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GIOVANNI MARITI
Travels in the Island of Cyprus
page 22

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Turkish agha or gentleman, who is looked upon here as the Customs officer, but really he is a mere deputy of the Chief Collector of the island, who lives in Nicosia. The merchants are chiefly in this town, where they keep their goods, particularly cotton and wool. The Greek Christians have here, on the land side of the town, an ancient church of three aisles, dedicated to St Lazarus, who was, they say, bishop of Cyprus, and in a chapel on the right as you enter, going down a short stair, you are shown a sepulchre hollowed out of the rock in which they believe the body of the saint lay. The Greeks throng to it very devoutly, and insist that the body was carried off to Venice. The church originally belonged to the Latin clergy. It was taken from them under an order of the Grand Signor, but they always preserve a right to the side chapel on the left, and twice a year in token of their right the Fathers of Terra Santa go to celebrate the Holy Mysteries there. Within the church there is nothing remarkable, except the pulpit of marble, supported on the emblems of the four evangelists well carved, as well at least as suits the Gothic style in which the rest of the church is built. The font too is worth a look, though it is simple and without ornament. It had four shields of arms which have been hacked away by the Greeks, in their hatred for every little memorial of the Latins which may be found in churches of their rite. The Greeks baptise by immersion, but use in Cyprus many ceremonies not prescribed in their rituals. They rarely confer this sacrament before the eighth day after birth. A Latin who wished to join their communion must be rebaptised, just as they would rebaptise a Greek who had become a Catholic, and then wished again to return to their church. The screen which divides the choir from the Sancta Sanctorum, in this church of St Lazarus, as in all churches of the Greek rite, is made of wood carved and gilded, and adorned with various pictures of saints, painted on wood, as 18 Concerning the Port [CH.

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