World

SAINT PROFILE: EPHRAEM

C. 306 – 373; Feast- June 9

By Catholic News Service     6/11/2018

Known to Syrian Christians as “the harp of the Holy Ghost,” this Mesopotamian from Nisibia was baptized at 18 and may have accompanied his bishop to the Council of Nicaea in 325. He served as head of the cathedral school and left Nisibia only after it became Persian. In 363 he moved to a cave overlooking Edessa but preached frequently in the city and wrote many poems, hymns and biblical commentaries; he organized a choir of women to sing his hymns during liturgies. About 370 he visited St. Basil in Caesarea. The winter before his death, he earned praise for managing relief supplies during a severe famine in Edessa. Ephraem is the only Syrian father declared a doctor of the church.  

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