Venerable Ephraim the Syrian

Commemorated on January 28

Saint Ephraim the Syrian, a teacher of repentance, was born at the beginning of the fourth century in the city of Nisibis (Mesopotamia) into the family of impoverished toilers of the soil. His parents raised their son in piety, but from his childhood he was known for his quick temper and impetuous character. He often had fights, acted thoughtlessly, and even doubted God’s Providence. He finally recovered his senses by the grace of God, and embarked on the path of repentance and salvation.

Once, he was unjustly accused of stealing a sheep and was thrown into prison. He heard a voice in a dream calling him to repent and correct his life. After this, he was acquitted of the charges and set free.

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Troparion — Tone 8

By a flood of tears you made the desert fertile, / and your longing for God brought forth fruits in abundance. / By the radiance of miracles you illumined the whole universe! / Our Father Ephraim, pray to Christ God to save our souls!

Kontakion — Tone 2

Ever anticipating the hour of Judgment, / you lamented bitterly, venerable Ephraim. / Through your deeds you were a teacher by example; / therefore, universal Father, you rouse the slothful to repentance.