Epigonation

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Epigonation of Bp. Mark (Maymon) of Toledo, featuring his patron saint, the Apostle Mark.

The epigonation (Greek: ἐπιγονάτιον, literally meaning "over the knee"), or palitza (Russian: палица, "club"), is a diamond-shaped vestment worn on the right side by priests and bishops.

In the Byzantine tradition, the epigonation is awarded to a priest upon his elevation to exomologos (confessor) or the rank of οικονόμος. In the Russian tradition, it is an award given after many years of service.

It represents a shield, originating from the thigh shield worn by soldiers during the days of the early church. The epigonation holds a dual meaning. First, it denotes the celebrant as a "soldier" of Christ. Second, it symbolizes the Word of God, fighting the wiles of the enemy.


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