These are colourful parchments made in monasteries to ward off evil from the person who pins them to their clothes. Not only are they blessed items but they are also worn to remind a person of their Orthodox Faith.

They contain either:
       flower petals from the Epitaphios carried on Holy Friday night
       cotton wool with oil and myrrh from church
       pieces of olive branch or basil that have been used by a priest in some ceremony
       dirt from the grave of a Saint
       burnt candle shavings from a Church altar

The general rule is that it has to be something from holy ground or something that has been blessed. Any one item, or a combination, is sewn into a very small, triangular sachet and sometimes adorned with beads in the sign of the Cross.
They are commonly seen pinned to the clothes of young babies who have yet to be baptised. However, even adults wear them discretely.

They can be pinned to the outside of clothes or held in the person’s pockets.

Historical Story
“Constantinato” were gold medallions that St. Helena had commissioned and named after her son Constantine. Legend says that these medallions contained wood shavings from the Holy Cross itself, mixed in with the gold.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting. These are invaluable for understanding our faith and customs.
    I will make the Christopsomo first time in my life this year