A book of condolences opened on Tuesday for the ‘extraodinary’ Archbishop Chrysostomos II at the Archbishopric in Nicosia.

It will remain open until noon on Friday.

“He was an extraordinary and completely different man, he was a visionary, faithful, pious, philanthropist, everything one would expect from the leader of our Church,” Attorney General Georgios Savvides said after signing the book.

“But at the same time, he was dutiful, sincere, full of life, a source of inspiration and bravery,” Savvides said, noting that the strength Chrysostomos showed while battling cancer was ‘remarkable’.

“I had the opportunity to share his thoughts and I must say the more you knew him the more you appreciated and loved him.”

The Archbishop’s body will be on public view at the Apostolos Varnavas Church within the Archbishopric from Thursday to Saturday morning before his funeral, which will be held at noon.

The Holy Synod called on the public to pray for the archbishop’s soul.

Ecclesiastical and state mourning will be held until the funeral and no official events will take place. Flags will be at half-mast until then.

Meanwhile, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople announced he was travelling to Cyprus for the funeral, the first such visit to the island for 400 years.

Archbishop Chrysostomos, Bartholomew said, “has been a fervent and unyielding defender of the inalienable rights and the pan-Orthodox responsibility of the all-embracing Ecumenical Throne.

“His passing is a great loss for both the Great Church”.

The eulogy at the Archbishop’s funeral, which will also be attended by the entire ministerial cabinet, will be delivered by President Nicos Anastasiades. It will also be addressed by Bishop Georgios of Paphos, the current caretaker of the Church.

During the funeral, all churches across Cyprus will ring bells and hold a service in his memory on Sunday.

The archbishop’s body will be buried below the Apostolos Varnavas church as he wished, in a grave he prepared.