Little is known of the early life of Metr. Ephraim. He was the successor to Metr. [[Hermogenes of Moscow
||Hermogenes]], who was elected [[patriarch]] of Russia in 1606, in the midst of the Time of Troubles when the succession to the throne of Russia was in dispute. Metr. Ephraim was appointed to the Kazan [[cathedra]] in August 1606. He proved to be a worthy successor for Patr. Hermogenes as his strong faith and love of his native country, matched by his great talent for organization was demonstrated in this troubled period in Russian history. He devoted his energies in maintaining peace in the Kazan [[diocese]]. When calls were received from Moscow for military assistance, Metr. Ephraim encouraged the recruitment of the forces and blessed the volunteers who were sent to Moscow to battle against the Poles.
His loyal support and encouragement of the Russian cause was recognized by the defending Moscow nobility. He became the focal point for Moscow's calls for help, coordinating calls to the cities of the Volga region for their military assistance. The metrpolitan's imprisoned predecessor, Patr. Hermogen, urged Ephraim that he work to build the faith of the defenders of Russia. Prince Dmitry Pozharsky and Kuzma Minin, the leaders of the relieving army that they assembled in Nizhny Novgorod sought counsel with Metr. Ephraim before they made their advance on Moscow and cleared the invading enemy from the city on [[October 22]], 1612.