Skip to comments.The Pope with a Chotki
Posted on 07/27/2013 3:30:18 AM PDT by NYer
This striking photograph from WYD shows Pope Francis clearly wearing a chotki around his wristsomething I can’t recall seeing with any other pope.
What’a chotki? It’s a kind of “prayer rope,” similar to the rosary, used by the Orthodox and Eastern rite Catholics.
When praying, the user normally holds the prayer rope in the left hand, leaving the right hand free to make the Sign of the Cross. When not in use, the prayer rope is traditionally wrapped around the left wrist so that it continues to remind one to pray without ceasing. If this is impractical, it may be placed in the (left) pocket, but should not be hung around the neck or suspended from the belt. The reason for this is humility: one should not be ostentatious or conspicuous in displaying the prayer rope for others to see.
During their tonsure (religious profession),Eastern Orthodox monks and nuns receive a prayer rope, with the words:
Accept, O brother (sister) (name), the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God (Ephesians 6:17) in the everlasting Jesus prayer by which you should have the name of the Lord in your soul, your thoughts, and your heart, saying always: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.”
Orthodoxy regards the prayer rope as the sword of the Spirit, because prayer which is heartfelt and inspired by the grace of the Holy Spirit is a weapon that defeats the Devil.
Among some Orthodox monastics (and occasionally other faithful), the canonical hours and preparation for Holy Communion may be replaced by praying the Jesus Prayer a specified number of times dependent on the service being replaced. In this way prayers can still be said even if the service books are for some reason unavailable or the person is not literate or otherwise unable to recite the service; the prayer rope becomes a very practical tool in such cases, simply for keeping count of the prayers said. However, among some monastics - hesychasts, for example – this replacement is the norm.
The history of the prayer rope goes back to the origins of Christian monasticism itself. When monks began going into the deserts of Egypt, it was their custom to pray the entire 150 Psalms every day. However, because some of the monks were unable to read, they would either have to memorize the psalms or perform other prayers and prostrations in their stead. Thus the tradition of saying 150 (or more) Jesus Prayers every day began.
The western Rosary is sometimes said to have the same initial origin.
The invention of the prayer rope is attributed to Saint Pachomius in the fourth century as an aid for illiterate monks to accomplish a consistent number of prayers and prostrations in their cells. Previously, monks would count their prayers by casting pebbles into a bowl, but this was cumbersome, and could not be easily carried about when outside the cell. The use of the rope made it possible to pray the Jesus Prayer unceasingly, whether inside the cell or out, in accordance with Saint Paul‘s injunction to “Pray without ceasing” (I Thessalonians 5:17).
It is said that the method of tying the prayer rope had its origins from the Father of Orthodox Monasticism, Saint Anthony the Great. He started by tying a leather rope with a simple knot for every time he prayed Kyrie Eleison (“Lord have Mercy”), but the Devil would come and untie the knots to throw off his count. He then devised a wayinspired by a vision he had of the Theotokosof tying the knots so that the knots themselves would constantly make the sign of the cross. This is why prayer ropes today are still tied using knots that each contain seven little crosses being tied over and over. The Devil could not untie it because the Devil is vanquished by the Sign of the Cross.
Among other things, I think this shows the pontiff’s affinity for the Eastern rite churches. He used to regularly concelebrate the Divine Liturgy with Ukrainian Greek Catholics and this year took the historic step of having the Ecumenical Patriarch attend his papal installationthe first time that’s been done in a thousand years.
Great story! In this day and age people are hungry for help and for truth. We should never be afraid to the point that we hide what is rooted in truth.
There are two illogical extremes: hiding our practice of the faith or flaunting it to gain attention to ourselves.
I am sure that Pope Francis was NOT attempting to bring attention to himself in that way. He has been in the practice of praying several rosaries daily for a long time.
He’s not being showy in wearing this thing. He is wearing long sleeves, which would be concealing it if he didn’t raise his arm to speak. Does anybody really think that he’s hoping people will catch on to what he’s wearing if he lifts his arm up enough and leaves it there long enough? Is he like Obama (”I have a bracelet, too”)? Really?
That prayer rope is beneath his sleeve line and that is concealed enough. It’s not a secret code or something.
Pinging your comments to freeper ZinGirl who raised this issue.
Would it be too much to ask that we adopt a presumption of innocence?
Would it be too much to ask that we adopt a presumption of innocence?
That SHOULD be our first reaction.
I merely pointed out the irony.
In fact, if the pope is as humble as people say and IF he wanted the bracelet to be more private, one would conclude that he would be mortified and disappointed at knowing that an entire article about his wearing of the bracelet was posted on a newsforum discussing same.
Then he wouldn't be happy that an article with picture was posted on a newsforum about it.
LOL! You are the one who posted the very text saying the bracelet should be inconspicuous. Geez. defensive much?
Great story! Thanks for sharing.
I made small rosaries based on the design of the Irish Penal Rosary, for the kids in the Confirmation Class I taught. I designed it with a lobster clasp on one end so they could loop it around the rear view mirror in their cars. At least it would be visible, and might make them say a prayer from time to time, if they didn't actually use it as a Rosary, at first. I'm also thinking of making a similar style, that kids could hang on the zipper of their backpacks. They could pray the Rosary on the way to and from school,while sitting in the car, or on a bus.
But I saw another design in which you might be interested. It was a rosary made to be a bracelet; it was the beads and Crucifix strung on memory wire that loops around the wrist, and doesn't come loose! It won't fall off your wrist, and doesn't really hang down at all. I haven't made one yet, but when I do, I'll let you know; you could give it a test drive for me to see if it's practical, if you like.
Thank you! I will PM you my address!
NYer, if it’s not being too nosy, do Maronites also use “Chotkis”?
If so, how do they pray with them? What prayer/prayers do they say using the Chotki, and are they said in English by the Maronites here in America (if they do use Chotkis), or in some other language?
No ... in ten years, I have never seen one. Maronites love the Blessed Mother and pray the rosary.
Where did you except that from?
Where did you ‘excerpt’ the earlier statement from?
copy/paste from original posting