St. Ephraem the Syrian

Deacon, Confessor, Doctor of the Church

Feast Day - June 18

Ephraem was of Syrian stock, his father being a citizen of Nisibis. While he was still young, he went to the holy bishop James to be baptized. In a short time he advanced so much in holiness and learning that he was made master of a flourishing school at Nisibis, a city in Mesopotamia. Ordained deacon of the Church of Edessa, and refusing the priesthood out of humility, he shone with the splendor of all virtues, and sought to acquire devotion and religion by the profession of true wisdom. All his works, illuminated with the bright light of learning, caused this Saint to be treated with great honor as a Doctor of the Church even in his lifetime. He excelled, above all, in a wonderful and loving devotion to the Immaculate Virgin.

Rich in merits, he died on June 18 at Edessa in Mesopotamia, under the Emperor Valens. Pope Benedict XV, after consulting the Congregation of Sacred Rites, declared him a Doctor of the universal Church.

Taken from The Hours of the Divine Office in English and Latin, Vol. II: Passion Sunday to August (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1963), p. 1869.