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The Pope with a Chotki
The Deacon's Bench ^ | July 26, 2013 | Deacon Greg Kandra

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 wrist—something 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.

From Wikipedia:

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),[4]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 way—inspired by a vision he had of the Theotokos—of 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 installation—the first time that’s been done in a thousand years.


TOPICS: Catholic; Orthodox Christian; Prayer
KEYWORDS: chotki; rosary

1 posted on 07/27/2013 3:30:18 AM PDT by NYer
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; SumProVita; ...

Catholic / Orthodox ping!


2 posted on 07/27/2013 3:31:03 AM PDT by NYer ( "Run from places of sin as from the plague."--St John Climacus)
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To: NYer

Never saw the Pope with a prayer rope before. A first for me.


3 posted on 07/27/2013 3:34:11 AM PDT by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: NYer

When I was new to Orthodoxy (only a few years ago), I asked one of our parishoners, a Russian refugee, “What are these called (pointing to my chotki)”. She got a very earnest look on her face and said slowly “Prayer rope” with her heavy accent. I laughed and said, “Oh, I meant in Russian.” We both had a hearty laugh over that.

Perhaps Bartholomew, the Ecumenical Patriarch, and this Pope can bring us closer together. Praise God!


4 posted on 07/27/2013 4:34:01 AM PDT by firebasecody (Orthodoxy, proclaiming the Truth since AD 33)
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To: NYer
one should not be ostentatious or conspicuous in displaying the prayer rope for others to see.

oops

5 posted on 07/27/2013 4:37:25 AM PDT by ZinGirl (kids in college....can't afford a tagline right now)
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To: ZinGirl

More than likely... he simply forgot he was using it. There are stories of him meeting people on the street earlier in Argentina. He would quickly pull his hand out of his pocket to greet a person with a handshake and the rosary would be attached.


6 posted on 07/27/2013 5:06:52 AM PDT by SumProVita (Cogito, ergo....Sum Pro Vita - Modified Descartes)
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To: NYer

Love it, he is a prayer warrior


7 posted on 07/27/2013 5:23:39 AM PDT by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: NYer

See the last sentence. I learned in high school Latin that “All roads lead to Rome.”


8 posted on 07/27/2013 5:25:40 AM PDT by imardmd1 (Fiat Lux)
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To: SumProVita
he simply forgot he was using it

Then he should maybe consider not wearing it.

It would seem to be a pretty important requirement of wearing it properly would be to use it as privately as possible, thereby not coming across as "LOOK WHAT I'M USING", as he is in that picture.

9 posted on 07/27/2013 6:18:51 AM PDT by ZinGirl (kids in college....can't afford a tagline right now)
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To: ZinGirl

Pope Francis is so humble that bragging about a prayer rope around his wrist would be the last thing he would do.

Are you not aware that while he was the Archbishop in Argentina he rode the bus to work?

That’s humility!


10 posted on 07/27/2013 7:56:17 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: ZinGirl; SumProVita
Then he should maybe consider not wearing it.

Perhaps I am missing something here. Why do you feel it is wrong for Pope Francis to have a prayer rope around his hand? Do you disagree with him having a crucifix around his neck, as well?

11 posted on 07/27/2013 8:09:21 AM PDT by NYer ( "Run from places of sin as from the plague."--St John Climacus)
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To: ZinGirl; SumProVita
I'm always losing rosaries or ruining, or breaking them. I don't know anybody as destructive of rosaries as I am. If I cook with a pulsera or decenario on, it gets into the mustard; if I'm gardening, I trail it into the fish emulsion. I lose one in the worm box. Another goes through the washer and dryer, and the plastic beads melt. I'm frying potato pancakes and the little plastic cross gets dunked in hot fat, shrinks into a blob.

I must have lost dozens of them: lost, ruined or got them so dirty they made my wrist smell bad.

I hope this is not a metaphor.

Oh, and there are moments of grace. Once I was just walking down the street near DuPont Circle in Washington DC fingering the beads and saying my silent prayers, and a random guy came up and matched pace beside me and launched into a conversation.

