Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Ambrose was born in Gaul about the year 340 and was of a noble family. When his father died, his mother took her family back to Rome. She and her daughter, St. Marcellina, brought Ambrose up well.
He received a good education in Rome and became a poet and a famous speaker. When he moved to Milan he was appointed Governor. He was the bishop Milan at the age of thirty-four.
When the Bishop of Milan died, there was a big quarrel between the Arians and the Catholics in the Cathedral about who would become the next bishop. Ambrose quickly went to the Church and gave a speech begging both sides to stop fighting and make peace.
In those days the people used to suggest to the pope the name of the one they would like as bishop. To Ambrose's great surprise, the people of Milan were so impressed with his efforts to make peace that they immediately chose him as bishop. He tried to escape, but it seemed to be God's will and Ambrose became a priest and then bishop of Milan.
Ambrose was a great model and father to his people. He also resisted all evil with amazing courage. He faced an attacking army and convinced the leader to turn back.
He was not afraid to speak out on what was right and wrong. Ambrose showed the world that no human being, even if he or she is the Emperor, is higher than the Church and that everyone was the same in the eyes of God.
St. Augustine heard him speak and was converted by his sermons. He admitted Augustine to the Church. Ambrose's heart was filled with a gentle love.
People were afraid of what would happen to Italy when Ambrose died. When he became sick, they begged him to pray for a longer life.
Ambrose died on Good Friday in the year 397. He left us many important writings on the doctrines of our Holy Faith. The Church honors him as one of her greatest Doctors and defenders. This is the reason why he is pictured holding a church in his hand. The beehive means wisdom.