Sunday, January 19, 2014

Reader Comment: Kara and Olga



Byter Kara sent me an email about yesterday’s post on Princess Olga of Kiev. 

You will recall that Princess Olga of Kiev was the Viking female equivalent of Genghis Khan/.

Kara writes:

Otto! 
You have ended this post with a huge question - WHY on earth is there a statue of Olga anywhere in the US? Sure I could look it up but you do this so well . . . 
Kara 

So what is the answer?

Here’s a clue: 

Olga + First Conversion to Christianity in Russia + Sainthood = Statue in Ukrainian church in New Jersey

In addition to being a medieval female Chuck Norris, Olga has the distinction of being the first ruler in Rus to become a born again Christian.  She was also declared a Saint by Mother Church for her efforts in spreading the faith and was the grandmother of Prince Volodymyr—Vladimir—who proclaimed Orthodox Christianity to be the official religion of Rus-Ukraine.

The sculpture is by Petro Kapshutschenko and depicts Olga sitting on her throne with a crown, draping headdress and flowing robes. She has her right hand on the armrest and her left hand is clenched in the middle of her chest. 


It is located on the grounds of St. Andrew's Ukrainian Orthodox Memorial Church, 135 Davidson Avenue, South Bound Brook, NJ. 


Behind the statue of Olga is a memorial church for the victims of Stalin’s famines. The area is part of the headquarters of the larger Ukarainian Orthodox Church of the USA, otherwise known as the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.

And upon what does the stony stare of Olga fall in front? Unfortunately only a run down repair shop.


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