  • "You a nun?"

    "No."

  • "But you're a Christian, right?"

    "Yes"

  • "Would you pray for my brother? He's a dope addict."

    "What's his name?"

  • "Manfred. He's an intelligent guy. Talented. He's really just pissing his life away. [Insert a paragraph of surprisingly intimate details.] Would you pray for him?"

    "Of course."

  • "And pray for me too, willya? I'm --- I'm not such a good guy. What do you think about abortion?"

    "I think it's murder."

  • "Yeah, right, well my wife murdered our second kid. Actually, it would have been the second and the third one, she murdered two of them. What do you think happens to them?"

    "I'm sorry, what do you mean?"

  • "I mean, do they go to heaven, or do their souls just dissolve or something?"

    "They are--- they are in the Mercy of God. That's all I know. Jesus said, 'Let the little ones come unto Me.'"

  • "OK. Now what's the deal with Confession? I think I'd scare the priest right outta the box. A couple years ago I really messed up. I was in the Army..."

And on and on. He must have kept talking for 5 - 10 minutes, until my bus came: I boarded, and he turned and walked down the street. A needy soul: and who would he have talked to --- a bartender, maybe? --- if he hadn't seen my rosary?

12 posted on 07/27/2013 8:19:12 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("See something, say something.")
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To: Mrs. Don-o

The first part of your post is funny.

The the second part — wow! What a story! All because of a rosary.


13 posted on 07/27/2013 8:22:56 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: ZinGirl
...one should not be ostentatious or conspicuous in displaying the prayer rope for others to see....Oops

Upon seeing the photo, that was my very first thought as well.

14 posted on 07/27/2013 8:25:48 AM PDT by Alex Murphy ("...Someone handed the keys to the Forum to the OPC and its sympathizers...")
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To: NYer

It also is not only a sign of growing eccumenical unity, but as a special message to Catholics to treat our roseries with respect, which includes not wearing them jewely.


15 posted on 07/27/2013 8:26:08 AM PDT by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: NYer
There's that understatement again: there is no record of a Patriarch of Constantinople attending the installation of a Pope of Rome prior to the new Pope, not just since the schism. Unless one of the Popes of Rome elected while in residence in Constantinople (there were a few) was elevated to his office before leaving the capital (of which we have no record) Bartholomew was the first Patriarch of Constantinople ever to be present at a papal installation.
16 posted on 07/27/2013 8:35:29 AM PDT by The_Reader_David (And when they behead your own people in the wars which are to come, then you will know...)
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To: Mrs. Don-o
I'm always losing rosaries or ruining, or breaking them. I don't know anybody as destructive of rosaries as I am.

Up until today, I considered myself the most destructive but ... you win!

Thank you for posting that personal experience. At one time, religious women would have been approached and asked for prayers. Since abandoning their habits, they are no longer recognizable. God bless your witness to the power of faith and prayer!!!

17 posted on 07/27/2013 9:05:36 AM PDT by NYer ( "Run from places of sin as from the plague."--St John Climacus)
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To: ZinGirl

It would seem to be a pretty important requirement of wearing it properly would be to use it as privately as possible, thereby not coming across as “LOOK WHAT I’M USING”, as he is in that picture.

__________________________

Don’t you think that you may be guilty of judging his motive? Only God can know that. Why are we humans always so quick to take a negative perspective?


18 posted on 07/27/2013 10:08:00 AM PDT by SumProVita (Cogito, ergo....Sum Pro Vita - Modified Descartes)
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To: Alex Murphy

See post # 18.


19 posted on 07/27/2013 10:09:04 AM PDT by SumProVita (Cogito, ergo....Sum Pro Vita - Modified Descartes)
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To: NYer
The western Rosary is sometimes said to have the same initial origin [in the 150 psalms]

Of course it is the same origin. A rosary has 5 decades and is said on three sets of mysteries, Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious. That would make a Hail Mary for each psalm.

Note that an ill-advised attempt to break the relationship with introduction of a fourth set did not take.

