SAINT EPHREM

June 8

From the Prologue

During the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Anastasius, Ephrem was commander of the eastern regions. He was known to all for his great piety and charity and because of this was greatly respected. When it was necessary to rebuild Antioch, destroyed by earthquake and fire, the emperor assigned Ephrem the commander to direct this task. Ephrem fulfilled his duty with diligence and love. Among the ordinary masons was a bishop who, for unknown reasons, had left his episcopal see and labored as an ordinary laborer and no one knew that he was a bishop. One day he, with the other laborers, lay down to rest from the exhausting work and fell asleep. The commander Ephrem glanced at him and saw a fiery pillar rising from this man to the heavens. Amazed and frightened, Ephrem summoned this man and made him swear to tell him who he was. The man hesitated, but finally acknowledged that he is a bishop and prophesied to Ephrem that he will shortly be consecrated as patriarch of Antioch for the throne of the patriarchal see was vacant because the aged Patriarch Euphrasius perished in the earthquake. Indeed, Ephrem was elected and consecrated patriarch. Because of his goodness, purity and zeal for Or-thodoxy, God gave him the great gift of working miracles. One time, in order to convince a heretic that Orthodoxy is true, he placed his pallium in a fire and prayed to God. His palhum remained in the fire for three hours and remained intact. Seeing this, the heretic was astonished and rejected the heresy. St. Ephrem died in peace in the year 546 A.D. and took up habitation in the Kingdom of God.





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