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GIOVANNI MARITI
Travels in the Island of Cyprus
page 96

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92 Of some Villages and Hamlets and [CH. is never hidden. Olympus on the other hand, and the hills round it are lost to sight in the slightest mist. On the summit is a church dedicated to the Holy Cross, built by St Helena after her return from Jerusalem. A convent of Greek monks adjoining it is partly destroyed, but still gives an idea of its former size and solidity. In the church is preserved a fragment of our Saviour's Cross, as long as half a finger, and as thick as one's thumb. In later years doubt has been thrown on this relic, and this is the reason. Some Greek priests of the village of Lefcara, mentioned above, conceived the idea of robbing the convent of so remarkable a relic to glorify their own church by its presence, and framed a cunning tale that a similar piece of the True Cross had been lately presented to them, which they wished to compare with that on the mountain, whose authenticity they knew to be indisputable, as it had come from the hands of St Helena herself. These wily Lefcariots received permission to do so, and went over to the mountain with a sham relic so fashioned as exactly to resemble the true. When the two pieces were brought together they began to shuffle them about, and to wrangle over them,-until at last no one knew which was the piece of the True Cross, each party claiming that honour for their own. The people continue to have more faith in that on the mountain, but frequent also the feast held at Lefcara; for opinions are divided, and to this day disputes and quarrels agitate the priests of the two churches. Traces of gold and copper are found on the mountain. At the foot of its steepest side is a church dedicated to St Barbara, served by a few of the monks from the convent on the top. Commanderia is a tract lying between Limasol, Pafo and Mt Olympus. It takes its name from the great Com-mandery of St John, and that of the Knights Templars, which embraced all these villages. The most exquisite wine and the best muscat grapes are produced here, and called hence wines of the Commandery, as though to mark their superiority over

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