Cyprus, that “ethereal and blessed land” that stands apart, serene and sacred with an irresistible fascination, is a paradise full of natural beauty, history, memories and culture. A most surprising feature is its density of monuments of religious devotion. It is an island of distinctive aura and charm, where the whole spectrum of Christianity’s historical and cultural development can be seen, from inception to the present day.
It is no coincidence that Cyprus - the island of beauty, where according to Greek myth the goddess Aphrodite was born - was chosen as the first place to receive the great message of the new faith on the advent of Christianity. Cyprus became the gateway through which the message of the Gospels spread throughout the length and breadth of the Ecumene. The first mission of the apostles Paul and Barnabas (the latter of Cypriot descent) occurred here in accordance with the will and wish of God: “..being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus” (Acts 12, 4).
This divine ‘choice’ – at the same time an ornament and endowment for the country – is expressed through the many monuments dedicated to prayer and devotion, but also through the plethora of holy men connected with the saintly island, thus endowing it with the expression “Cyprus the island of saints”.