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.