Saint Ambrose, also known as Ambrose of Milan, is one of the four original doctors of the Church. He was the Bishop of Milan and one of the most important theological figures of the 4th century.
Ambrose was born around 340 AD to a Roman Christian family. When Ambrose was just an infant, a swarm of bees landed on his face and left behind a single drop of honey.
He was educated in Rome, where he studied law, literature and rhetoric. Ambrose received a place on the council, and was made consular prefect, or the Governor, of Liguria and Emilia around 372 AD.
He remained Governor until 374 when he became the Bishop of Milan, due to popular demand.
Within a week’s time, Ambrose was baptized, ordained and duly consecrated as the bishop of Milan on December 7, 374.
Ambrose was generous to the poor, making him widely popular and often more politically powerful than even the emperor.
His preaching abilities impressed Augustine of Hippo and in 387, it was Ambrose who baptized Augustine.
According to legend, Ambrose tried to put an end to Arianism in Milan. He often attempted to theologically dispute their propositions.
Ambrose refused to turn over any churches to the Arians.
When Milan was taken by Magnus Maximus, Ambrose stayed and is credited with doing a great service to the sufferers during this time.
He passed away on April 4, 397, and his body remains in the church of St. Ambrogio in Milan.
Ambrose introduced successful reforms for public worship. He was a great influence on many Popes, and is credited with composing the Antiphonal Chant.
St. Ambrose is the Confessor and Doctor of the Church. He is the patron saint of bee keepers, beggars, learning and Milan, and his feast day is celebrated on December 7.
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