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God parish with the blessing of Metropolitan Vissarion of Ovrich and Korosten. The Malyn Forestry Technical School, on whose territory a church and the memorial to St. Vladimir were established, especially helped in the creation of the monument.
In addition to the figure of the Great Prince, the sculpture includes texts from the Gospel and images of angels. While the chosen material may not be the most durable, it is the most warm and alive, according to sculptor Oleg Demchenko. The placement of the sculpture, on the site where a Lenin statue had stood until 2014, can be considered an historical recompense, the artist believes.
The monument was opened by Met. Vissarion and Igor Ivanyu, the director of the forestry school. After a solemn moleben and the consecration of the monument, the bishop offered awards from His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry to local citizens who were especially involved in the establishment and strengthening of the Orthodox faith.
“It is very timely, because in the spiritual sense, it seems to me, people have become a bit degenerate. Religion has become some ordinary phenomenon, that the young generation doesn’t read the Gospel or anything like that… Such work will have an ideological strength, because there are texts there. Someone will happen to pass by, look, read, and already begin to contemplation…” Demchenko said, expressing his hopes for the new monument.