St. Ephrem

Feast day: June 9

St. Ephrem is a Doctor of the Church. He was a great writer of homilies, hymns and poems and helped to fight Gnosticism and Arianism by his writings.

Not much is known about his early life. He was born in the fourth century in Mesopotamia (modern-day Syria). Scholars speculate that he may have been the son of a pagan priest. He was brought to the faith by Saint James of Nisibis and was baptized at age 18. He served as a deacon and a preacher and helped to evangelize his city.

In 363, Nisibis fell toPersia and a time of Christian persecution began. Ephrem led an Christian exodus to Edessa, where he founded a theological school. He died there June 9, 373. He is the patron of spiritual directors and spiritual leaders.

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