Born about 306 at Nisibis, a city in Roman Mesopotamia (modern Syria). St. Ephrem was banished from his home by his pagan father for his Christian sympathies. He found refuge with St. James, Bishop of Nisibis, under whose guidance he received a thorough education. Baptized at eighteen years of age, he assumed a post as a teacher in the flourishing school of Nisibis. After he death of St. James he fled to Edesa, where, after entering the monastic life, he was ordained deacon.
Ephrem wrote many works in defense of the Catholic Church, on the various Mysteries of Our Lord Jesus Christ and in honor of the Virgin Mary. Poet, exegete, and orator extraordinary, St. Ephrem was called “The prophet of the Syrians” and “The Lyre of the Holy Spirit.”
St. Ephrem bestowed on the hymnic genre that fullness which has been associated with it in the Eastern Church ever since and also left us a classic commentary on the four Gospels called the Diatessaron. He died in 378, and was numbered among the Doctors of the Church in 1920 by Pope Benedict XV.
PRAYER: Lord, graciously infuse the Holy Spirit into our hearts. By His inspiration, St. Ephrem the Daecon rejoiced in singing of Your mysteries and through His power he was enabled to serve You alone. Amen.