Monday, May 4, 2009

St. Ephraim the Great Martyr of Nea Makri

Christ is risen! Truly He is risen!

Icon of St. Ephraim the Great-Martyr, Wonderworker and Newly-revealed of Nea Makri (Icon courtesy of www.eikonografos.com used with permission)

  
"ST. EPHRAIM THE GREAT MARTYR AND WONDERWORKER - May 5th
The holy New Martyr and wonderworker Ephraim was born in Greece on September 14, 1384. His father died when the saint was young, and his pious mother was left to care for seven children by herself.

When Ephraim reached the age of fourteen, the all-good God directed his steps to a monastery on the mountain of Amoman near Nea Makri in Attica. The monastery was dedicated to the Annunciation and also to St Paraskeva. Here he took on his shoulders the Cross of Christ, which all His followers must bear (Matt. 16:24). Being enflamed with love for God, St Ephraim eagerly placed himself under the monastic discipline. For nearly twenty-seven years he imitated the life of the great Fathers and ascetics of the desert. With divine zeal, he followed Christ and turned away from the attractions of this world. By the grace of God, he purified himself from soul-destroying passions and became an abode of the All-Holy Spirit. He was also found worthy to receive the grace of the priesthood, and served at the altar with great reverence and compunction.
  
The Monastery of the Evangelismos and St. Ephraim, Amomos Mountain, Attica, Greece, as it appears today (taken from: http://stnectarioschurch.org/Archives/May/050504_EphraimMegalomartyros/StEphraimMoni_index.htm)
  
On September 14, 1425, the barbarous Turks launched an invasion by sea, destroying the monastery and and looting the surrounding area. St Ephraim was one of the victims of their frenzied hatred. Many of the monks had been tortured and beheaded, but St Ephraim remained calm. This infuriated the Turks, so they imprisoned him in order to torture him and force him to deny Christ.
 
St. Ephraim of Nea Makri, with scenes from his life and martyrdom (source)
 
They locked him in a small cell without food or water, and they beat him every day, hoping to convince him to become a Moslem. For several months, he endured horrible torments. When the Turks realized that the saint remained faithful to Christ, they decided to put him to death. On Tuesday May 5, 1426, they led him from his cell. They turned him upside down and tied him to a mulberry tree, then they beat him and mocked him. "Where is your God," they asked, "and why doesn't he help you?" The saint did not lose courage, but prayed, "O God, do not listen to the words of these men, but may Thy will be done as Thou hast ordained."
  

The mulberry tree on which St. Ephraim was martyred on (taken from: http://agiosefraim.netfirms.com/bio1.html)
     
The barbarians pulled the saint's beard and tortured him until his strength ebbed. His blood flowed, and his clothes were in tatters. His body was almost naked and covered with many wounds. Still the Hagarenes were not satisfied, but wished to torture him even more. One of them took a flaming stick and plunged it violently into the saint's navel.

  
His screams were heart-rending, so great was his pain. The blood flowed from his stomach, but the Turks did not stop. They repeated the same painful torments many times. His body writhed, and all his limbs were convulsed. Soon, the saint grew too weak to speak, so he prayed silently asking God to forgive his sins. Blood and saliva ran from his mouth, and the ground was soaked with his blood. Then he lapsed into unconsciousness.
  
A close-up of the icon of the martyrdom of St. Ephraim (http://www.romiosini.org.gr/DA9A0DD2.el.aspx)
   
Thinking that he had died, the Turks cut the ropes which bound him to the tree, and the saint's body fell to the ground. Their rage was still not diminished, so they continued to kick and beat him. After a while, the saint opened his eyes and prayed, "Lord, I give up my spirit to Thee." About nine o'clock in the morning, the martyr's soul was separated from his body. These things remained forgotten for nearly 500 years, hidden in the depths of silence and oblivion until January 3, 1950."
(taken from: http://www.stirene.org/archives/may/0505_stefraim.html)
  
  
The Burial of St. Ephraim of Nea Makri (source)
  


Gerontissa Makaria was told by St. Ephraim: “I will work many miracles, and I will help many people, before the evils come".

St. Ephraim heals the sick and helps those in need (source)
   
For the account of the miraculous finding of his Holy Relics, see the above link to continue reading, or a previous post (which also includes a moving miracle of the Saint): http://full-of-grace-and-truth.blogspot.com/2009/01/uncovering-of-holy-relics-of-st-ephraim.html.
  
For more miracles of the Saint, see: http://full-of-grace-and-truth.blogspot.com/2010/05/selected-miracles-of-st-ephraim-of-nea.html.
  
May St. Ephraim intercede for all of us and help us!
  
This icon of St. Ephraim was the last painted by the famous iconographer, Photi Kontouglou (who is also buried at Evangelismos Monastery of St. Ephraim). He had prayed to the Saint to reveal himself so that he could properly depict him. This has become the prototype of all the icons of St. Ephraim. (taken from: http://greecepilgrimage.blogspot.com/2008/06/day-4-st-ephraim-and-island-of-tinos.htmlhttp://www.romiosini.org.gr/DA9A0DD2.el.aspx)
     
ΑΠΟΛΥΤΙΚΙΟN Ἦχος α’ Τῆς ἐρήμου πολίτης
Ἐν ὄρει τῶν Ἀμῶμων ὥσπερ ἥλιος ἐλάμψας καί μαρτυρικῶς, Θεοφόρε, πρός Θεόν ἐξεδήμησας, βαρβάρων ὑποστάς ἐπιδρομάς, Ἐφραίμ Μεγαλομάρτυς τοῦ Χριστοῦ , διά τοῦτο ἀναβλύζεις χάριν ἀεί, τοῖς εὐλαβῶς βοῶσι σοι, δόξα τῷ δεδωκότι σοι ἰσχύν, δόξα τῷ σέ θαυμαστώσαντι, δόξα τῷ ἐνεργοῦντι διά Σοῦ, πᾶσιν ἰάματα.
  
