Saint Ephrem of Syria

icon of Saint Ephrem of Syria, author unknownAlso known as

  • Ephrem of Edessa
  • Ephrem the Syrian
  • Ephraem…
  • Ephraim…
  • Ephraem Syrus
  • Deacon of Edessa
  • Harp of the Holy Spirit
  • Jefrem Sirin
  • Sun of the Syrians



May have been the son of a pagan priest. Brought to the faith by Saint James of Nisibis, and baptized at age 18. Helped to evangelize Nisibis, Mesopotamia. May have attended the Council of Nicaea in 325. Deacon. Preacher. Had a great devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. In 363 Nisibis was ceded to Persia; a great persecution of Christians began, and Eprem led an exodus of the faithful to Edessa. Founded a theological school in Edessa. Wrote homilies, hymns and poetry. Helped introduce the use of hymns in public worship. Fought Gnosticism and Arianism by his writings, including poems and hymns. Proclaimed a Doctor of the Church in 1920.




Name Meaning

  • fruitful (hebrew)



Additional Information


Virtues are formed by prayer. Prayer preserves temperance. Prayer suppresses anger. Prayer prevents emotions of pride and envy. Prayer draws into the soul the Holy Spirit, and raises man to Heaven. Saint Ephraem

Remember me, you heirs of God, you brethren of Christ; supplicate the Savior earnestly for me, that I may be freed through Christ from him that fights against me day by day. – Saint Ephrem, The Fear at the End of Life

You victorious martyrs who endured torments gladly for the sake of the God and Savior, you who have boldness of speech toward the Lord himself, you saints, intercede for us who are timid and sinful men, full of sloth, that the grace of Christ may come upon us, and enlighten the hearts of all of us that so we may love him. Saint Ephrem, from Commentary on Mark

Lord, shed upon our darkened souls the brilliant light of your wisdom so that we may be enlightened and serve you with renewed purity. Sunrise marks the hour for men to begin their toil, but in our souls, Lord, prepare a dwelling for the day that will never end. Through our unremitting zeal for you. Lord, set upon us the sign of your day that is not measured by the sun. In your sacrament we daily embrace you and receive you into our bodies; make us worthy to experience the resurrection for which we hope. Teach us to find our joy in your favor! Savior, your crucifixion marked the end of your mortal life; teach us to crucify ourselves and make way for our life in the Spirit. – from a sermon by Saint Ephrem

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Ephrem of Syria“. CatholicSaints.Info. 12 November 2021. Web. 1 December 2021. <>