Bishop and Doctor of the Church (340-397)
+ Ambrose, who was born into a noble Roman family, would go on to become one of the greatest theologians of the Church.
+ After completing his studies, he served in the government of the Roman Empire. However, in 374, while living in Milan, he was elected bishop of the city by the popular acclaim of both Catholic and Arian Christians. Because he was only a catechumen, he received the Sacrament of Baptism before being ordained on December 7.
+ Ambrose was loved by his people because of his fidelity as a pastor and his care for the poor. He was a prolific writer, who wrote on a wide range of topics, including the sacraments and Sacred Scripture. Four hymns composed by Saint Ambrose have also come down to us.
+ Saint Ambrose baptized Saint Augustine of Hippo in 387.
+ A stanch defender of the laws of the Church and of true Christian teachings, Saint Ambrose died before dawn on Holy Saturday, April 4, 397.
+ Proclaimed a Doctor of the Church in 1298, he is honored as the patron of beekeepers and candlemakers.
+ The remains of Saint Ambrose are enshrined with those of the martyrs Gervase and Protase, who died for their faith sometime in the second century. Honored as the patron saints of Milan, their relics were enshrined in that city—in a church that Saint Ambrose had built—in the year 386. The feast of these two holy martyrs is celebrated on June 19.
For prayer and reflection
“The Church of the Lord is built upon the rock of the apostles among so many dangers in the world; it therefore remains unmoved. The Church’s foundation is unshakeable and firm against the assaults of the raging sea. Waves lash at the Church but do not shatter it. Although the elements of this world constantly beat upon the Church with crashing sounds, the Church possesses the safest harbour of salvation for all in distress.”—Saint Ambrose of Milan
On this day, we also remember Blessed Enrique Andrés Monfort. A member of the Marist Brothers, he was martyred on December 7, 1936, in Albocácer, Spain, during the anticlerical violence of the Spanish Civil War. Blessed Enrique was beatified with other martyrs in 2013.
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.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.