St. Ephrem Biography - 9th June 2017
St. Ephrem The Syrian or Mor Afrem Suryoyo was born in c. 306 A.D. in Nisibis, (The modern Turkish town Nusaybin, on the border of Syria). He was ordained a deacon at thirty two and served the Bishop of Nisibis. He is regarded as the great Poet Saint of the Syriac speaking churches writing exclusively in Syriac in the Edessene Aramaic dialect as he settled in Edessa after the cession of Nisibis to Persia in 363 A.D. He wrote over five hundred hymns and his poetry survives in two genres, "madrashe (hymns) and memre (verse homilies). Famous works which were arranged into hymn cycles are those on Faith, which include "On the Pearl", "On Paradise" and "On Nisibis". His legacy was to leave a profound effect of the hymnography of the Greek and Syriac Churches where he is honoured as "The Lyre of the Holy Spirit". He died on June 9th 373 A.D. and is celebrated in the Syriac Orthodox Church on the first Saturday of the Great Lent.
St. Ephrem abandoned his heritage to help heal his Christian brothers and sisters in the city.