Orthodox Remembrance Day: 28 January

Catholic Remembrance Day: 9 June

Name means: the doubly fertile (Hebrew)

Deacon, Doctor of the Church


* c. 306 in Nisibis, today Nusaybin in Turkey
9 June 373 in Edessa, today Sanlıurfa in Turkey

Antike original russische Ikone aus dem 19. Jahrhundert.


Ephraem the Syrian was the child of Christian parents, according to other sources the son of a pagan priest. Bishop Jacob of Nisibis exerted great influence on him, later Bishop Vologeses also impressed him with the combination of asceticism and erudition. At the age of 18 he was baptized, then lived ascetic, was ordained a deacon at the age of 30 and worked as a theological teacher at the famous monastic school in his hometown until he fled to Edessa in 363 when Nisibis fell to the Persians. In Edessa, Ephraem first lived as a hermit, attracted attention through his social work, then founded a school and gained great influence because of his wisdom and piety. His main scientific interest was in Sacred Scripture, he wrote dogmatic and moral theological works, using the concepts of the Aramaic-Semitic tradition uninfluenced by the questions of contemporary theology.


Ephraem is one of the Doctors of the Church in the Orthodox Church, in the Catholic Church he also received this title in 1920 from Pope Benedict XV.


Joachim Schäfer: Article Ephraem der Syrer, from the Ecumenical Dictionary of Saints:

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