Tinos, one of the islands of the Cyclades in the Aegean Sea, has always been identified as a place that reflects holyness, since Ancient times with the Temple of Poseidon.
Today, it is known as the most important Orthodox center of workship in Greece with the church of Panagia Megalochari (Blessed Virgin Mary) and as an important Catholic center too due to the presence of the Catholic Church from The Middle Ages and onwards.
The parish priest of the Catholic Church in Tinos, Father Marcos Foskolos, born in the island, has spent many years of his life investigating the history of the island. One of his great works has been to organize and classify the Archives of the Catholic Archdiocese of Naxos-Tinos which comprises the islands Naxos, Tinos, Andros, Mykonos (central and northern Aegean Sea).
For his life time work, Father Marcos was recently honoured at the Byzantine and Christian Museum in Athens with the presentation of the book «Ministerium Historiae» that colects more than 17 academic studies about Tinos, «the best in their field in the Cyclades and the Aegean», based on his work.
The presence of the Catholic Church in Tinos goes back to the XXIII century a.C., following the fall of Constatinople by the 4h Crusade (1202-1204), and the archives provide documents going back to the XV century a.C and even before. People have come from abroad to Tinos looking for information on their family tree with the hope f finding them in the church’s archive.
Apart fron Athens, the capital, where the majority of Catholics live, Tinos is one of the islands in Greece that holds a mixted religious population, Greek Orthodox and Catholic, together with Syros. The 90% of the Greek population is Orthodox while only 1 % is Catholic and 2% is Islam.
«The study is an ongoing process, a «live» process that never ends and it is constantly enriched», says Father Marcos to vista.
«The aim is to select all the material that has been found and to preserve it. It shouldn’ t be lost. There is material in danger and I have suggested to the local authorities to create an archive for the Town hall in Tinos» he added.
Father Marcos has the support of the Catholic Church and the Municipaly of Tinos. Also, university students working on their Masters degrees have contributed greatly in the study of the material that has been collected from public archives, the church’s archives, private documents , manuscripts and objetcts found in old houses and warehouses of the island.