Saint Ephraim the Syrian

July 21, 2023

Dear Children of God, how are you? How is summer season? Are you spending your break time properly? Hope you are using your time effectively programming it wisely for your prayer, Church attendance, reading, playing and also helping you parents with house chorus. Ok, good!

Dear Children, today we will tell you a story about Saint Ephraim the Syrian, who has greater love for our Holy Mother Virgin Saint Mary that he wrote a praise for her for the whole seven days of the week. This is the prayer we read for the seven times of days called “Wudaasiee Mariam” (Praise of Saint Mary)

Children, Saint Ephraim was born in the city of Nissibis, at the beginning of the fourth century from pagan (non-believers) parents, during the days of the righteous Emperor Constantine. Then, he met with Saint James bishop of Nissibis, who preached to him and taught him the truth about Christian Faith. Ephraim become Christian in his hands. He was baptized by the hands of Saint James and stayed with him. He excelled (become very brave) in his worship that exceeded his generations. He debated the pagans and overcame them by the grace that was within him. When the council of Nicea assembled, he went with his teacher Saint James to attend the council.

One day, while Saint Ephraim was praying, he saw a pillar of light which extended from earth to heaven. When he marveled at what he saw, he heard a voice saying to him, “That what you saw is Saint Basil, Bishop of Caesarea.” Saint Ephraim longed to see Saint Basil and he went to Caesarea. He entered the Church and stood in a corner of it. He saw Saint Basil in his priestly vestments embroidered with gold. Saint Ephraim doubted the holiness of Saint Basil. The Lord showed him a white dove that alighted over Saint Basil’s head. God then inspired Saint Basil of the presence of Saint Ephraim. Saint Basil called him by his name and Saint Ephraim marveled at how he knew him. They greeted each other and Saint Basil ordained him a deacon.

Saint Ephraim increased his asceticism (self-discipline), and many great virtues were showed through him that the best description. Among which was that of an honorable woman, who was ashamed to confess her sins orally to Saint Basil. She wrote on a paper her sins which she had committed since her youth, and gave it to Saint Basil. When he received it and knew what was written in it, he prayed for her. The piece of paper became blank except for only one great sin. The woman wept, and entreated him to pray for her that God might forgive this sin for her. Saint Basil told her, “Go to the wilderness where Saint Ephraim is and he will pray for you.” The woman went to him and told him what had happened. He said to her, “I am not worthy of this honor, go back to Saint Basil for he is a high priest. Go now quickly before he departs from this world.” When the woman returned, she found that Saint Basil had departed and was carried on the heads of the priests. She wept and threw the piece of paper on his coffin. She prayed to God interceding through the saint. Then, she took the piece of paper and she found it completely blank.

Saint Ephraim had performed many miracles. In his days, Ebn-Disan the Infidel appeared. This father debated with him until he overcame his mistaken opinions. He wrote many articles and discourses. When he completed his strife, he departed to the Lord on the year 379 A.D. in Hamele 15 (July 22 G.C).

Dear Children of God, hope you have liked the story and understood the meaning of the it. Saint Ephraim is a great father who has received the honor of praise of Saint Mary witnessing her presence and spoke the words of the prayer where he wrote it.

May his prayers be with us, Amen.

Farewell Children, it is enough for us for now and may you remain well and good!