In fact it was a Cardinal, 5 Bishops and 130 Parish Priests from Rome! The Cardinal in question was cardinal Vallini the Pro Vicar of Rome who has more than a passing interest in the pilgrimages carried out by Catholics. During his visit accompanying Pope Benedict XVI to Cyprus and Paphos in particular he was so impressed with our parish church Agia Kyriaki and its association with St Paul that he felt is should be a place of Pilgrimage for Catholics.
As a result Cardinal Vallini organised the visit to Cyprus and in particular Paphos where the visit culminated in a mass at the Church of St. Paul’s Pillar, Agia Kyriaki. Those present were then given the Hospice Presentation at the church by Cameron McDonald and at the insistence of Cardinal Vallini a collection was made towards the forthcoming 400 Countdown Campaign.
There are those that may see the irony of a church full of priests being handed the collection plate, but their generosity was wonderful and the day raised EUR1,700. We were also blessed on this occasion by the attendance of the Orthodox Patriarch of Paphos Bishop George.