The Hymns on Faith. Saint Ephraem Syrus , St. Ephrem the Syrian. He was a prolific author, composing over four hundred hymns, several metrical homilies, and at least two scriptural commentaries.

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Ephrem the Syrian : Hymns. Saint Ephraem Syrus. Blessed be the Newborn Who today made the humanity young again. Blessed be the Fruit Who Bowed Himself down for our hunger.

Blessed be the Gracious One Who suddenly enriched all of our poverty and filled our need. An outpost of the Roman Empire, Nisibis and its Christian citizens were to be formed by the reign of Constantine and by the doctrines of the Council of Nicea.

There, in the context of a large and sophisticated Jewish population and numerous Gnostic sects, Ephrem sought to defend orthodox Nicene Christianity.

His teaching and writing made him an influential voice in the life of Syriac Christianity through the peaceful years of Constantine's patronage, the years of persecution after under Emperor Julian, and the conflict between Persians and Romans which ultimately forced Ephrem to move to Edessa where he stayed until his death in It was as a poet that Ephrem made his greatest impact.

Writing in isosyllabic verses called madrashe, he attained a literary brilliance that won him a place of prominence not only in his own tradition, but also in the Coptic, Ethiopian, Armenian, and Arabic traditions as well.

His hymns, praised in the West by Jerome, had a formative influence on the development of medieval religious drama in Europe. Blending Greek forms with his native style, he wove a highly crafted poetry of rich symbolism, attempting to fit the events of his day into a cosmic framework of God's redemptive act in Christ. Ephrem's combination of elements of Stoicism and Middle Platonism with Christian belief in a form reminiscent of the great second century apologists produced a corpus that speaks of his own literary genius and even more eloquently of the majesty and beauty of the divine source of all true poetry.

Here, in a fresh and lively translation, are the Hymns on the Nativity, Hymns Against Julian, and the Hymns on Virginity and the Symbols of the Lord in which that voice may be heard closely and appreciated, wondered at, and enjoyed.

Hymns against Julian. In his own lifetime and for a half-century thereafter, his method of biblical interpretation was the sole standard among Syriac writers. Even after the formal introduction of Greek hermeneutical methods in the fifth century, Ephrem's interpretations continued to be studied and held in esteem. Despite uncertainty over the precise lines of his contact with Greek culture, not only a concept of orthodoxy but also many philosophical presuppositions and literary forms analogous to Imprint your tongue with the word of life and upon your hands [imprint] all alms.

Stamp your footsteps with visiting the sick, and let the image of your Lord be portrayed in your heart. When He created the world, He gazed at it and adorned it with His images. Streams of His symbols opened, flowed and poured forth His symbols on its members.

In this she represents all humans and indeed all creation: By power from Him Mary's womb became able to bear the One Who bears all. From the great treasury of all creation Mary gave to Him every thing that she gave. She gave Him milk from what He made exist.

She gave Him food from what He had created. It is a challenge to his contemporary readers to disentangle the beauty of his symbolic theology from his recurrent polemics. Ephrem's importance for the history of Syriac literature, and for the history of Christianity in the Syriac-speaking context, is immense.

His hymns, incorporated early into the liturgy, have remained Hymns on the Nativity. Kathleen E. McVey , John Meyendorff.


Ephrem the Syrian: Hymns

Please help support the mission of New Advent and get the full contents of this website as an instant download. This is the day that gladdened them, the Prophets, Kings, and Priests, for in it were their words fulfilled, and thus were the whole of them indeed performed! For the Virgin this day brought forth Immanuel in Bethlehem. He was born there who in writing should tell the Gentiles' number! The Psalm that David once sang, by its fulfilment came today!


Hymns on the Nativity

Autocephaly recognized universally de facto , by some Autocephalous Churches de jure. His feast day is celebrated on 28 January and on the Saturday of the Venerable Fathers. Ephrem wrote a wide variety of hymns, poems, and sermons in verse, as well as prose exegesis. These were works of practical theology for the edification of the Church in troubled times. So popular were his works, that, for centuries after his death, Christian authors wrote hundreds of pseudepigraphal works in his name. He has been called the most significant of all of the fathers of the Syriac-speaking church tradition. Ephrem was born around the year in the city of Nisibis, Mesopotamia modern Nusaybin , Turkey , then-recently acquired by Rome.


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Ephrem the Syrian

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