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Two learned monks were sailing to the holy land and came to an island that was deserted except for one old hermit who ran down to the sea shore his rags flapping to welcome his visitors. He took them into his hut and prepared for them his best food and gave them pure spring water to drink.

"Teach me to pray he implored the monks. I live here all alone. You can’t imagine how lost I am with no one to teach me what I need to know."

The monks exchanged a superior look.

But they were happy to teach him the lord’s prayer and various church chants and litanies. The three talked all evening about the best way to pray . They told him that if practiced faithfully praying night and day for a long time, some day after many years the Lord God would favor him with special powers that would indicate his spiritual state.

The next morning after breakfast the monks went on their way. As they sailed off one of them looked back and saw the hermit running after their boat across the surface of the water.

"Wait wait," he called, "I’ve forgotten the words of the prayer."

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