We are three; Thou art Threehave mercy on us!
The great novelist Leo Tolstoy wrote a delightful story, «The Three Hermits». His friend Nicholas Roerich has summarized the tale, as follows:
"On an island there lived three old hermits. They were so simple that the only prayer they used was: «We are three; Thou art Threehave mercy on us!» – Great miracles were manifested during this naive prayer.
"The local bishop, came to hear about the three hermits and their inadmissible prayer, and decided to visit them in order 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.'
The awed bishop shook his head.
"'Dear ones,' he replied humbly, 'continue to live with your old prayer!'"
 This famous Russian artist and philosopher has been living for many years in India near the Himalayas. "From the peaks comes revelation," he has written. "In caves and upon the summits lived the rishis. Over the snowy peaks of the Himalayas burns a bright glow, brighter than stars and the fantastic flashes of lightning."
 The story may have a historical basis; an editorial note informs us that the bishop met the three monks while he was sailing from Archangel to the Slovetsky Monastery, at the mouth of the Dvina River.