The Franciscan 

July 2005 

St Francis of Assisi Parish Newsletter


St Francis of Assisi Anglican Church, 373 Milner Street, Waterkloof, 0181 Tel. 012-346 1106/7, Fax: 346 4226.
http://www.st-francis.co.za/       mail@st-francis.co.za
Clergy: Fr Timothy Lowes, Robin Heath, June de Klerk
Deacons: Martzi Eidelberg, Liz Horne (children's chaplain)


Foreword

Many thanks to all who have contributed to this Winter issue of The Franciscan. I hope you’ll enjoy their articles and be inspired to send us something for the next issue, which will be towards the end of the year.

This is the first time the hard copy of the newsletter has been printed and not just photocopied. All production and printing costs have been borne by the printer, Dave Tweedley, to whom we are most grateful.

The stained glass windows above come from a church in Delft, Holland. They depict (below) two scenes from the childhood of Jesus and (above) His command ‘Suffer the little children to come unto me’. This command evokes the work being done at the Lekgema Haven, Tumelong.

Jill Daugherty (Ed)


From the Rector's Desk

My dear Parishioners,

It’s intriguing that we are often astonished at the things of God.  Perhaps it’s the implicit mistake we make of assuming that our pilgrimage of faith is based on a relationship (with God) that is, when all’s said and done, no different to any other relationship.  So when we get involved with this God, we expect it to mirror willy-nilly our “earthly” relationships, for we always want thins to be simple and easy to understand.  I think we need to be reminded that almighty God is like NO OTHER.  For starters, “God is three and God is One” that in itself should tell us something startling.

Yes indeed, we are not dealing with a benevolent, mildly muddled favourite uncle, whose only need is to be patted on the head from time to time.  A sort of gracious tolerance on our part.  Not only is such thinking untenable, but (what is worse) it is limiting: if we insist on experiencing God in this way, we will remain trapped in a limited relationship with Him and never move deeper into the God who calls us to Himself.

Modern spiritual life all too easily lacks depth, possibly because of this tendency to “familiarize” our knowledge and relationship with God.  I am well aware that we are indeed encouraged to call God “Father” and this invites a wonderfully warm and close relationship – but not at the expense of losing sight of God’s Otherness, God’s Supreme Being.  The moment we expect our faith (and God) to be convenient, our pilgrimage is hampered because at that point God ceases to be Other.  In effect, what we do therefore is to bring God DOWN TO OUR LEVEL – and, let’s face it, that cannot be right.

Incidentally, I am not in any way trying to debunk traditional belief in a God who truly became Incarnate, nor (for that matter) trying to rationalize away all possibility of a subjective relationship with this God.  I am not a natural “postmodernist” creature.  My own faith is firmly based (without reservation) on Orthodoxy.  Jesus Christ is Lord and Saviour.  I believe He died an atoning death for my sins and that on the third day He rose again.  He ascended into heaven where He assumed His rightful position within the Mystical Union of the Blessed Trinity.  And I believe He will come again in great power and glory to judge both the living and the dead.  Furthermore, I will lay down my life for my faith – though long may that moment be away.

None of this, however, should lull me into the mistaken belief that my vigorous commitment to strict orthodoxy means I lapse into naivety.  Reality dictates that we acknowledge that God is a BOUNDLESS MYSTERY – and Holy Scripture affirms that.  Trevor Hudson points out, however, that “this does not mean that He is a giant puzzle to be fathomed out”.  To say that God is a Mystery indicates that He is unlike anyone else: “… there is no-one else like Him”.  There is a simple test for all this: the moment we assume we have God all figured out – that is the moment we are further from the Truth than we have ever been.

To be sure, most of us are not particularly “at ease” with the unfathomable – hence our predilection for dogma and the like.  This way, we control God.  He behaves according to our neat package of understanding.  I see two dangers in such thinking:

  • CS Lewis wrote a wonderful book called Surprised by Joy.  Implicit in this title is a wonderful truth about God.  He is full of surprises and to limit Him (for that is what the above packaged image of God does) eliminates the potential for the “Surprising One” in our walk of faith.  All simply remains dull, routine and un-expectant.

  • Secondly, we negate the Mysterious. To be in “control” of God (in theory anyhow) is to deprive ourselves of His boundless Mystery.  No matter that at times God seems absent to me (because I don’t feel Him or experience Him through tangibly answered prayer), my faith remains firmly embedded in the One who is not “uncle God” but the essence of Mystery and Holiness.

