St Ambrose

posted by: Joan Vine | on: Saturday, 29 September 2018, 15:45

St Ambose

St Ambose

Ambrose was born in A.D. 339 in Treves the youngest of three children. His father was prefect of Gaul. His father died when Ambrose was young, and the family moved to Rome. There Ambrose and his brother Satyrus were educated and they also received religious education from Marcellina their elder sister who was a nun. Like most Christians at that time, Ambrose was not baptised, because it was believed that sins committed after baptism were regarded with such horror that baptism was delayed. All three siblings were eventually canonised.

Following the death of Auxentius, a violent controversy broke out about the appointment of his successor. Passions were high on both sides and as consular governor, Ambrose went to the cathedral and gave a conciliatory speech to maintain peace. It is alleged that while he was speaking a child cried out, “Ambrose Bishop” and the crowd roared its approval. Ambrose had not yet been baptised and was ignorant of theology, but after much pressure was brought to bear he agreed. He was baptised, ordained and consecrated Bishop of Milan on December 7th, 374.

In his disputes with the Emperor, he coined the principal “the Emperor is in the church, not above the church”. He publicly admonished Emperor Theodosius for the massacre of 7000 innocent people. The Emperor did public penance for his actions. This was Ambrose sent to Milan as a Roman governor and chosen to be the people’s Bishop.

Ambrose was a staunch defender of the faith in the divinity of Christ, fighting Arianism, a heresy that claimed that although Christ is similar to God the Father, he is not God’s equal. Arianism further held that God adopted Jesus as his son and gave him divine like abilities. In its early days, Christianity condemned these beliefs as heretical. Today’s teaching is that Christ is the second person in the holy Trinity. Therefore, Jesus is both divine and human. He is one divine person who has a full and complete divine nature and a full and complete human nature.

St Ambrose is the patron saint of beekeepers, beggars, learning and Milan.

Ambrose died peacefully on Good Friday April 4th, 397. For several hours before his death he lay with his arms extended as if on a cross, then, after receiving the sacraments from St Honoratus, Bishop of Vercelli, he died.

 Posted: 29 Sep 2018 | There are 0 comments

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