Prayers, Quips and Quotes: St. Ephrem of Syria, Feast Day June 9

St. Ephrem of Syria Public Domain Image
St. Ephrem of Syria
Public Domain Image

The feast day of St. Ephrem of Syria is celebrated on June 9.  He was born in Nisibis, Mesopotamia in the 4th century.  At the age of 18 he was baptized.  Along with other Christians, he became a refugee in Edessa during the persecutions by the Persians.  He was ordained a deacon and served under four bishops.

St. Ephrem is most known for his prolific writing.  He wrote both hymns and poetic homilies.  Over 400 hymns still exist, earning him the title of “Harp of the Holy Spirit”.   The hymns he wrote were used to instruct the people against the heresies of the time.  He often used popular melodies, putting his own words to the music.    Because of his music he is credited with a spiritual awakening during that time period.  St. Ephrem was also a poet, writing many of his homilies as poetry.  His description of heaven and hell is said to have inspired Dante.  St. Ephrem had a special devotion to the humanity of Jesus.

St. Ephrem lived a very simple life, living in a cave with a view of Edessa.  During the great famine which occurred, he influenced those with money to help him establish a poor house for the sick and poor.  St. Ephrem died in June in 373.


O Giver of light!  Fulfill my supplications and grant me Your gifts according to my prayer; impart to my heart just one drop of Your grace, that the flame of Your love may begin to burn in my heart; and like a fire, may it consume evil thoughts like thorns and thistles!


Quote of St. Ephrem of Syria

June is the Month of the Sacred Heart



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