20 posted on 07/27/2013 10:28:56 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: Mrs. Don-o; ZinGirl

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.

;-)


21 posted on 07/27/2013 10:33:42 AM PDT by SumProVita (Cogito, ergo....Sum Pro Vita - Modified Descartes)
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To: NYer

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.


22 posted on 07/27/2013 1:02:29 PM PDT by married21
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To: married21; ZinGirl

Pinging your comments to freeper ZinGirl who raised this issue.


23 posted on 07/27/2013 1:34:24 PM PDT by NYer ( "Run from places of sin as from the plague."--St John Climacus)
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To: SumProVita
More than likely... he simply forgot he was using it.

Would it be too much to ask that we adopt a presumption of innocence?

24 posted on 07/27/2013 3:24:56 PM PDT by FormerLib (Sacrificing our land and our blood cannot buy protection from jihad.-Bishop Artemije of Kosovo)
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To: FormerLib

Would it be too much to ask that we adopt a presumption of innocence?

___________________________________________

That SHOULD be our first reaction.

;-)


25 posted on 07/27/2013 3:36:00 PM PDT by SumProVita (Cogito, ergo....Sum Pro Vita - Modified Descartes)
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To: NYer
nah. I didn't raise the issue. You posted an article about a prayer bracelet the pope was wearing along with a large picture displaying the bracelet AND text along with it indicating that the wearing of such a bracelet should be inconspicuous.

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.

26 posted on 07/27/2013 7:11:17 PM PDT by ZinGirl (kids in college....can't afford a tagline right now)
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To: Salvation
Pope Francis is so humble that bragging about a prayer rope around his wrist would be the last thing he would do

Then he wouldn't be happy that an article with picture was posted on a newsforum about it.

27 posted on 07/27/2013 7:14:59 PM PDT by ZinGirl (kids in college....can't afford a tagline right now)
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To: NYer
Perhaps I am missing something here. Why do you feel it is wrong for Pope Francis to have a prayer rope around his hand? Do you disagree with him having a crucifix around his neck, as well?

LOL! You are the one who posted the very text saying the bracelet should be inconspicuous. Geez. defensive much?

28 posted on 07/27/2013 7:16:13 PM PDT by ZinGirl (kids in college....can't afford a tagline right now)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

Great story! Thanks for sharing.


29 posted on 07/27/2013 7:18:38 PM PDT by thecodont
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To: Mrs. Don-o
What an excellent spiritual work of mercy you performed for that man. Who knows what it might inspire in him?

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.

30 posted on 07/28/2013 9:12:41 AM PDT by SuziQ
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To: SuziQ

Thank you! I will PM you my address!


31 posted on 07/28/2013 9:26:38 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("Patience you must have, my young padawan!" - Yoda)
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To: NYer

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?


32 posted on 07/28/2013 3:43:45 PM PDT by Heart-Rest (Good reading ==> | ncregister.com | catholic.com | ewtn.com | newadvent.org |)
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To: Heart-Rest
NYer, if it’s not being too nosy, do Maronites also use “Chotkis”?

No ... in ten years, I have never seen one. Maronites love the Blessed Mother and pray the rosary.

33 posted on 07/28/2013 4:25:18 PM PDT by NYer ( "Run from places of sin as from the plague."--St John Climacus)
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To: ZinGirl

Where did you except that from?


34 posted on 07/28/2013 11:13:02 PM PDT by AliVeritas (Pray/Penance. Isa 5:18-21,10:1-3 "Tempus faciendi, Domine, dissipaverunt legem tuam")
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To: AliVeritas; ZinGirl

Correction:

Where did you ‘excerpt’ the earlier statement from?


35 posted on 07/28/2013 11:17:07 PM PDT by AliVeritas (Pray/Penance. Isa 5:18-21,10:1-3 "Tempus faciendi, Domine, dissipaverunt legem tuam")
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To: AliVeritas

copy/paste from original posting


36 posted on 07/29/2013 4:14:56 AM PDT by ZinGirl (kids in college....can't afford a tagline right now)
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