Today’s Saint

Daily Journey with the Saints

June 9 | Study (Pt. 1)

Saint Ephrem

A.D. 306–379

A few days ago we explored the four things that all highly engaged Catholics have in common. We call these the four signs of a Dynamic Catholic. They are: Prayer, Study, Generosity and Evangelization.

Today, let’s look at a shining example of Study: Saint Ephrem.

Born around 306 AD in modern-day Turkey, Ephrem's journey into the genius of Catholicism led him to be baptized at the age of 18. He was ordained a deacon either at his baptism or soon after. 

Ephrem was a continuous learner who passionately studied every nook and cranny of the Catholic faith. He even studied the art of music to write hymns, and earned himself the nickname, “The Harp of the Spirit.” To this day, 400 of his hymns are still used in churches all around the world. 

Ephrem studied the Gospels in the original language of Jesus: Aramaic. He wrote extensive commentaries on the nature of Jesus and the Holy Trinity before it was solidified into doctrine. He preached on a vast variety of topics, and paid particular attention to Genesis, Exodus, the Acts of the Apostles, and Paul’s letters. And he went on to found the School of Nisbis, which became the major center of study in the region.

You get the point. Saint Ephrem loved to study the faith. And now, men and women have been studying his contributions for centuries.

Dynamic Catholics are continuous learners.

On average Dynamic Catholics spend fourteen minutes each day learning more about the faith. They see themselves as students of Jesus and his Church, and proactively make an effort to allow his teachings to form them.

Highly engaged Catholics read Catholic books, listen to Catholic audiobooks, watch videos about the faith, and turn on to Catholic podcasts and movies. They go on retreats more regularly than most Catholics and attend spiritual events and conferences. And even though they tend to know more about the faith than most people, they have a position of humility, which is a critical element of the second sign.

If they disagree with a Church teaching, they approach the issue in this way: "Why does the Church teach what she teaches? It is unlikely that I know better than two thousand years of the best Catholic theologians and philosophers. What am I missing?" From this perspective they explore what the Church teaches to further understand God's way, eager to discover the truth.

The second sign is all about continuous learning, the daily discipline of exploring the way of Jesus and the genius of Catholicism.

What will you learn today?


I will seek out answers to my questions about the faith.

This reflection is brought to you from book title.

Patron Saint of: Spiritual Directors and Spiritual Leaders

Symbols: Vine and Scroll

Feast Day: June 9 

Feast Day Shared By: Blessed Anna Maria Taigi and Saints Primus and Felician

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