Mother of the Light: Prayers to the Theotokos (Newrome Press, 2019) translated by the V. Rev. Archimandrite Maximos Constas, is a collection of 13 prayers and 3 canons to the Mother of God. The prayers, originally written in Greek, are ascribed to St Ephraim the Syrian. The canons are the works of St Theodore the Studite, St Methodios of Constantinople, and St John of Euchaita (Mauropous). The prayers and canons are united by their spirit of compunction, praises of the Theotokos, and entreaties for her intercessions and deliverance.
A brief, but powerful, introduction accompanies the translation that addresses the place of the Theotokos within the Orthodox Church, and the spiritual and historical importance of the translated prayers and canons.
Beautifully manufactured, Mother of the Light, is a round back hardcover, sewn bound, and offset printed on 100gsm Munken paper. It features a beautifully debossed cover, decorative endpapers, two page marker ribbons, and original artwork.
Click here to buy the book. Click here to read the Introduction.
Among the works attributed to St. Ephrem the Syrian in Greek, the lengthy treatise In Imitation of Proverbs (On the Fear of God), contains a short prayer that excerpts the longer Prayer of St. Ephrem. It reads,
Lord and Master of my life, a spirit of idleness, meddling, and love of power give me not. Rather, a spirit of chastity and patience grant to your servant.
Click here to read the relevant section of the text In Imitation of Proverbs.
On a recent trip to Iași, Romania, we picked up this wonderful little volume of “Prayers of St. Ephrem the Syrian.” This is a modern reprint* of the 1818 edition published at Neamţ Monastery. and a witness to the living tradition of Greek (or rather, Byzantine) Ephrem in the Orthodox Church.
* Bucharest: Editura Cartea Ortodoxă, 2009.
The ‘Links and Bibliography’ page is still a work in progress, but it has received a substantial number of updates over the past few days. Check out our expanded bibliography on Ephraem Graecus by clicking here.
Trevor Fiske Crowell has recently completed a doctoral dissertation, at my alma mater, on “The Biblical Homilies of Ephraem Graecus,” one of very few on the subject. You can download the entire thesis here.
Thanks very much to Roger Pearse for bringing it to our attention.
Receiving some inspiration from Roger Pearse, with whose blog you might be familiar, we have added more links to many of the digitized manuscripts of Ephraem Graecus and other related texts. Click here to see some of these lovely manuscripts for yourself.
In honor of the Feast, we have added a few lines on the holy Cross of the Lord from a sermon attributed to St. Ephrem the Syrian. Click here to read them.
On this great and holy day, enjoy a short excerpt from one of the many texts “On Repentance” attributed St. Ephrem. Here he explains Christ’s desire, and labor, for the salvation of every human being, with special reference to Pentecost.
“He sent the Holy Spirit and sanctified the Church. He sent forth the Apostles to preach the Gospel to the nations. If he did not want us to be saved, such things would have been pointless. For either he was ignorant of human affairs or he was making sport of the nations. But both of these are are forbidden even to think. For he was not ignorant. Nor did he do anything superfluous. Rather, we are his flock, and he is our shepherd, both now and in Paradise.”
Ed. K.G. Phrantzoles, Ὁσίου Ἐφραίμ τοῦ Σύρου ἔργα. 5 (Thessaloniki: Perivoli tes Panagias, 1994), 22.
The One Hundred Chapters: How One Attains Humility ascribed to St. Ephrem the Syrian is a series of short texts in the ‘centuries’ genre of monastic literature. It is composed of edifying apophthegmata and short stories that are both easy to read and easy to break up into small, digestible portions. This makes it an ideal text to offer our readers in small installments. Click here to read individual Chapters as they are added to our site.
Shine, shine, O new Jerusalem: the Glory of the Lord has shone on thee!
For the feast of the resurrection, we have added a short excerpt from an Ephremic text On Repentence. It is, to our knowledge, the only work in the corpus which contains the phrase Χριστὸς ἀνέστη (Christ is risen!).
Image: Gospel lesson for the Paschal liturgy (prologue to John), from Vaticanus gr. 1523. Click here to view the manuscript.