Saint of the Day December 07: St. Ambrose
St. Ambrose: Life, Teachings and Impact of the Bishop of Milan in the Church
Bishop and Doctor of the Church
340, Trier, Germany
April 04, 397, Milan
O glorious Archbishop St. Ambrose, who always fled honors and dignities, and only accepted them so as not to contradict the divine aspirations, which wanted you to be a model of all virtue to all; obtain for me, I beg you, the grace to flee worldly distinctions, and to glory only in fulfilling exactly the will of the Lord. You who employed your whole life in defending the truth of the faith, against the assaults of heresy and impiety; obtain for me, I beseech you, the grace of constantly professing and defending with intrepidity until death that holy religion of which by divine mercy I had the adventitious fate of being born. You who were not afraid to preach the truth even in the face of the mighty, and triumphed over the most reluctant hearts with your heavenly eloquence: obtain for me, I beseech you, the grace that I may never be dominated by human respects; and that by the gentleness of my speech and the meekness of my manner I may edify my neighbor while I wait for my perfection. Amen.
Patron Saint Of
Milano, Cinisello Balsamo, Cologno Monzese, Paderno Dugnano, Rozzano, Cormano, Monserrato, Settimo Milanese, Trezzano sul Naviglio, Carate Brianza
Memorial of St. Ambrose, bishop of Milan and Doctor of the Church, who fell asleep in the Lord on April 4, but is especially venerated on this day, on which he received, while still a catechumen, the episcopate of this celebrated see, while he was prefect of the city. A true pastor and teacher of the faithful, he was full of charity toward all, strenuously defended the freedom of the Church and the right doctrine of the faith against Arianism, and instructed the people in devotion with commentaries and hymns for singing.
The Saint and Mission
St. Ambrose, bishop of Milan in the 4th century, is a preeminent example of how Christian mission can be embodied through leadership, education and social engagement. His life reflects a deep sense of mission in serving God and his community, facing significant challenges with courage and determination.
St. Ambrose’s mission began under unusual circumstances, having been elected bishop before he was even baptized. This unusual event marked the beginning of a transformation, both personal and communal, under his leadership. St. Ambrose immediately distinguished himself for his commitment to promoting the Orthodox faith in the face of heresies, demonstrating both a deep theological understanding and an ability to communicate Christian doctrine effectively.
As bishop, St. Ambrose was deeply involved in the affairs of his diocese and more broadly of the Roman Empire. His mission included not only teaching and preaching, but also being a moral and spiritual leader in a time of great political and social upheaval. He actively engaged in dialogue and confrontation with political authorities, defending the principles of Christian justice and morality.
A key aspect of St. Ambrose’s mission was his commitment to the rights and welfare of his faithful. He did not hesitate to challenge imperial authority when it was necessary to protect his community or promote justice. This bold stance, combined with his deep pastoral commitment, made him a figure of great respect and influence, not only in Milan but throughout the Christian Church.
St. Ambrose’s life is an example of how Christian mission can be lived out through a combination of spiritual leadership, moral courage and social commitment. His legacy continues to inspire Christians today, reminding us that our faith calls us to be active in the defense of truth, promotion of justice and loving service to our community.
The Saint and Mercy
St. Ambrose, bishop of Milan in the fourth century, is a prominent figure in Church history for his deep commitment to mercy. His life and ministry offer an extraordinary example of how mercy was central to his pastoral work and doctrine.
One of St. Ambrose’s most remarkable characteristics was his compassion and concern for the needy and marginalized. Not only did he preach mercy as a fundamental Christian value, but he also put it into practice through his personal commitment to helping the poor, oppressed, and suffering. This aspect of his ministry reflected a deep understanding of the heart of the Gospel, which calls Christians to live out mercy in active and concrete ways.
St. Ambrose also demonstrated mercy in his role as a spiritual and theological leader. He was known for his ability to interpret Scripture in a way that spoke directly to the needs and concerns of the people of his time. His teaching was imbued with a sense of empathy and understanding, offering consolation and hope to those who came to him seeking guidance.
Moreover, his defense of the rights of the weakest and his intervention in situations of injustice underscore another aspect of his mission of mercy. He stood firmly against injustice and abuse, using his influence and authority to protect and defend those in need.
St. Ambrose’s life provides an inspiring model of how mercy can be embodied in Christian leadership and ministry. His legacy teaches us that being a leader in the Church means being instruments of God’s mercy, showing compassion and justice toward all, especially the most vulnerable and needy.
Of a noble Roman family, he was born in Trier in Gaul where his father was prefect and when he was only a few months old a swarm of bees brought honey to his mouth. While still young, because of his great prudence and impartiality, he was sent governor to Milan.
Since that episcopal see remained vacant at that time, there was great discord between Catholics and Arians over the election of a new bishop. Each wanted him according to his own faith, and the intervention of the governor Ambrose was necessary to pacify tempers. But as soon as Ambrose appeared in the crowd, a child started shouting, Ambrose bishop, Ambrose bishop, and…