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Titular Archdiocese of Nicosia



Titular archdiocese in the Province of Cyprus. It is now agreed (Oberhummer' "Aus Cypern" in "Zeitschrift der Gesellschaft fur Erdkunde", 1890, 212-14), that Ledra, Leucotheon, Leucopolis, Leucosia, and Nicosia are the same city, at least the same episcopal see. Ledra is first mentioned by Sozomen (H. E., I, 11) in connexion with its bishop, St. Triphyllius, who lived under Constantine and whom St. Jerome (De scriptoribus ecclesiasticis), pronounced the most eloquent of his time. Mention is made also of one of his disciples, St. Diomedes, venerated on 28 October. Under the name of Leucosia the city appears for the first time in the sixth century, in the "Synecdemus" of Hierocles (ed. Burckhardt, 707-8). It was certainly subsequent to the eighth century that Leucosia or Nicosia replaced Constantia as the metropolis of Cyprus, for at the (Ecumenical Council of 787 one Constantine signed as Bishop of Constantia; in any case at the conquest of the island in 1191 by Richard Coeur de Lion Nicosia was the capital. At that time Cyprus was sold to the Templars who established themselves in the castle of Nicosia, but not being able to overcome the hostility of the people of the city, massacred the majority of the inhabitants and sold Cyprus to Guy de Lusignan, who founded a dynasty there, of which there were fifteen titulars, and did much towards the prosperity of the capital. Nicosia was then made a Latin metropolitan see with three suffragans, Paphos, Limassol, and Famagusta. The Greeks who had previously had as many as fourteen titulars were obliged to be content with four bishops bearing the same titles as the Latins but residing in different towns. The list of thirty-one Latin archbishops from 1196 to 1502 may be seen in Eubel, "Hierarchia catholica medii aevi", I, 382; II, 224. Quarrels between Greeks and Latins were frequent and prolonged, especially at Nicosia, where the two councils of 1313-60 ended in bloodshed; but in spite of everything the island prospered. There were many beautiful churches in the possession of the Dominicans, Franciscans, Augustinians, Carmelites, Benedictines, and Carthusians. Other churches belonged to the Greeks, Armenians, Jacobites, Maronites, Nestorians etc. In 1489 Cyprus fell under the dominion of Venice and on 9 November, 1570, Nicosia fell into the power of the Turks, who committed atrocious cruelties. Nor was this the last time, for on 9 July, 1821, during the revolt of the Greeks in the Ottoman Empire, they strangled many of the people of Nicosia, among them the four Greek bishops of the island. Since 4 June, 1878, Cyprus has been under the dominion of England. Previously Nicosia was the residence of the Mutessarif of the sandjak which depended on the vilayet of the Archipelago. Since the Turkish occupation of 1571 Nicosia has been the permanent residence of the Greek archbishop who governs the autonomous church of Cyprus. The city has 13,000 inhabitants. The Franciscans administer the Catholic mission which is dependent on the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and has a school for boys. The Sisters of St. Joseph have a school for girls.

LE QUIEN, Oriens christianus, II (Paris, 1740), 1076; Acta Sanctorum, III Junii, 174-78; Analecta Bollandiana (Brussels 1907), 212-20; MAS LATRIE, Histoire des Archeveques latins de l'ile de Chypre (Genoa, 1882); HACKETT, A History of the Orthodox Church of Cyprus (London, 190l), passim; PHRANGOUDES, Cyprus (Athens, 1890), in Greek; CHAMBERLAYNE, Lacrimae Nicosienses (Paris, 1894).

S. VAILHÉ








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