A Variant of the Prayer of St. Ephrem

header2Among 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.

Greetings with the Feast of Pentecost

Paris gr. 550On 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.

Chapters on Humility

Add MS 40753 f. 153vThe 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.

Christ is risen!

Shine, shVat.gr.1523(Palaiologinaa lectionary)ine, 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.