Thursday, June 18, 2015

Happy Feast Day of St. Ephrem the Syrian!

"Ephraem was of Syrian descent, and son of a citizen of Nisibis. While yet a young man he went to the holy bishop James, by whom he was baptized, and he soon made such progress in holiness and learning as to be appointed master of a flourishing school at Nisibis, a city of Mesopotamia. After the death of the bishop James, Nisibis was captured by the Persians, and Ephraem went to Edessa. Here he settled first on the mountain among the monks, and then, that he might avoid the great numbers of men who flocked to him, he adopted the eremitical life. He was ordained deacon of the Church of Edessa, but refused the priesthood out of humility. He was conspicuous with the splendour of every virtue and strove to acquire piety and religion by professing true wisdom. He placed all his hope in God alone, despised all human and transitory things, and always longed for the divine and eternal."
Fourth Lesson of Matins, Feast of St. Ephrem the Syrian

One of the greatest Saints the Church has in Her long list of holy men and women.  If you have time today, please read some of His hymns/poems.  To say that they are beautiful would be an understatement.

"Glory to that Hidden One Who even to the mind
is utterly imperceptible to those who investigate Him.
But by His grace through His humanity
a nature never before fathomed is now perceived.
His hands bound and fettered, His feet nailed and fastened,
by His own will He clothed Himself with a body for those who seized Him.
Blessed is He Whom freedom crucified, when He permitted it.
Blessed is He Whom also the wood bore, when He allowed it.
Blessed is He Whom even the grave enclosed, when He set limits to Himself.
Blessed is He Whose will brought Him
to the womb and to birth and to the bosom and to growth.
Blessed is He Whose changes revived our humanity."

-From the Nativity Hymn of St. Ephrem 

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