St. Ephrem (306-373)
The “Harp of the Holy Spirit.” Ephrem was born in Nisibis, Mesopotamia. At the age of eighteen, Ephrem received Baptism. He spent his career as a teacher. When the city of Nisibis was transferred from the Roman Empire to the Persian, Ephrem and other Christians fled to Edessa. While in Edessa, Ephrem lived in a cave. Throughout his life, Ephrem composed many hymns, 400 of which have survived to this day. Some of the hymns he wrote would take songs popular among heretical sects and, using their melodies, he would replace the words with those conveying the true Christian faith. Later in life, Ephrem was ordained a deacon. He died in 373, shortly after organizing the relief efforts in response to a severe famine. In 1920, Ephrem was declared a Doctor of the Church (a great teacher of the Catholic faith).
Pour into our hearts O Lord, we pray, the Holy Spirit, at whose prompting the Deacon Saint Ephrem exulted in singing of your mysteries and from whom he received the strength to serve you alone.