St. Thomas Kempis—7th June. Thomas was born in the village of Kempen in the diocese of Cologne in Germany in 1379. Asboy, he attended a school in Deventer operated by the “Brethren of Common Life.” When he finished his7 years of schooling, he followed in his elder brother, Jan´sfootsteps joining the Brethren in 1406he entered the novitiate of the Canons Regular at the monastery of Mount Saint Agnes where his brother was his superior. In 1413 he was ordained to the priesthood and in 1429, he was made Sub- Prior of the monastery. He spent most of his time between devotional exercises, composition and copying manuscripts.most famous theological work is “The Imitation of Christ” which has endured over the centuries and has been translated into more languages than any other book. it conveys aand clear understanding of the Heart of Jesus Christsimple, descriptive and. This devotional work really allows the reader to contemplate his own spirituality and liferelation to the love and forgivenessChrist.Kempis also composed hymns poems and a series of letters, a deep adoration of our Lordthrough all his works .Thomas said,” When Jesus is with us everything is well ,nothing seems difficult ,however when Jesus is absent everything is hard”.
St. Ephrem the Syrian – 9th June Ephrem was born in 306 AD in the city of Nisibis in Christian parents. He was notuntil he reached adulthoodbut this was quite in keeping for the time he lived in. Ephrem served as a teacher and deacon under 4 consecutive Bishops of Nisibis, it is believed he fled Nisibis during a time of great Christian persecution when the Emperor Jovian was defeated by Shapur in 363 AD.in 364, he settled as a solitary ascetic on Mount Endessa in Turkey. He remained here until his death in 373 AD. Ephrem was an enlightened and talented writer, a prolific theologian and composer of homilieshymns of which he wrote over 400 . According to tradition, he wrote many of his hymns in order to counteract the Arian heresies that were rampant at that time. One of his most famous works is his well known” 15 Hymns on Paradise”Genesis 1 and 2. Ephrem also believed by many to be the author of the famousondirection called the” Book of steps”. His faithand writings inflamed and inspired the whole Churchis the mostFather and DoctortheOrthodox Church.is also the saint of spiritual directors and leadersandis often referred to as the “Human Harp of God.
St. Bernabas – 11th June. Barnabas was of Jewish descent he was born in Cyprus and originally called Joseph. He sold all his property and gave the proceeds to the apostles of Christ. Joining the early Christian Community in Jerusalem, he was given the name Barnabas by Christ’s apostles .Barnabas is mentioned as an apostle himselfActs 14.14although not one of the original 12. He isalsotoseveral of St Paul´s epistles.On the basis of Colossians 4,is believed to be the cousinJohn Mark the Evangelistbecame afellow follower and companion of the apostle Paul . Together the three went on missionary journeys to spread the Good News of the Gospel travelling through Cyprus , Antioch in Syria, Perga and Lycaonia converting many to Christianityparticipated in the council at Rome.a dispute with St Paul over his cousin who had abandoned them on an earlier journey, Barnabas split from Paul and went with John Mark to Cyprus to carry on his mission. Nothing further is reallyabout him, tradition has him preaching in Alexandria and Romeandis believed to have been martyred by stoning at Salamis in Cyprus in AD 61.Traditionally identified as the founder of the CypriotOrthodox Church, his major shrine is at the monastery of St Barnabas in Famagusta in Cyprus. He is the patron saint of Cyprus and and is invoked as a peace maker.