Personalities Saint Ephrem the Syrian

April 15, 2021by Cmsi-admin0
  • Name in Syriac - Ephrem the Syrian (Classical Syriac: ܡܪܝ ܐܦܪܝܡ ܣܘܪܝܝܐ‎,)
  • Life History - He was born in Nisibis, served as a deacon and later lived in Edessa
  • Venerated by - Catholic Churches, Syriac Orthodox Churches
  • Feast Day -7th Saturday before (Syriac Orthodox Church),June 9 ( Catholic Church,Church of England)
  • Known For - Writing a wide variety of hymns, poems, and sermons in verse, as well as prose exegesis
  • Brief Life History - A great poet, teacher, orator, and defender of the faith, Ephrem is the only Syriac Christian recognized as a doctor of the Church. He took upon himself the special task of opposing the many false doctrines rampant at his time, always remaining a true and forceful defender of the Catholic Church. Born in Nisibis, Mesopotamia, he was baptized as a young man and became famous as a teacher in his native city. When the Christian emperor had to cede Nisibis to the Persians, Ephrem fled to Edessa. He is credited with attracting great glory to the biblical school there. He was ordained a deacon but declined becoming a priest. He had a prolific pen, and his writings best illumine his holiness. Although he was not a man of great scholarship, his works reflect deep insight and knowledge of the Scriptures. In writing about the mysteries of humanity’s redemption, Ephrem reveals a realistic and humanly sympathetic spirit and a great devotion to the humanity of Jesus. It is said that his poetic account of the Last Judgment inspired Dante. It is surprising to read that he wrote hymns against the heretics of his day. Ephrem became one of the first to introduce song into the Church’s public worship as a means of instruction for the faithful. His many hymns have earned him the title “Harp of the Holy Spirit.” Ephrem preferred a simple, austere life, living in a small cave overlooking the city of Edessa. It was here that he died around 373.

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