St Ephraim, Patriarch of Serbia
The son of a priest, he had from his boyhood hungered for a spiritual and ascetic life. He ran away to the Holy Mountain when his parents wished him to marry, and returned later to live in a canyon of the river Ibar, and then at Decani. When rivalry and fighting for precedence broke out in the state and also, unhappily, in the Church, the Synod chose Ephraim as Patriarch in place of the deceased Sava, in 1375. When he was informed of their choice, he broke into bitter weeping, but could not refuse. He crowned Prince Lazar in 1382, then renounced his own throne, handing it on to Spiridon, and withdrew once again into solitude. But, upon Spiridon's death in 1388, Prince Lazar besought him to shoulder the burden once again. He led the Serbian Church through the difficult period of the defeat at Kosovo and until his death in 1400. He was eighty-eight when he went to the Lord whom he loved. His relics are preserved in the monastery at Pec.
* From "The Prologue from Ochrid", by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic - Lazarica Press - Birmingham 1985
Four Book Edition - Translated by Mother Maria - Dates based on old church calendar.
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