Let us therefore be renewed in our commitment to this God who ALONE is God.  Who ALONE is both Lord and Saviour.  Who ALONE is supreme Other.  And in this commitment let us allow Him to reveal His majesty and Glory to us as we bow before His Presence in awe and wonder.

What a Mighty God we serve!

Fr Timothy


YOUR WORDS COME TRUE
(
An open letter to Father Timothy from Lasni Miller)

Dear Father Tim,

Having given it considerable thought, I am of the opinion that I have no choice but the share the following with you in writing.

I am employed by what we call a medium sized, privately owned South African company. We have an annual turnover of around R150m and employ somewhere between 100 and 120 people, depending on the nature of the specific types of activities we have to execute at any specific point in time. Our main business nowadays is the supply of capital equipment – minerals processing equipment – to the mining industry. Strange as it may seem, we work in a brand sensitive market where people couple something in their minds to the name of the equipment. The brand name of the equipment to which the story below refers is Kawasaki – a name that most people couple to motorcycles, not to large pieces of minerals processing equipment in a market traditionally dominated by strong American world leaders. In our industry, typically 30% of our business is the sale of new equipment, while 70% is the supply of spare and wear parts to the machines sold. The typical life cycle of such a piece of machinery is 25 years.

In March 1992, I was appointed to head up a small loss-making entity of our company with a total annual turnover of R8m. Just prior to my appointment, we entered into an agreement with Kawasaki in Japan, granting us the rights to market and sell in the southern African region their minerals processing equipment, which was basically unknown to the mining industry in the world.

The Power of Tithing...
As can be understood from the above, to tackle a brand-sensitive market, dominated by one to two very strong international players, with an unknown product and the rather limited resources of a privately owned organization, presented some special challenges. We worked very hard while trying at the same time to ‘work smart’, only to have rather limited success in the market.

One Sunday morning, while Tanya and I were on our way to church (I think around 1997 or 1998), I mentioned to her that I simply did not know what else I could do to make our business successful. While we had put in a huge effort, we simply could not get the big breakthroughs we were looking for and that were needed for our longer-term survival. That morning Colin Payne spoke about tithing, the power thereof, the rewards he and his own family had had as result of tithing, etc. For me it was a like a very clear message about what I had to do; it felt as if that message was aimed directly at me in person! While I had always given something to the church, there was absolutely no question in my mind that there had to be a quantum leap in what I gave and that God would keep his part of the bargain at some point in the future.

In 1999, our company got to a point where we had to face the reality of having to declare bankruptcy by the end of our financial year in February 2000. Wonder upon wonders, however, during the month of December 1999 – a highly unusual month for customers to place any orders – we received three orders worth in total in excess of R60m in 1999 Rand terms. All of these were for Kawasaki equipment and were more than enough to save the company from the demise that had seemed inevitable up to the month before!

The more you give, the more you get...
Success in the market not only meant the survival of our company, but an improved financial situation for people like me in the company. I have increased my tithing as my situation improved and have been absolutely amazed that the fortunes of that entity of the company I headed have just kept on growing. What used to be a small loss-making entity has become the core business of the company, with the turnover in 2004 for this particular part of the business being Rl00m, well beating inflation since our start of R8m in 1992.

Most amazing of all, however, in April 2005 we were awarded an order worth Rl50m for the supply of new equipment, this one order being equivalent to the total annual turnover of the company the year before. The annual spare and wear part business resulting from this order, once the equipment becomes operational in 2007, is conservatively calculated to be R40m per annum. Over a 25 year expected life of the plant, this order is thus worth more than R1.0bn to our company in 2005 Rand terms. Moreover, because we now have a reference where we beat the world leader, other markets – not only in Africa, but also on other continents – have potentially opened up for us and for our technology.

Over and above the success I have enjoyed in my business life, our family has been blessed in many ways since we started to give according to the guidelines given in the Bible and which are the subject of sermons at St Francis from time to time.

There is Hope...
During our efforts to get the big order and the international breakthrough described above, we experienced numerous setbacks, which looked like complete disasters at the time. At one point during the past year, we were forced, due to some competitive moves, to re-think and change the very points upon which our marketing strategy for the Kawasaki product had been based all these years. We even lost some spare and wear part business from some of our existing customers, due to our relatively slow response to change the policy we had whole-heartedly believed in, considering it to be the ‘heart’ of our marketing strategy.

