Saint Ephraim, Patriarch of Antioch

June 8

During the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Anastasius, Ephraim was governor of the eastern regions. He was known to all for his great piety and charity, and because of this he was greatly respected. When it was necessary to rebuild Antioch, which had been destroyed by earthquake and fire, the emperor assigned the governor Ephraim to direct this task. Ephraim fulfilled his duty with diligence and love. Among the ordinary stonecutters was a bishop, who for unknown reasons had left his episcopal see and was working as a common laborer, and no one knew that he was a bishop. One day he lay down to rest from the exhausting work with the other laborers, and fell asleep. The governor Ephraim glanced at him and saw a fiery pillar rising from this man to the heavens. Amazed and frightened, Ephraim summoned this man and made him swear to tell him who he was. The man hesitated, but finally acknowledged that he was a bishop and prophesied to Ephraim that he would shortly be consecrated Patriarch of Antioch. (The throne of the patriarchal see was vacant because the aged Patriarch Euphrasius had perished in the earthquake.) Indeed, Ephraim was elected and consecrated patriarch. Because of his goodness, purity and zeal for Orthodoxy, God gave him the great gift of working miracles. One time, in order to convince a heretic that Orthodoxy is true, he placed his pallium in the fire and prayed to God. His pallium stayed in the fire for three hours and remained intact. Seeing this, the heretic was astonished and rejected his heresy. St. Ephraim reposed in peace in the year 546 and took up his habitation in the Kingdom of God.

Source: St. Nikolai Velimirovic, The Prologue of Ohrid – Volume One.

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