St. Ephrem the Syrian and Lent

This Wednesday, tomorrow already, we will discuss St. Ephrem the Syrian in our Wednesday educational meeting.  St. Ephrem is an important saint for many reasons, not the least of which is the Lenten prayer repeated so frequently throughout Lent:

O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth, despair, lust of power, and idle talk, but grant, rather, the spirit of chastity humility, patience, and love to Thy servant.  Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own transgressions, and not to judge my brother, for blessed art Thou unto the ages of ages.

Many of us, however, may not know much about St. Ephrem.  We will discuss more and look at one of his Hymns on Paradise on Wednesday, but for those of you who cannot join us, let me share just a little.  He was born likely around or shortly after the turn of the fourth century to Christian parents.  He served as a deacon in Nisibis but near the end of his life, had to flee to Edessa along with other Christians, when the Byzantine Empire had to cede Nisibis to the Persian Empire after the pagan Emperor Julian was defeated by the Persians.  Ephrem was known for his writings, especially his hymns, as well as organizing charitable work during a famine in Edessa near the end of his life.  Those interested in learning more about him are welcome to join us tomorrow evening at 7:30 at Caribou Coffee, just south of 25th Street and 13th Avenue.

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