Strangely enough, however, I always got the feeling that there was hope that we would be able to overcome the problems being experienced at the time. I got this feeling many a time from sermons at St Francis, but also from subtleties in what people/customers said during this time. In some or other way, I always got the feeling that “there is hope” if one believes exactly that, no matter what happens around one. With hindsight, I can say that we would never have been able to secure the big order, had we not responded to the ‘disasters’ at the time!

While the figures mentioned here are still very modest in the huge, big world of international business out there, I am sure you will appreciate that this is not the point. Again let me say that I feel I had no choice but to share this with you as a testimony to the power of tithing: one truly in all respects gets more than what one gives!

Best regards,

J N Millar


The members of the Craft Group who meet on Thursday mornings are June van der Merwe, Jocelyn Gioia, Innis Barnet, Hazel Thompson, Amy Macnamara, Monica Botha, Margaret Rautenbach, Betty Pickard, Sonia Sewell, Yvonne Merchant and Joy Hopking.  
The Craft Group gets support from Joe van der Merwe, Robin Heath, Sarah Nkoana, Rob & Wendy Heffer, Colleen McGillivray, Doreen Drury and June Guest.


Lekgema Haven
is part of Tumelong. Anne-Marie Smith wrote about the work done there in her article A Visit to Tumelong in our previous issue. Since her visit, the Haven has moved to larger and better premises closer to the Hospice. The building is also more secure: it has a strong room, so equipment can be locked away.  

 


What is the Diocesan Children’s Ministry Board?

In February 2004, Bishop Jo arranged a day at the Cathedral for all the people involved in Sunday school or children’s ministry.  The aim was to get together and discuss the obstacles and struggles that we face in the ministry.

As a result of this morning together, the Children’s Ministry Board was formed.  There are between 12 and 15 of us who meet at regular intervals, with Mrs Phyllis Kraft as our chairlady.

Over the past year we have been meeting and discussing the needs and concerns of all our teachers and working to arrive at the core issues.  As a result, we have set up a two-year training programme.  Each Archdeaconry in the Diocese will have eight training sessions during the two-year period.  At the end of the training period, each person who has completed the training will receive a Diocesan Certificate endorsed by the Bishop.  The idea behind this is to ensure that all teachers and leaders of children in the Church are equipped and empowered on the same level.

The Archdeaconry of Pretoria East has completed two training days.  Each day starts with an in-depth Bible Study, a practical way of showing the teachers how they can go about studying the passage they need to put across to the children.  And then for the second half of the morning we focus on another key issue.

These training days have proved to be invaluable, even for the “old hands”, because we are reminded of things that we have forgotten, or get new ideas from other parishes.  It is also a way of building unity within the Archdeaconry.

Please pray for the work that the Board is doing through the Diocese.

God Bless

Liz Horne


The Days of the Week

The word planet comes from a Greek word meaning “a wanderer”. The ancients recognized seven “wandering” objects in the sky, namely the sun, the moon, and the five planets that can be seen with the naked eye: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. These objects were referred to as wanderers because they move against the background of fixed stars. These movements were measured and recorded in Mesopotamia at least 3 500 years ago. The seven wandering objects are responsible for an arbitrary calendrical period – the seven-day week. (Other calendrical periods are determined by a fixed period of time: a year is the time taken by the Earth to orbit the sun, a month is based on the period from new moon to new moon, and a day is the time the Earth takes to rotate once on its axis.)

The seven-day “planet” week comes to us from the Rome, where Sunday was dies Solis; Monday dies Lunae; Tuesday dies Martis; Wednesday dies Mercurii; Thursday dies Jovis; Friday dies Veneris; and Saturday dies Saturnii. The celestial identities of the days of the week are evident in the Romance languages of Europe, i.e. those languages that derive from Latin. For example in French, Tuesday is mardi, Wednesday is mercredi and Friday is vendredi. (Mardi gras is Shrove Tuesday; gras means “fat” because people ate a lot on that day, using up all the fat they had in the house before the fasting of Lent).

In English, the astronomical origin of the names of three days of the week is clear – Sunday (for the sun), Monday (for the moon) and Saturday (for Saturn). When the custom of the seven-day week was introduced into northern Europe by the Romans, some equating of gods was done, and the English names for the other days of the week were derived from the names of the Anglo Saxon equivalents of the Roman gods.

