Memorial of Saint Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor of the Church


St. Ambrose (340-397) was born at Treves in Gaul, a territory which embraced modern France, Britain, Spain, and part of Africa. After his father's death he went to Rome, and was soon appointed consul with residence at Milan. While attempting to settle a dispute between the Arians and Catholics over the choice of a bishop, he himself was chosen, although only a catechumen at the time. Thereupon he devoted himself wholeheartedly to the study of theology, and gave his possessions to the poor. He was an illustrious preacher, and through his sermons brought Augustine to the faith and baptized him.

We often meet this saint in the Divine Office as a teacher and as an inspired composer of hyms (fourteen of the hymns attributed to him are definitely authentic). His writings are vibrant with ancient Christian liturgical spirit, for his life was wholly rooted in mystery and sacrament. We can profit greatly by reading Ambrose's works. He is one of the four great Latin Doctors of the Church.

O God, who made the Bishop Saint Ambrose a teacher of the Catholic faith and a model of apostolic courage, raise up in your Church men after your own heart to govern her with courage and wisdom.

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