Dear Readers: A long time supporter of the Mystagogy Resource Center has informed me that they would like to donate $3000 to help me continue the work of this ministry, but they will only do it as a matching donation, which means that this generous donation will only be made after you help me raise a total of $3000. If you can help make this happen, it will be greatly appreciated and it would be greatly helpful to me, as I have not done a fundraiser this year. If you enjoy the work done here and want to see more of it, please make whatever contribution you can through the DONATE link below. Thank you!
(Total So Far - Day 10: $2690)

April 15, 2021

Saint Ephraim the Great of Atsquri


By Archpriest Zakaria Machitadze

Saint Ephraim the Great of Atsquri—one of the most important figures in the Georgian Church of the 8th and 9th centuries—was a disciple and companion of Saint Grigol of Khandzta.

On his way from Klarjeti in southern Georgia to Abkhazeti in the northwest, Saint Grigol met the young Ephraim and immediately perceived in him a like-minded companion and the future wonderworker and bishop of Atsquri.

Grigol promised to take the young man as his disciple. On his way back to Klarjeti Saint Grigol accompanied Ephraim and another youth, Arsenius, the future Catholicos of Georgia. He entrusted the upbringing of these two holy youths to his spiritual sons Christopher and Theodore.

The brothers of Khandzta Monastery objected to the arrival of the youths, since the monastery rules prohibited young visitors. But Saint Grigol told them that God had revealed this as His will and that, after being raised at the monastery, these young men would be like spiritual successors of Saint Ephraim the Syrian and Saint Arsenius the Great.

Saint Ephraim was later consecrated bishop of Atsquri and became a major figure in the Church of his time. He significantly contributed to the definitive strengthening of the autocephaly of the Georgian Church. As a result of his labors, the Georgian Church received a blessing from Antioch to prepare its own chrism in Mtskheta.

Saint Ephraim administered the diocese of Atsquri for forty years. God endowed him with the gifts of prophecy, wonderworking, and healing. He lived to an advanced age and reposed peacefully. Even today, those who approach his holy relics are healed of their infirmities.

Saint Ephraim of Atsquri is also mentioned in the Life of Saint Arsenius the Great, Catholicos of Georgia [commemorated September 25].