Tuesday is Tiwes Daeg (Tiw’s day). Tiw derives from Tyr, a Norse god linked with war and leadership. Mars was equated to Tiw, because they were both gods of war. The leader of the Norse gods, Odin, was known as Woden to the Anglo Saxons. Woden was equated with Mercury rather than Jupiter, as would be expected, because of Woden’s habit of working with good and evil spirits in healing and divining. Wednesday is therefore Wodnes Daeg. Thursday was named after Thor (Thunres daeg). Thor was the Norse god of thunder, and his affiliation with storms caused him to be equated with Jupiter. Venus was naturally equated with Odin’s wife, Frig, the Norse goddess of fertility, women and love, and so Friday is Frig daeg. Thus some English words for days of the week have their origin in Germanic languages.

Although Rome introduced the seven-day week to countries within its empire, it did not invent it. The Chaldeans were the first to use it, assigning the names of the Mesopotamian planet gods to the days of the week. Specific gods had been assigned to the planets by the Mesopotamians at least as early as the Akkadian period (2340BC - 2150 BC).  The Chaldeans introduced the seven-day week to the Mediterranean world around 200 BC and the Greeks equated their own gods to the Babylonian ones in much the same way as the Romans were to do with the Germanic ones. For example, the Babylonian god of fertility, Ishtar, became Aphrodite in Greece and Venus in Rome.

Although it is easy to equate the “wanderers” to the name of a particular day, the current sequence of days at first seems illogical.  In Graeco-Roman times, it was assumed that the Earth was at the centre of all things, and that the “wanderers” were in orbit around it. The time taken for a “wanderer” to complete a circuit of the zodiacal constellations, i.e. the time taken for it to return to the same part of the sky, was regarded as an indicator of its distance away from the Earth – the slower it was, the further away it was. The series began with Saturn, which, because it was the slowest mover, gave its name to Saturday, the day once regarded as the beginning of the week.  Saturn takes 29 years to complete its orbit. The next slowest is Jupiter (12 years), followed by Mars (22 months), the sun (one year), Venus (10 months), Mercury (3 months), and the moon (one month). This should give the days of the week in the order Saturday, Thursday, Tuesday, Sunday, Friday, Wednesday and Monday!

The possible explanation of the current order of the days of the week comes from Greek astrology, wherein each hour of the 24 hours in a day was ruled by one of the seven “wanderers”, in the same sequence as above. Saturn ruled the first hour of Saturday, Jupiter ruled the second hour, Mars the third and so on. In cycling through the hours of the day, each of the seven planets would rule three times in 21 hours. The cycle would start again for the three remaining hours, which would therefore be ruled by Saturn, Jupiter and Mars, thus completing the 24 hours. The first hour of the second day would be ruled by the next in order after Mars, which is the sun, so this day, Sunday, followed Saturday. In the same way, during Sunday, after 21 hours the cycle would be complete and the last 3 hours would be ruled by the sun, Venus and Mercury respectively. The first hour of the third day would be ruled by the moon, so Monday followed Sunday and so on. Therefore the rule was that the order of the days of the week was determined by which planet ruled the first hour of a particular day. The 24-hour day is an Egyptian concept, so it is thought that the scheme for the order of the days of the week was devised in Alexandria in the second century BC.

Maybe it is fortunate that Uranus, Neptune and Pluto had not been discovered at this time, for we may then well have had a ten-day week to contend with! The alternative view is that, if they had been discovered, with the three extra days, we would have enough days in the week to get everything done.

Reference: 
“Calendar Worlds” by E C Krupp, Sky & Telescope, January 2001, p 103

Michael Poll (Pretoria Centre, Astronomy Society of Southern Africa)


Important Events for the rest of 2005

July

August

9

Quiet Morning (Christ Church)

9

Women’s Day

10

17:30 Lay Ministers Meeting

14

17:30 Lay Ministers Meeting

11 - 15

Holiday Club

18

DFB & Trustees meetings

25

18:00 Executive Meeting

19

Chapter

27

19:30 Parish Council Meeting

20

DSC

30

Mission Training

22

18:00 Executive Meeting

 

 

24

Clergy Day

 

 

25

19:30 Parish Council Meeting

 

 

27

Mission Training

September

October

1-3

Synod

4

St Francistide

4

Diocesan Family Day

6

Archdeaconry Council Meeting

11

17:30 Lay Ministers Meeting

9

18:00 Lay Ministers Meeting

17

Archdeaconry Lay Ministers’ Forum

19

Clergy Day

16-18

? Family Encounter Weekend

24

18:00 Executive Meeting

18

Exam Service

27

19:30 Parish Council Meeting

22

Bishop’s Charity Golf Day

 

 

24-31

Botswana Mission

 

 

26

18:00 Executive Meeting

 

 

29

19:30 Parish Council Meeting

 

 

30

Pub Evening

 

 

