Russian Orthodox prayer rings represent the union between the individual and the Church and help one establish a relationship with God through prayer. Since ancient times, these rings have played has a protective role and encouraged pious deeds.
This Russian Orthodox ring carries the prayer of the publican in Church Slavonic: Б9е, млcтивъ, бyди мнЁ грёшному , translated as “God, have mercy on me, a sinner”. Christ used the humble publican’s prayer as an example to His disciples, in order to demonstrate that the prayer of a penitent sinner is more acceptable to God than that of a proud pharisee (Luke 18:9-14). According to St. Ignatius Bryanchaninov, “if one does not pray as a sinner, one shall be rejected by God, even if one stands at the very height of virtue”. St. John Chrysostom wrote that “if we pray in humility, if we hit ourselves in the chest as the publican did, if, like him, we utter the words ‘be merciful to me, a sinner’, we shall gain everything.”