A Historical Survey
The Franciscans have been in Cyprus since the beginning of their Order. Indeed, we may assume that St Francis of Assisi (1182-1226), their founder, passed through Cyprus in his voyage to the Holy Places. On June 24th, 1219, Francis set sail from Ancona, Italy, and voyaged until St John of Acre (today, Akko), northern town of Palestine and then to Damietta, Egypt. In those times, ships were mostly coast vessels. From Ancona then, to reach the coasts of Palestine a ship would touch at ports along the coasts of Italy, Greece, around the Peloponese peninsula, Crete, the Cyclades Islands, the coasts of Anatolia, maybe the island of Rhodes, Cyprus, and finally Acre.
It is believed that St Francis stopped in Cyprus for some time and saw this beautiful island. In our Church in Kyrenia there is a small carved marble which represents St Francis and some of his brothers disembarking at the harbour. One thing is certain, that the Franciscans were in Cyprus when Francis was still alive. During the Lusignan and Venetian periods, the Franciscans, together with the Poor Clares, the Second Order founded by St Francis, established several friaries and churches, until the year 1571, when the island fell into the hands of the Turks. In that year they lied away with all the other Orders (Dominicans, Augustinians, Cistercians, etc.) In the year 1593, the Franciscans came back and, we believe, they established themselves on the same spot where we are now. In 1642 they built here the first, church dedicated to the Holy Cross, which functioned until the end of the 19th century.
The Latin Catholich Church of Cyprus has four parishes, which belong to the Latin Patriarcate of Jerusalem.
Nicosia: Holy Cross Catholic Church,
Larnaca: St. Mary of Graces Catholic Church
Limassol: St. Catherine Catholic Church
Paphos: Paphos Catholic Church
Schedule of Holy Masses
|Nicosia||Weekdays:||6.30 pm, in English||Holy Cross Church
Paphos Gate, 1010 Nicosia
Tel. 22 662132; Fax 22 660767
Fr. Edmunds Garret ofm,
Fr. Andrew Arhin ofm.
Fr Vito Scagliuso
|Tuesday:||7.30 am, in Greek|