The legend says: St. Gerontius, the Abbot of the Athos monastery of St. Anne, could not learn the monastic art of weaving beads komboskini. He was in sorrow over this, and Panagia (Virgin Mary) appeared to him and asked the elder:
- What is the cause of your sorrow?
- That I will not be worthy of the art of weaving a komboskini (Rosary), monk St. Gerontius answered.
Panagia (Virgin Mary) cried, and from her tears, the grass with strong seeds grew. This grass soon covered the side of the mountain on which the monastery was located. The monks began to make them into rosaries, saying Jesus prayer:
- Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.
Prayer is a common prayer on Orthodox prayer beads and ranges from the full "Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, prayers for the sake of your mother and all saints, have mercy on me sinful" - to the shortest - "Lord, have mercy...".