Old Rite Prayer Rope (Lestovka)
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Made of handcrafted leather, the Lestovka or "Ladder" is a type of prayer rope used in Russia before the arrival of the Greek knotted prayer rope in the 18th century. It is still used today by pious Old Ritualist Orthodox Christians.
The Lestovka has four lapostki (leaves or flaps), symbolizing the four Evangelists. The stitching around the leaves symbolizes the teaching of the Gospel. Sealed between the leaves are seven movable pieces, as tokens of the seven Great Mysteries of the Church. Where the Lestovka is joined together there are three steps at each end, and on the Lestovka itself are three more steps, for a total of nine, which stands for the nine orders of angels, and for the nine months during which the most pure Mother of God carried in her womb the Infant Who is before all ages. The empty space after the juncture represents the earth. Then there are twelve counters (babochki, rungs, steps, beads or loops), signafying the twelve Apostles who walked on the earth with the Lord. Then there are thirty-nine counters for the thirty-nine weeks and two days in which the Theotokos carried Christ in her womb. The next thirty-three counters represent the thirty-three years the Lord walked the earth. And the seventeen counters symbolize the seventeen prophets who prophesied concerning Christ.
Like other Prayer Ropes, any repeated prayer can be said, however the one used most often is the Jesus Prayer.
Color of stitching may vary.