November

December

5

Rectors & Churchwardens Conf

1

World AIDS day

13

18:00 Lay Ministers Meeting

1

19:30 Parish Council Meeting

17

Trustees & DFB

6

Chapter

18

Chapter

11

18:00 Lay Ministers Meeting

19

DSC

25

Christmas Day

21-25

Clergy Retreat

26

Parish Office closed till January

25

Youth End Year Dance

 

 

27

Advent

 

 

28

18:00 Executive Meeting

 

 


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Contents

Foreword

From the Rector's Desk

What God can do with 57 cents

Your Words come True

The Sower revisited

The Craft Group & Lekgema Haven

What is the Diocesan Children's Ministry Board

The Days of the Week

The Catacombs on the Island of Milos

The Bookstall

Important Events for the Rest of 2005


WHAT GOD CAN DO WITH 57 CENTS

(Grant Thistlewhite received the following e-mail from a friend and would like to share it with us.)

A sobbing little girl stood near a small church from which she had been turned away because it was "too crowded".

"I can't go to Sunday School," she sobbed to the pastor as he walked by. Seeing her shabby, unkempt appearance, the pastor guessed the reason and, taking her by the hand, took her inside and found a place for her in the Sunday school class. The child was so happy that they found room for her, and she went to bed that night thinking of the children who have no place to worship Jesus.

Some two years later, this child lay dead in one of the poor tenement buildings. Her parents called for the kindhearted pastor who had befriended their daughter to handle the final arrangements. As her poor little body was being moved, a worn and crumpled red purse was found which seemed to have been rummaged from some trash dump. Inside was found 57 cents and a note, scribbled in childish handwriting, which read: "This is to help build the little church bigger so more children can go to Sunday school".

For two years she had saved for this offering of love. When the pastor tearfully read that note, he knew instantly what he would do. Carrying this note and the cracked, red pocketbook to the pulpit, he told the story of her unselfish love and devotion. He challenged his deacons to get busy and raise enough money for the larger building. But the story does not end there...

A newspaper learned of the story and published it. It was read by a wealthy realtor who offered the church a parcel of land worth many thousands. When told that they could not pay so much, he offered to sell it to the little church for 57 cents.

Church members made large donations. Checks came from far and wide. Within five years the little girl's gift had increased to $250,000.00 – a huge sum for that time (near the turn of the century). Her unselfish love had paid large dividends.

When you are in the city of Philadelphia, look up Temple Baptist Church, with a seating capacity of 3,300. And be sure to visit Temple University, where thousands of students are educated.

Have a look, too, at the Good Samaritan Hospital and at a Sunday School building which houses hundreds of beautiful children, built so that no child in the area will ever need to be left outside during Sunday school time. In one of the rooms of this building may be seen the picture of the sweet face of the little girl whose 57 cents, so sacrificially saved, made such remarkable history. Alongside of it is a portrait of her kind pastor, Dr. Russel H. Conwell, author of the book Acres of Diamonds.

This is a true story, which goes to show WHAT GOD CAN DO WITH 57 CENTS.


11 July 2005

Re: THE SOWER REVISITED

Dear Father Tim,

Thank you very much for your sermon yesterday. You mentioned that you wondered how next to interpret the particular passage, so I thought the following might be of use to you.

In my view the same passage could be used to argue the approach to and benefits of tithing:

o     Never giving to the church and/or giving the bare minimum is like the seed on the rock – it has little, if any, chance of bringing the desired results.

o    To stop giving when times are perhaps somewhat hard or when other things enjoy priority is like the seed in the thistles: growth and potential benefits are hampered due to the unfriendly environment.

o    Giving with firm conviction through thick and thin is like sowing in the fertile ground: it will yield results, 30-fold or more, if given with the firm conviction that it is the right thing to do. Results as far as what the parish will be able to do and achieve will be quite amazing while the benefits for the individuals will be far more than what they ever expected.

Perhaps one should ask everyone to give it a try for a year or so and see for themselves? Hope you will find this useful and thank you very much for the good work you are doing!

Best regards,


The Craft Group and Lekgema Haven

I am overawed by the way the Lord uses “The Crafty Ladies” from our church.  Every year we step out in faith to give the children at Lekgema Haven a party. This year, having knitted them 60 jerseys, we decided to buy tracksuit pants to go with the tops.

We started off with R300 in our kitty and R500 from the raffle. (Sarah Nkoana, my domestic worker, crocheted the four blankets that were raffled.) We were told that there were 72 children at the Haven, but when we inquired about the age groups it turned out that there were 102 children. Even though we had barely scraped through with the money for 72 children, we decided to step out in faith and provide for all 102 children.

