$100.00USD

Sacred Saint Dionysius Slippers Velvet with Gold Embroidery
[7970-97]

According to the Orthodox Tradition The Sacred Slippers (emvades) can be seen and found in the Saint of the Ionian Island like in St. Dionysius of Zakynthos.

A technical description of the slippers of St Dionysius and their liturgical use.

The slippers’ maximum measurements are 25x12 cm. They are made of red cut velvet with floral motifs embroidered with gold and metal threads and decorated with sequins and tir-tir. Sometimes the slippers are made with curved and straight tir-tir. The slippers are lined with white silk and their soles are crafted of cloth covered cardboard instead of leather or other materials so as to fit the relic’s feet properly. Traditionally the slippers are either made by the nuns of the Convent of the Most Holy Virgin “Eleutherotria” in Zakynthos or else in Athens, in shops with clerical supplies. According to oral tradition, older types of slippers had wooden soles rather than ones made of fabric.

The slippers on the Saint’s relic are usually changed twice a year during the two great feast days. The first takes place on the 24th August commemorating the transportation of the holy Relic from the Strophades islands to Zakynthos ,while the second happens on the 17th December to commemorate the “falling asleep” of the Holy Father in 1622. Both series of liturgies last three days (August 23-26 and December 16-19). Over the previous years the slippers were also changed during Holy Week.

The Saint’s relic is removed from its silver coffin to the right of the Altar and is placed vertically in front of his room, twelve times throughout the year, a tradition followed in the case of the relics of St. Spyridon and St. Gerasimos , the other two Saints of the Ionian islands. The feast days are the following: three days on December 17th, one day on December 25th, one day on the Epiphany, four days between Good Friday and Easter Monday and three days between the 23rd and the 26th August.

Many visitors and pilgrims honouring the Saint take a pair of slippers as a votive offering and a small decorative fabric (podea), made of the same material, to cover the Saint’s feet that are kissed by the believers.The pilgrims then hand over their offerings to the abbot, who places them near the relic in order of priority, as there are many believers for this specific offering. When the right amount of time has passed for the slippers to be removed, the abbot seals one of them and puts his signature on the sole to authenticate it then returning it to the donors. The slipper then placed in a gilded wooden box. The podea and the remaining slipper are cut into small pieces and given to the faithful as a blessing.

During this study, it was noticed that, after more than four years, the metallic threads used to decorate the slippers were slightly oxidised. This was due to the materials used, the handling and possible volatile organic compounds released inside the wooden box.

Source : Dr Christos Karydis
Assistant Professor (407/80) in Preventive Conservation and History of Fabrics, Ionian Islands TEI (Technological Educational Institute) and Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

Available Options:

Feature Weight Price
Slippers0.25 kg$100.00USD
SET Slippers & Podea0.5 kg$250.00USD

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