Ephrem was born about 306 in a land that is today called Turkey. He was ordained a deacon and became a well-known teacher. Years later, his bishop suggested that Ephrem be a priest. Ephrem begged the bishop to allow him to stay a deacon because he thought he was not good enough to be a priest.
When the Persian army conquered his homeland, Ephrem escaped to the mountains and lived as a monk alone in a cave. People came to listen to him and ask for help with their problems. At this time, Ephrem did a lot of writing. His homilies were popular, as were his religious poems. He also took the songs that heretics were teaching and changed the words to teach the truths of the Catholic faith. Ephrem was one of the first to write songs for the liturgy of the Church.
He has been called “Harp of the Holy Spirit.” Quite a few of his homilies and hymns are devoted to Mary, the Mother of God. Ephrem died about 373. The Church later named him a Doctor of the Church.
Guide the students to list situations that refugees might have to face. Have each student write a petition for refugees. Lead a litany based on the petitions. The response could be “Lord, guide your people.”
Ask the students to write a religious poem.
Excerpted from Christ Our Life, by Sisters of Notre Dame of Chardon, Ohio
Image credit: Three saints: George, John of Damascus, Ephrem the Syrian. by unknown artist, 14th century. Public Domain via Wikimedia.