Copper stamp for eulogia bread of Panagia “Gorgoepikoos”.
The stamp for eulogia bread of Panagia (Virgin) Gorgoepikoos is a small engraving artefact dating from the 17th century and comes from Kiev. Between the 5th and late 8th century the stamp’s design began to reflect their use in the Byzantine ritual to stamp the eulogia bread. The stamps were made out of stone, clay, or metal and wood while the main face was rectangular or circular.Bread eulogia stamps are things which have come into contact with something holy and have acquired spiritual power or a beneficial influence which is passed on to its owner. Eulogia stamps are featuring particular scenes which are usually taken from the life of the celebrating Saint along with inscriptions of a benedictory nature. There are used to stamp loaves on the most important feasts dedicated to Christ , the Virgin and the saints. The loaves that are blessed by the priest by the “breaking of the bred” are handed out to the congregation at the end of the service for health and well-being .
Panagia was named "Gorgoepikoos" according to the Christian tradition in which she gave her name to the monk Nile of the Monastery of Dochioari in Mount Athos in 1664. There lies her religious icon, painted on the wall, in which she is depicted in a black plain since the Turkish rule. The Nile used to pass in front of her icon with lit candles and smear it with smoke several times. Once, the monk heard a voice say to him, "Monk, how long will you continue to smear my icon carelessly?" However, he didn’t pay any attention to what she said and continued in the same way until he heard the same voice again and at the same time was blinded. Then he realized that the voice was coming from the icon of Panagia and begging her to forgive him, he heard the well-known voice tell him that his commitment was heard, that he would be able to see again and that she was the patron saint of the monastery who would quickly listen to the demands of those who would invoke her, because she is called "Gorgoepikoos".
The celebration of Panagia Gorgoepikoos is on October 1st.