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Saint of the Day for 9 June: St. Ephrem

St. Ephrem: Life, Hymns and Influence of the Syriac Poet and Theologian


St. Ephrem


Deacon and Doctor of the Church


306, Nisibis, Turkey


June 9, 373, Edessa, Turkey


9 June


2004 edition


Grant us, O Lord, the fire of the Holy Spirit that inspired St. Ephrem, deacon and herald of Your glory, to celebrate with admirable hymns Your divine mysteries. Through his intercession with You, defend us from the snares of heresy and the devil and grant us contrite, and finally the forgiveness of all sins. We ask this through Christ our Lord. So be it.

Roman Martyrology

In Edessa, Mesopotamia, St. Ephrem, an Edessene Deacon and Confessor, who, after many labors sustained for the faith of Christ, illustrious for doctrine and holiness, under Emperor Valens, rested in God, and by Pope Benedict the tenth-fifth was proclaimed a Doctor of the Universal Church.


The Saint and Mission

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St. Ephrem, known as the “Zither of the Holy Spirit,” dedicated his life to the mission of enlightening the minds and hearts of the faithful through theology, poetry and music. Born in fourth-century Syria, Ephrem distinguished himself for his extraordinary ability to express the truths of the Christian faith in an accessible and moving way. His mission was to defend orthodox doctrine against the heresies of the time, using his poetic skill to compose hymns that not only educated but inspired the faithful. His works, laden with rich and symbolic imagery, were intended to convey the beauty and depth of the Christian mystery, making divine truths understandable and fascinating to all. Ephrem was a man of deep spirituality and humility, who preferred to serve the community through the diaconate, refusing higher honors. His ascetic life and commitment to service to others were living testimonies of his faith. He founded schools and promoted religious education, recognizing the importance of theological training for the growth of the Church. St. Ephrem’s mission continues to resonate today, inviting believers to explore the richness of the Christian faith through art, music and theological reflection. His example reminds us that Christian mission can be expressed in many forms, all aimed at bringing the light of Christ to the world and spiritually nourishing the community of believers.

The Saint and Mercy

St. Ephrem is an extraordinary example of how mercy can be lived and transmitted through word and daily life. Known for his poetry and hymns, Ephrem used his talents to express God’s compassion and love in a way that was accessible and touching to all. His writings were filled with images that spoke to the hearts of the faithful, offering comfort, hope and encouragement in times of trouble. His ascetic life dedicated to the service of others reflected a concrete mercy. Ephrem was known for his humility and commitment to caring for the poor and the sick. During epidemics, he cared for the sick with dedication, showing that mercy is not just a feeling, but an action that responds to people’s real needs. Ephrem teaches us that mercy can be communicated through the beauty of poetry and music, which can touch souls in profound and transformative ways. His ability to convey divine truth with grace and spiritual depth invites us to seek creative ways to share God’s mercy with others. His legacy of hymns and writings continues to inspire and comfort, proving that words, when infused with love and compassion, can have immense power in promoting healing and reconciliation. St. Ephrem reminds us that every act of mercy, large or small, has the power to transform the world around us.


Ephrem was born in Nisibis in Mesopotamia about the year 306 under Emperor Constantine. He was the son of pagans but studied Christian doctrine with ardor. Displeased and persecuted by his father, who was a priest of idols, he was forced to leave his father’s home and retire to the holy bishop Jacob. He was then about 15 years old and…


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