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St. Ephrem was born in a city in Roman Mesopotamia, and he was banished from home by his pagan father because of his Christian sympathies.  St. James, Bishop of Nisibis, took him under his guidance and saw to his education.  When he was 18, he was baptized and became a teacher in the school of Nisibis.  He fled to Edessa after the death of St. James.  There he entered the monastic life and was ordained deacon.  He wrote many works on the various mysteries of Our Lord and in honor of the Virgin Mary and in defense of the Catholic Church.  St. Ephrem was called “The Prophet of the Syrians” and the “Lyre of the Holy Spirit.”  He died in 373.  Pope Gregory XV named him a Doctor of the Church in 1920.

FEAST DAY:  June 9

PATRON OF:  Spiritual leaders

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