Ephrem the Syrian
(† 373), saint, one of the great teachers of the Church. He originated from Nisibis in Mesopotamia. He lived an ascetic life guided by monk Jacob of Nisibis first in the outskirts of his native town and later in a cave near Edessa where he preached and converted pagans into Christianity. Shortly before he died he was ordained deacon by priest Basil the Great but declined the cathedra-chair of a bishop. He is the author of numerous theological and moralizing essays as well as hymns. His eschatological writings, namely about the Last Judgement, Doomsday, Antichrist etc are most popular.
John of the Ladder
(c.525-606), saint, monk, hermit, one of the great teachers of the Church. He took the tonsure in the Saint Catherine Monastery on mount Sinai and lived 40 years in total isolation. A few years before his death he was chosen abbot of the Sinai Monastery. Author of The Ladder of Paradise, a guide to spiritual life which regards monastic exploit as the process of incessant ascent on the ladder of spiritual purification and perfection and describes steps on the way in detail. The book of John of the Ladder enjoyed great popularity among Byzantine and Russian monks. Feast day: 30 March (12 April).