Ephraim of Cherson

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Hieromartyr Ephraim of Cherson was one of seven bishops of the fourth century, known collectively as the Hieromartyrs of Cherson, who carried the Gospel of Christ into the northwest area of the Black Sea. Of the seven, all but one were martyred while pursuing their missionary activities. Ephraim is commemorated with the other six bishops on March 7.

During the first decade of the fourth century a bishop's see was established at Cherson, a trading settlement on the Crimean peninsula. Missionary activity in the Black Sea was encouraged by Hermon, the Bishop of Jerusalem who sent many bishops to preach the Gospel in the various lands of the Black Sea. Beginning that decade, he sent a series of missionary bishops to Cherson to preach Christ's Gospel. The first to go were Basil and Ephraim.

After they arrived in Cherson, Ephraim parted from Basil and proceeded to the area along the Danube River to live and preach to the people in the area. Little is known of his preaching activity after he arrived at the Danube. However, early during the persecutions against Christians initiated by the Roman emperor Galerius Maximian in the latter part of the first decade, St. Ephraim was beheaded.


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