Saint Ephrem Hymns
Early Reference, Indian Tradition, Saint Ephrem Hymns, Thomas the Apostle - Tuesday, May 20, 2008 18:38 - 6 Comments
The earliest author of the Eastern Church, is Saint Ephraem (Ephrem) , the Great Doctor of the Syrian Church. Known us Deacon, monk, musician, inspired poet and profound commentator of sacred Scripture, this church father is beloved by all branches of Christ’s Church. This fourth-century saint was so admired and influential that a great many of his writings were among the first works after the Bible to be rendered into many parts of Christendom.
He was a native of the city of Nisibis, and had lived there up to A.D 363, when the surrender of that town by the Emperor Jovian to Sapor, the King of Persia, took place after the death of his predecessor, Julian the Apostate, and the partial defeat of the army under the same.
The Saint then retired to Edessa, which had become the frontier town of the Empire1.
As the Relics of the Apostle Thomas had been treasured in that city from an early period, and as Ephraem had lived there for fully ten years till his death, which occurred in the summer of 373, it certainly seemed strange that in the numerous published works of prolific writers the direct evidence from St. Ephraem hymns are missing about the Apostolate. Relics of the Apostle Thomas are so specially venerated in the very city in which Ephraem resided, the city which, largely owing to his influence, became the general centre of Syrian literature. It was not until past the middle of the nineteenth century that such evidence was forthcoming.
Bishop A E Medlycott has collected some of the Saint Ephraem hymns and published those in “India and the Apostle Thomas” .This article is an extract from the relevant pages dealing with St. Ephraem hymns.
- Ammianus Marcellinus, History, Bohn’s ed., 1862, bk.xxv.chap.viii.p.397 [↩]
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