For the Full Service, Paraklesis, Akathist and Engomia to St. Ephraim in Greek, written by Fr. Gerasimos of Little St. Anne's Skete: http://analogion.gr/glt/texts/May/05c.uni.htm.
  
Apolytikion of St. Ephraim the Great-martyr of Nea Makri in the First Tone (amateur translation)
On Amomon Mountain, you shown forth like the sun, and O God-bearer, you left for God by martyrdom, you endured barbarians’ attacks, Ephraim O Great-martyr of Christ, because of this you ever pour forth grace, to those who piously cry out to you, glory to Him who gave you strength, glory to Him you made you wondrous, glory to Him who grants through you, healings for all!
     
  
For amateur translations of selected hymns to St. Ephraim, and his Akathist, see the following links, respectively: http://full-of-grace-and-truth.blogspot.com/2011/05/selected-hymns-for-st-ephraim-of-nea.html, http://full-of-grace-and-truth.blogspot.com/2012/05/akathist-to-st-ephraim-righteous-martyr.html.
  
St. Ephraim of Nea Makri, the Great Righteous Hieromartyr and Wonderworker (http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_KBtBBuRAt7w/S0CPUe7LZ4I/AAAAAAAAADw/Vdd1drbUeoY/s1600/Scan20009-792797.JPG)
  
Christ is Risen from the dead, by death, trampling down upon death, and to those in the tombs, bestowing life!
Truly the Lord is risen!

2 comments:

Anonymous person said...

A miracle of Saint Ephraim the Great-Martyr of Nea Makri in my life!
by Thomas Cudo Andrango

my blog is www.teachthemthewordoftruth.wordpress.com

I live in the U.S.A. and I am not Greek, but I am an Eastern Orthodox Christian and I thought I would share this and add this to the list of miracles done by Saint Ephraim.

4 prayer requests in one


I have been suffering for years and I still suffer from multiple
addictions and passions: pornography, sorcery,video games, judging,
anger, immense pride, and grudges.


I also have been going through a few years long trial of, well,: I can't
pray. I can say the words, but He is not there. I need patience in this
for I fear that my patience is running low.


I also am having difficulty trusting Jesus. With the way things are now,
it doesn't look like I will have a happy future. I need to trust Him.


I also would like prayers for unbelieving/sinful people who are close to me: Philip, Arturo, Emily, and Paul.


That, and there is someone who does believe, he has accepted Jesus, but I
do not know whether or not he is an Eastern Orthodox Christian: Jason.


Update:


Thank you Saint Ephraim the Great-Martyr of Nea Makri!

I was reading Orthodox church quotes on http://www.orthodoxchurchquotes.com/.
I came across a post that was posted on November 3, 2015 that quoted
the prayer to Saint Ephraim of Nea Makri for addictions. Because, as of
04/15/2016, I cannot pray (Jesus is not there), I read the words of the
prayer, even though Saint Ephraim was not with me as I read it. I felt
as if I should read the short prayer that normally one should pray
constantly and continually: Oh Lord Jesus Christ, through the prayers of
your holy martyr Ephraim, have mercy on me and deliver me from this
cruel bondage. I read it more or less 10- 15 times, and I felt that my
passions within me were being lessened with each time. I was glad, so I
continued to say the words even though I couldn't pray. After a bit, (10
to 15 times or so) I felt as if I no longer needed to say it. So, to
test and see if I was cured, I thought about and brought to mind lustful
thoughts. No sooner than had this happened that the very thought of it
felt disgusting and nasty. Proof of full and true repentance to the
point of passionlessness is the disgust of ones previous sins. I know
this because I read in the life of Blessed Hieromonk Seraphim Rose of
Platina that he was passionless and whenever the subject of his previous
life of sin was brought up, he called them disgusting and didn't talk
about them. Anyway, thanks be to Saint Ephraim the Great-Martyr of Nea
Makri, for after over 10 years of multiple addictions, I am finally
free!


You can read about him in the following webpages.

http://www.roadtoemmaus.net/back_issue_articles/RTE_04/Ephraim_of_Nea_Makri.pdf

http://www.stinnocent.com/seraphim/dtw/dtw4/overdose.htm

http://full-of-grace-and-truth.blogspot.com/2009/01/uncovering-of-holy-relics-of-st-ephraim.html

http://full-of-grace-and-truth.blogspot.com/2010/05/selected-miracles-of-st-ephraim-of-nea.html

http://full-of-grace-and-truth.blogspot.com/2009/05/st-ephraim-great-martyr-of-nea-makri.html

Agioi_Anargyroi said...

I pray that St. Ephraim might protect and heal you, and all you suffer and are tempted throughout the world, and I encourage you also to follow a good Orthodox spiritual father, most especially using (at the spiritual father's discretion) the mysteries of the Church.