Thursday, 6 December 2012

December 7 Saint Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor of the Church Memorial

“There is also a certain water which we put into the basin of our soul, water from the fleece and from the Book of Judges; water, too, from the Book of Psalms. It is the water of the message from heaven. Let, then, this water, O Lord Jesus, come into my soul, into my flesh, that through the moisture of this rain the valleys of our minds and the fields of our hearts may grow green. May the drops from Thee come upon me, shedding forth grace and immortality.”[1] St. Ambrose was the Bishop of Milan in the 4th century. The son of the Praetorian Prefect of Gaul, St. Ambrose was raised around the Roman senate and studied law in their courts. When his predecessor died, the Catholic laity demanded St. Ambrose become the new bishop. He accepted the post, became a catechumen and was later baptized and ordained. His preaching was efficacious, converting the most learned of men including St. Augustine. Additionally, he preached a strong moral ethic and combated Arianism. St. Ambrose is one of the original Four Doctors of the Western Church along with St’s Jerome, Augustine, and Gregory the Great.[2][3][4]

Written by Sarah Ciotti Reviewed by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB, STD

[1] St. Ambrose, “To the Emperor Gratian,” in Ambrose: Select Works andLetters,” eds. Philip Schaff andHenry Wace (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.), 95. [2] F.L. Cross andE.A. Livingstone, The Oxford Dictionaryof the Christian Church (London: OxfordUniversity Press, 1974), 42-43. [3] Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB, The Martyrology of the Monastery of the Ascension, 2008.