St. Ephraim the Syrian was born at the beginning of the fourth century in Mesopotamia into a family of impoverished toilers of the soil. With God’s help he overcame his quick temper and impetuous character and became a humble and contrite monk. St. Ephraim is a preeminent man of prayer, enriching the Church’s liturgical services, by, among others, his famous Prayer of Repentance, which is recited during Great Lent, “O Lord and Master of my life…”. St. Ephraim was a great teacher of repentance. St. Ephraim said the tears of repentance wash away sin, enliven the person, and give strength “to walk in the way of the Lord’s commandments.” Remaining a deacon, St. Ephraim refused St. Basil the Great’s efforts to ordain him a priest or a bishop. St. Ephraim persuaded the wealthy to render aid to those in need. From the offerings of believers he built a poor-house for the sick and the poor. St. Ephraim then withdrew to a cave near Edessa, where he remained to the end of his days. St. Ephraim is commemorated on January 28.
- Mother of God and the Women Saints
- Christ and the Men Saints
- The Martyrs, Archangels and Evangelists