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Saint of the Day - Saint Ambrose

On December 7, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor of the Church. Along with Saint Gregory the Great, St. Jerome and Saint Augustine of Hippo, Ambrose is one of the "Four Great Latin Fathers".

Image of St. Ambrose found at

St. Ambrose was born around the year 340 to a Roman Christian family (remember, we were not called "Catholic" back then). He had two sibling, Satyrus and Marcellina. They were raised in present-day Germany.

There is a legend that, as a baby, Ambrose was landed upon by a swarm of bees. They left behind a drop of honey. This led his father to believe that Ambrose would be something extra-special and have a great future.

After the death of his father, Ambrose was educated at Rome in the fields of law, literature and rhetoric (I didn't realize that rhetoric is or was a field of study).

Around the year 372, Ambrose was appointed to serve as Governor of Liguria and Emilia, with a seat in Milan, which was like a second capital of Italy at the time. He remained in the post until 374 when he was elected Bishop of Milan, a post that he neither wanted nor sought. While he tried to run away, he was given up and was baptized, ordained and consecrated as a bishop all on the same day - December 7, 374.

In his post as Bishop of Milan, Ambrose gave away all of his property and wealth to the poor, believing that resources should be doled out equally among the various people.

As he studied theology under Simplician, his knowledge of the Greek language was very helpful to him in devouring the Old Testament. Simplician was a presbyter of Rome, meaning that he was like what we would think of as a monsignor today. Ambrose used his knowledge of the Greek tongue and literature in his teachings. The teachings of Ambrose impressed a young man who was notoriously wild and out of control. We know this young man today as Saint Augustine of Hippo, the son of Saint Monica.

Ambrose had a great influence on Augustine, whom he baptized in the year 387. Saint Monica was thrilled with this development. That's a story for a different day (I think in August).

Arians demanded that some of the churches in Milan be turned over to them. Ambroise steadfastly refused even when ordered to do so. He and his followers went so far as to barricade themselves in a church to avoid turning it over to the Arians.

Ambrose died peacefully on April 4, 397 at Bologna, where he had essentially retired. He was succeeded as Bishop of Milan by Simplician.

Ambrose wrote many important early church documents and hymns, such as "Te Deum" (To God). This is why he was made a Doctor of the Church in the year 1298.

Saint Ambrose, pray for us!

The Saint Andrew Christmas Novena:

Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in the piercing cold. In that hour vouchsafe, I beseech Thee, O my God, to hear our prayers and grant our desires, through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His blessed Mother. Amen.

(Prayer copied from EWTN).

Join me at 3:30 p.m. Eastern fore the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, to learn about Saint Saba's and to pray the St. Andrew Christmas Novena at:

If you want to listen top some great interviews, John Benko and I interviewed the Original modern-day Catholic Defender, Steve Ray and we interviewed acclaimed Catholic musical Artis Donna Cori Gibson. You can find those interviews at:


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