In the village of St Thomas, Limassol, lived three men from Eptakomi: Nicolas Yiannoullis, Antonis Antorkas & Christos Kasiouris who in 1974 guarded & preserved a treasure beyond price. It is a beautiful copy of the Gospels which is hundreds of years old & handwritten on pergamini (kidskin).


Nicolas Yannoulis

Antonis Antorkas

Christos Kasiouris

The penmanship is remarkably fine & regular. The title page of each Gospel has a decorative heading in colour, with a design of flowers & leafs. On the opposite page is an icon, a sacred painting of the saint whose name the gospel bears; every chapter starts with a capital letter in gold, & similar capitals are used to stress important words in the text. The writing is in brown ink, and musical notes in the Byzantine scale are indicated for the cantor in red above the appropriate word. Facing the first page is an index of contents, showing where the most important events of Christ's ministry are to be found. The icon introducing St Luke's Gospel shows the saint sitting on an elaborately carved stool with a low circular back support. Near him is a reading desk on a stand shaped like a fish, an early Christian symbol. The saint with a calm serious face, dark hair & beard sits deep in thought, his feet resting on a low footstool.

There is a similar painting of St Mark prefacing the Gospel attributed to him, but the icons of St Matthew & St John are missing. It is miraculous after so many centuries and so much devastation that the Eptakomi Gospel has managed to survive. It has unfortunately sustained damage, the beginning and the end of two Gospels has been destroyed.

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