Ephraem of Pec

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Our father among the saints Ephraem of Pec (also Jefrem. in Serbian:Свети Јефрем патријарх пећки и српски) was the Patriarch of Serbian two times: from 1375 to 1380 and then from 1389 to 1390. His feast day is June 15/28, together with St. Lazar and St. Spyridon.

Life

Ephraem was born in 1322 with the name of Jefrem in Bulgaria into a priest family. As the son of a priest, Ephrem from an early age yearned for a spiritual and ascetical life. He fled to Mount Athos when his parents wanted him to marry. Later, he returned and lived a life of asceticism in the Ibar gorge and in the Monastery of Decani in Kosovo. Patriarch Sava IV built an ascetic cell for him in Ždrelo near the Peć Monastery. When rivalry and war broke out concerning precedence in the State and, unfortunately even in the Church, the Synod chose Ephrem to succeed the deceased Sava as patriarch on October 3, 1375. When he was informed of his election, he wept bitterly but was unable to refuse the election. He managed to save the Church from interference from feudal lords by renouncing his throne and turning it over to Spiridon. He again withdrew to the wilderness. Following the death of Spiridon in 1389, Prince Lazar begged him to accept the throne again. He governed the Serbian Church until 1390 during the difficult time following the Serbian defeat at Kosovo in 1389. He again renounced the patriarchal see in 1390 and retired in Ždrelo.

Ephraem died in the eighty-eighth year of his earthly life. His relics were buried at the Monastery of Peć by Patr. Sava V. He was canonized by Patr. Daniel IV in 1407. Bp. Marko wrote the Service to Saint Ephraem and Life of Saint Ephraem, Patriarch of the Serbs.

Succession box:
Ephraem of Pec
Preceded by:
Sava IV
Patriarch of Serbia
1375-1380
Succeeded by:
St.Spiridon
Preceded by:
St.Spiridon
Patriarch of Serbia
1389-1390
Succeeded by:
Danilo III
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