Mrs Rena du Toit of Moreleta Plaza Pep Stores donated quite a few garments and sorted out garments that had been marked down in price. When news got round about our venture, the money came in: one parishioner gave R500, another R100, then R50, R30, R20, R15 – it all added up. Besides the tracksuit pants, we bought sweets, biscuits, chips and cold drinks, which we made up into packets for the children. We also bought fruit. There was enough of everything for the children that go to the Haven after school to enjoy as well.

When we were at the fruit and veggie shop, a total stranger came up to Joe and handed him a R100 note. I was so taken aback that I forgot to ask him his name, I only hope that I did say thank you.

What a blessing it has been for all who have been involved, in one way or another. The caregivers at the Haven do so appreciate it when we take time off to share just one day with them and see how wonderfully they care for the children. They deserve more than just our gratitude.

We came away feeling more blessed and enriched by our visit than the children.

June van der Merwe

   


The Catacombs on the Island of Milos

At the end of May, a friend and I spent three days on Milos, one of the Cyclades islands in the Aegean Sea. It is a volcanic island – volcanic activity began there more than 2 million years ago and ceased 90 000 years ago. Because of its geology, Milos is rich in minerals, which have been mined for many centuries. Over the years various nations have conquered the island in order to exploit this mineral wealth.

In the 1st and 2nd centuries AD, the island was part of the Roman Empire. Milos was one of the first of the Greek islands to be Christianised, but the Roman rulers did not approve of this new religion. The Christians (many of whom were miners) therefore constructed catacombs in the soft pumice rock above the town of Klima. They excavated tunnels and chambers in which they could take refuge, hold services and bury their dead. The catacombs are among the most extensive in the world: there are 185 metres of tunnels and about 2 000 people were buried there in cavities along the walls and in the floor.

The catacombs have survived (the only ones to have done so in Greece) because of earthquakes, which destroyed the ancient town of Klima and blocked the entrances to the tunnels. The first major earthquake took place in the 5th or 6th century AD. In the 18th century more earthquakes forced the people to leave the coast and move to higher ground: the towns of Plaka and Tripiti were established and Klima was reduced to a small fishing village.

The catacombs were rediscovered by chance in 1840. By this time Greece and its islands had been freed from Turkish rule by the war of independence. But before the authorities could secure the site for archaeologists, many of the graves had been vandalised. Today the public is allowed to visit only one of the chambers, accessed by a short tunnel. Other tunnels leading out from this chamber are blocked off, as are other entrances. Nevertheless one gets some idea of what it must have been like to hide underground and worship in secret. The entrance is guarded, but there is no entrance fee and visitors are allowed in without supervision. This helps retain the mystery and sacred nature of the site, which is not reduced to a mere tourist attraction.

To get to the catacombs, we took the local bus from the port town of Adamas where we were staying. The bus winds up the hill to Plaka and on to Tripiti. Before reaching this town, we got off at a sign indicating the road to the catacombs. This road zigzags down the hill towards Klima. Half way down, steps have been built leading to the entrance of the catacombs. Using these steps, one thinks of the early Christians who had no such aid to reach their hideaway.

Back up the steps and further down the hill, we found the old Roman theatre. The stage is in ruins, but the seats that go up in tiers are remarkably intact and invite one to sit and admire the view – the bay and the passing ships.

In the vicinity of the theatre is the cave that was discovered by a farmer in 1820 (when Milos was still ruled by the Turks). The hill is terraced to make farming possible and digging into the side of the hill the farmer uncovered a cave, inside of which he found some marble statues, in particular one of a beautiful woman. It was decided that she represented the Greek goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite (Venus is her Roman name). A French officer who was on the island alerted the French consul in Istanbul about the find and he sent his secretary to buy the statue from the farmer. This is why the Venus de Milo is now on display in the Louvre in Paris. The archaeological museum in Plaka only has a copy.  

A tantalising view down one of the tunnels leading off the main chamber of the catacombs.

The old Roman theatre is below the catacombs.

Modern Klima  is a small town below the catacombs and the theatre.

Bibliography

www.milos-island.gr
www.in2greece.com

www.milosvenus.gr

Visit these Internet sites for more pictures of the Island of Milos.

 Jill Daugherty


The Bookstall

The Bookstall is going to be replaced by a lending library.

We appeal to every parishioner to donate at least one book to the library. The books need to relate to matters spiritual.

No Mills and Boon!


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