Ephraim of Antioch

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Our father among the saints Ephraim of Antioch (Ephraimios) was a Syrian and military general of the sixth century who became Patriarch of Antioch and a Church Father. He was among the defenders of the Faith of the Council of Chalcedon against the Eutchianism. He is commemorated on June 8.


Ephraim was born in Amida in Mesopotamia. He was born in the later part of the fifth century, but the date of his birth is not known. He served as a military officer during the reigns of Eastern Roman Empire Emperors Anastasius I and Justin I, rising to the position of Count of the East (Comes Orientis). Following a severe earthquake in 526, Ephraim was directed by emperor Justin I to oversee the restoration of the city of Antioch. The destruction of Antioch was attributed at the time to the Christians of Antioch falling into the heresies of Nestorius and Eutyches.

During one of his reviews of the reconstruction work. Ephraim came upon a bishop who had deserted his see for unknown reasons. Upon meeting Ephraim, the former bishop predicted that he, Ephraim, would be elected to the patriarchal throne of Antioch that had become vacant by the death of Patriarch Euphrasius during the earthquake. Further, he implored Ephraim to not abandon deeds of charity and to struggle firmly against the heretics. The following year Ephraim was elected to the patriarchal throne, the same year, 527, that Justinian I became emperor.

Ephraim was noted for his virtue, piety, and compassion for all the destitute.

Ephraim was knowledgeable extensively of the Greek Fathers and followed St. Cyril of Alexandria in his Christology. He defended the Orthodox Church position on the union of two natures, the divine and the human, in the Person of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephraim wrote extensively, but most of his works are lost. Titles to most of these works are known through other writers and some passages have come down in works of others including those of Photius the Great.

Ephraim reposed in in 546.

Succession box:
Ephraim of Antioch
Preceded by:
Patriarch of Antioch
Succeeded by:
Domus III
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