Also known as
Deacon of Edessa
Ephraim the Syrian
Harp of the Holy Spirit
Sun of the Syrians
May have been the son of a pagan priest. Brought to the faith by Saint James of Nisibis, and baptized at age 18. Helped to evangelize Nisibis, Mesopotamia. May have attended the Council of Nicaea in 325. Deacon. Preacher. Had a great devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. In 363 Nisibis was ceded to Persia; a great persecution of Christians began, and Eprem led an exodus of the faithful to Edessa. Founded a theological school in Edessa. Writer of homilies and hymns; poet. Helped introduce the use of hymns in public worship. Fought Gnosticism and Arianism by his writings, including poems and hymns. Proclaimed Doctor of the Church in 1920.
c.306 at Nisibis, Mesopotamia (in modern Syria)
9 June 373 at Edessa (in modern Iraq); tomb in Armenian monastery, Der Serkis, west of Edessa