The bracelet is handmade. The length is 16 cm; it consists of small knots, into which two seed bead inserts are woven. The bracelet also contains a sterling silver icon depicting Mother of God Axion Estin, which makes it not just a piece of jewelry, but a Christian symbol of faith. Thanks to a special braiding technique, the bracelet can be easily stretched by increasing the distance between the knots. This means it's is suitable for all wrist sizes.
Greek komboskini bracelets are woven by the monks of the Mount Athos monasteries with prayer and for prayer. The name of the bracelet reflects its essence and purpose: in Greek, kombos (κόμπος) means "knot", and skini (σχοινί) is a rope or cord.
The weaving of the komboskini bracelets is always accompanied by continuous prayer. Tying each knot, the monk says: "Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me." Due to this, Greeks believe that komboskini bracelet protects the person who wears it. But the bracelets also have a more practical use: like prayer ropes, they are used by the prayers to go through the knots and thus count the number of prayers uttered.
Bracelets are braided in a special way: each knot consists of 9 crosses of cord, symbolizing the nine crosses, or nine angelic ranks. Often seed beads, little crosses or icons are woven into the bracelet. Komboskini bracelets are usually worn on the wrist of the left hand, as it's closer to the heart. Believers often give such bracelets to their family and friends to remember and pray for them.
The icon of Mother of God Axion Estin holds a special place in the life of Mount Athos. Since ancient times it has been the pride of the Karyes monks, protecting the inhabitants of the Holy Mountain.
A miraculous event is associated with the name of the icon. It took place in the 10th century in the Holy Cell of the Assumption of Virgin Mary. One day a monk living in the cell went to an all-night vigil, while a young novice stayed in the cell. Late at night an unknown traveler came to the Holy Cell asking to spend the night. When Divine Liturgy time came, the two young men began to pray. Their voices were suddenly divided, whereupon the guest explained that where he had come from, it was customary to begin the chant as follows:
"It is truly right (Axion Estin) to bless thee, O Theotokos,
thou the ever blessed, and most pure, and the Mother of our God..."
The novice was stunned and asked the traveler to teach him the hymn. As there was neither paper nor ink in the cell, the novice gave him a small stone tablet, on which the guest began to write with his finger, as if with a pen. He then told the novice to sing the hymn exactly as he had written it and immdeiately disappeared. This guest was none other than the Archangel Gabriel.
The miraculous tablet was first shown to the elders in Karyes (the capital of Athos), and then sent to Constantinople. The icon of the Mother of God was transferred to the temple of Protaton and placed on the high place in the altar. There it is stored up to now. The cell in which the miraculous encounter took place was called Axion Estin. The hymn has since become an integral part of the Divine Liturgy, gaining recognition not only on Mount Athos, but also throughout the Orthodox world.
Each year, on Monday of Bright Week, the cross procession with the icon of Axion Estin takes place in the temple of Protaton. Copies of this miraculous icon are kept in Orthodox churches in Georgia, Bulgaria, and Finland.
Length: 16 cm
Weight: ~2 gr
Beads volume: ~3,5 mm
Material: weaving cord, seed beads, sterling silver