genuflexio was originally a simple 'devoutly kneeling' as even Easterners sometimes do (such as at the 'Kneeling prayers' at Pentecost in the Byzantine rite.) Scholars of western liturgy that genuflexio is often used interchangeably with prostracio, which was (and is) to make a prostration and kiss the ground from the position of devoutly kneeling. One finds this in all the older Roman uses (monastic or secular). Modern genuflexion is a development of the Counter-Reformation period. Even the 'praying hands' is of later origin. The hands were crossed upon the breast while at prayer kneeling, or simply folded (or with fingers interlocked.) We know of this in the Empire before the Franks - in fact, from the Holy Scriptures. St. Stephen at his martyrdom made 'genuflexio' while he prayed, our Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who in the Garden of Gethsemane prayed 'genuflexio' upon his knees. In the Law and Prophets, genuflexio is the 'bending of the knee', ie it was the Israelite outward act of humility, veneration and adoration. Abba Apollo, one of the Desert Fathers once said that the Devil has no knees - he cannot kneel, pray, or worship but cannot only arrogantly look down upon others. The Prophet Isaiah prophesied that 'every knee would bow' to Christ (again, genuflection) which the Apostle Paul repeats in his Epistle to the Romans.