Leo Tolstoy wrote a story, The Three Hermits. His friend Nicholas Roerich summarized the tale:

On an island there lived three old hermits. They were so simple that the only prayer they used was: “We are three; Thou art Three have mercy on us!”

Great miracles were manifested during this naive prayer.

A local bishop came to hear about the three hermits and their prayer, and he decided to visit them to teach them the canonical invocations. He arrived on the island, told the hermits that their heavenly petition was undignified, and taught them many of the customary prayers. The bishop then left on a boat. He saw, following the ship, a radiant light. As it approached, he discerned the three hermits, who were holding hands and running upon the waves in an effort to overtake the vessel.

“We have forgotten the prayers you taught us,” they cried as they reached the bishop, “and have hastened to ask you to repeat them.”Three Hermits

The awed bishop shook his head.

“Dear ones,” he replied humbly, “continue to live with your old prayer!”






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