Now, I’ve always liked St. Ephrem excessively, as he is one of the earliest and greatest singer/songwriter saints and theologians, and he just kicks butt in so many literary ways. But now, I’ve had one of those Lady Murasaki moments, when you suddenly appreciate somebody so much more.
Best known as a poet and exegete, many of Ephrem’s writings and hymns are in existence today and are still being studied and translated. He wrote many discourses and poems.
One of his techniques was to take pagan festival songs and change the wording to prove the falsity of pagan beliefs and teach the Christian truths. In his time most people were illiterate and he was the first to use hymns to teach Christianity and to refute many of the heresies prevalent in the 4th century.
St. Ephrem, patron saint of filkers, pray for us!
(I guess I now know why I wrote this filk adaptation of an Ephrem hymn a few years back.)