Author: Saint Ephraim of Syria (ca. 306-373)

St. Ephraim, having written countless hymns and sermons exclusively in the Syriac language, is especially beloved within the Syriac Orthodox Church. The Pearl contains eight hymns praising God for his love and offer of salvation. The collection takes its name from Jesus’ parable of the Pearl of Great Price (Matthew 13:45-46). As in the parable, a beautiful pearl symbolizes God’s kingdom, irresistible and perfect. In verse that retains its beauty in translation, St. Ephraim explores how God’s grace changes lives.

Kathleen O’Bannon
CCEL Staff