The fourth century Syrian is beloved for his wonderful poems and hymns. Over four hundred hymns still remain! Here is the beginning of one of them, ‘The Pearl’:

‘On a certain day a pearl did I take up, my brethren; I saw in it mysteries pertaining to the Kingdom; Semblances and types of the Majesty; It became a fountain, and I drank out of it mysteries of the Son. I put it, my brethren, upon the palm of my hand, That I might examine it: I went to look at it on one side, And it proved faces on all sides. I found out that the Son was incomprehensible, Since He is wholly Light. In its brightness I beheld the Bright One Who cannot be clouded, And in its pureness a great mystery, Even the Body of Our Lord which is well-refined: In its undividedness I saw the Truth Which is undivided’.

May St Ephrem shine the light of God upon our souls in the challenges of our own time; and may God bless you this day.