Our Lady of Graces Catholic Church
Terra Santa Street
6300 Larnaka – Cyprus
tel: +357.24 64.28.58
fax: +357.24 63.69.53
Headquarters of the Custody of the Holy Land / Latin Catholic Church in Cypurs
Holy Cross Church | Paphos Gate | 1010 Nicosia | P.O.Box 21964
The Island of Cyprus
The island of Cyprus was the first destination of the apostolic journeys of Paul and Barnabas, the latter a native of Cyprus.
Over the centuries, Christians have suffered severe persecutions that have continued up to this day, following the occupation of the northern part of the island by the Turks, in 1974.
In 2004, the Republic of Cyprus, on the Greek side of the island, joined the European Union. The total population of the Republic of Cyprus is about 800,000 inhabitants, of which 78% are Greek-Orthodox, 4% Catholics of various denominations and 18% Muslims.
The Activities of the Custody of the Holy Land in Cyprus
Pope Benedict XVI was the first Pope to visit the island of Cyprus in 2010: during his brief stay in Nicosia, the country’s capital, the Pope stayed at the Apostolic Nunciature. The papal embassy is housed in the premises of the Franciscan monastery of the Holy Cross that, for centuries, has been the property of the Custody of the Holy Land.
The Friars Minor settled in Cyprus from the very beginning of the history of the Order.
Today the friars of the Custody have three monasteries/parishes in Nicosia, Larnaca (with an attached nursing home for elderly) and Limassol. From Nicosia, a clergyman travels every Sunday to celebrate the mass in a chapel of the city of Kyrenia located on the north coast of the island that is controlled by Turkish Cypriots and presided by soldiers deployed by Ankara. An important educational activity, the Terra Sancta College is much appreciated.
The Organs of Cyprus
The organ installed in the church of Saint Mary of Graces in Larnaca is the only pipe organ on the island of Cyprus. It was built in 1989 by the Franciscan friar Delfin Fernandez Taboada, head of the pipe organ workshop of the Custody of the Holy Land. The nameplate on the console classifies it as “Opus IX”. The story goes that after completing the organ of the Basilica of Gethsemane (replaced in 2014 by a new Rieger organ), and wanting to keep busy, Fr. Delfin began to build the Opus IX with material from various sources. The destination of the new instrument had not been decided yet. According to original documents, the electrical circuit of the organ of Larnaca, was originally designed for the organ previously installed in the Basilica of Gethsemane. Opus IX’s elegant case recalls the style of the Italian organs of the 1800s. The body of the instrument dates back to the first years of the 1900s while the pipes were built in the German style. The transmission is electric and the organ is equipped with a single keyboard. Because there were no organ builders active in Cyprus –as it is the case still today- Fr. Delfin built the instrument without reeds. The first intended location was the church of the Terra Sancta College in Jerusalem, but then, due to the interest of Fr. Victor De La Peña, the instrument was shipped to Larnaca where the Franciscan Fr. Armando Pierucci, at the time titular organist of the Holy Sepulchre, inaugurated it in 1989 with a special concert.In recent years the organ has been repaired once by the Austrian organ builder Christian Metzler and in 2015 by the Italian Saverio Anselmi Tamburini.
The convent of the Custody of the Holy Land in Larnaca also houses two precious harmoniums of the 1800s: a French made “Dumont and Lelievre” and another made by the English firm “J. W. Sawyer – Beeston Organ Works “of Leeds with 29 registers, two keyboards and a pedal. A third harmonium “Dumont and Lelievre” can be found in the convent of the Custody of the Holy Land in Nicosia.
SPECIFICATION OF THE TABOADA ORGAN
Principale 8’ bassi
Principale 8’ soprani
Decima quinta 2’
Decima nona 1’ 1/3
Vigesima seconda 1’
Voce umana 8’
Bordone 8’ bassi
Bordone 8 ‘ soprani
Nazardo 2’ 2/3