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DIOCESE OF TINOS AND MYKONOS (TINENSIS ET MYCONENSIS)

A Latin diocese of the Cyclades, containing over 126 square miles and numbering 13,000 inhabitants. It is called "verdant" thought it is so only in comparison with the other Greek islands more arid than itself. In ancient times it was called Hydrussa, i.e. abounding in water, though this is scarcely credible, and Ophiussa because of the number of serpents which inhabited it. Near the river there was a celebrated temple of Poseidon, discovered in 1902. The island subjected itself to Xerxes at the time of his expedition against the Greeks, but afterwards defected to Salamais and Plataea; it became finally subject to Athens, then to Alexander of Pherae, afterwards to the Rhodians, to whom it was given by Marcus Antonius, later to the Romans. It is not known when Christianity was established there. Le Quien (Oriens Christianus, I, 943) mentions three early bishops ; Ecdicius, present in 553 at the Fifth Œcumenical Council); Demetrius, in 681 at the Sixth Council; Eustathius in 787 at the Seventh Council. The bishopric was a suffragan of Rhodes in the seventh and tenth centuries (Gelzer, "Ungedruckte . . . Texte der Notitiae Episcopatuum", 542, 558); suppressed after the conquest of the island by the Venetians in 1207, it was re-established but as a metropolitan when Tinos passed into the power of the Turks in 1714. The metropolitan see was in its turn suppressed in 1833, "Echos d'Orient", III, 287. Under the Venetian domination, which lasted from 1207 to 1714, Tinos had some Latin bishops ; nevertheless the earliest known date only from 1329 ( Le Quien, op. cit., III, 1059; Eubel, "Hierarchia catholica medii aevi", I, 512; II, 276; III, 333).

Little by little the island became almost completely Catholic. In 1781 it had 7000 Catholics dispersed throughout 32 villages (Hilaire de Barenton, "La France catholique en Orient", 221); some were of the Latin, others of the Greek Rite , and Le Quien (I, 943) affirms that at the same epoch there were more than 120 Greek Catholic priests subject to the Latin bishop. Under the Venetian domination the schismatics were dependent on a protopapas who in turn depended on the Patriachate of Constantinople. The Latin bishopric, at first a suffragan of the Archbishopric of Rhodes, afterwards of Arcadia in Crete, is now a suffragan of Naxos. Since at least the year 1400, the title of Mykonos has been joined to its own; furthermore, the bishop administers the Diocese of Andros. The see numbers 4000 Catholics 23 secular priests, a chapter-house, 26 parishes, a seminary at Xynara with only seven or eight students; the Franciscans have 2 houses and five religious, the Jesuits one house and ten religious, the Franciscan Tertiaries have about ten, the French Ursulines maintain an orphanage and a large boarding-school at Loutra, and they also direct through the Greek Sisters schools for girls, which number about forty in all. Tinos possesses an image of the Evanghelistria or of the Annunciation discovered in 1823 which attracts each year on 25 March and 15 August from 3000 to 4000 schismatic pilgrims (Echos d'Orient, V, 315).


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