The Monk Ephrem of Novotorzhsk
Commemorated on January 28, June 11
The Monk Ephrem of Novotorzhsk, founder of the Borisoglebsk monastery in the city of Torzhok, was a native of Hungary. Together with his brothers, Saint Moses (Moisei) the Hungarian (Comm. 26 July) and Saint George (Slavic "Georgii"/"Yuri", or in Hungarian "Sandor" pronounced "Shandor"), he quit his native land, possibly for reasons of being Orthodox. Having come to Rus', all three brothers entered into the service of the Rostov prince Saint Boris, son of the Equal-to-the-Apostles Saint Vladimir. Saint Ephrem's brother George also perished in the year 1015 at the River Al'ta, together with holy Prince Boris. The murderers cut off his head, to take the gold medallion which hung upon his neck. Moisei (Moses) managed to save himself by flight, and became a monk at the Kievo-Pechersk monastery. Saint Ephrem, evidently at this time at Rostov, and arriving at the place of the murder, found the head of his brother and took it with him. Forsaking service at the princely court, Saint Ephrem withdrew to the River Tvertsa so as to lead there a solitary monastic life. After several others settled alongside him to monasticise, in the year 1038 he founded a monastery in honour of the holy princely "Passion-Bearers" ("Strastoterptsi") Boris and Gleb. The brethren chose him to head them. Near the monastery, situated not off afar from a merchant's road to Novgorod, a wanderer's home was built, where for free stayed the poor and wanderers. The Monk Ephrem died in old age. His body was buried at the monastery founded by him, and in the grave, in accord with his last wishes, was placed the head of his brother, Saint George. The relics of the Monk Ephrem were uncovered in the year 1572.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.