St. Ephrem was born sometime around the year 306 in Nibisis, a Syrian town located in modern-day Turkey, during the time when the Church was suffering under the persecution of the Roman Emperor Diocletian. Baptized at about the age of eighteen, Ephrem was ordained as a deacon, and was a prolific writer of hymns, through which he powerfully preached the Gospel.
He wrote frequently in praise of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and he gave us this prayer to honour Our Lady, the Mother of God:
O pure and immaculate and likewise blessed Virgin, who art the sinless Mother of thy Son, the mighty Lord of the universe, thou who art inviolate and altogether holy, the hope of the hopeless and sinful, we sing thy praises. We bless thee, as full of every grace, thou who didst bear the God-Man: we all bow low before thee; we invoke thee and implore thine aid. Rescue us, O holy and inviolate Virgin, from every necessity that presses upon us and from all the temptations of the devil. Be our intercessor and advocate at the hour of death and judgment; deliver us from the fire that is not extinguished and from the outer darkness; make us worthy of the glory of thy Son, O dearest and most clement Virgin Mother. Thou indeed art our only hope, most sure and sacred in God's sight, to whom be honor and glory, majesty and dominion forever and ever world without end. Amen.