HISTORY ETHNOGRAPHY NATURE WINE-MAKING SITE MAP
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SIR SAMUEL WHITE BAKER
CYPRUS AS I SAW IT IN 1879
page 335

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high, of the Virgin Mary, to which peculiar miraculous properties were attributed. The possession of this relic formed the principal attraction of the monastery. About a quarter of a mile above the present establishment there is a small cave concealed among the ragged masses of rock that crust the mountain side ; this has been formed by one rock which leans across another, and each end has -been walled up artificially, so as to form a stone chamber of about twelve feet in length by seven in width, with a small entrance. According to the account given by the old monk, this cave was the origin of the present monastery through the following accident. Among these wild mountains, where no dwelling of any kind exists, it has always been the custom after the melting of the snows in early spring to pasture the numerous flocks of goats, which are at that season driven up from the parched herbage of the low country to the fresh herbs of the cooler altitudes. Three or four hundred years ago a shepherd, having lost his goats at night, was surprised at the appearance of a light among the rocks high up on the mountain, and with superstitious awe he related his discovery to his fellows. For some time the mysterious light was observed nightly, and various conjectures were on foot as to its origin, but no one dared to venture upon an examination. A t length, the authorities of the Church having been consulted, it was resolved that a priest should accompany the party of investigation and the matter should be thoroughly cleared up. It was a difficult climb to the pathless crags at night, but the light was glimmering like "the starj that the wise men saw in the east, " and though

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