Saint Ambrose (397)

Saint Ambrose is one of the four great Doctors of the Western Church.  He was a bishop of Milan in Italy.  He began by being the governor of northern Italy.  But when the Bishop of Milan died, because of the voice of a child in the crowd shouting “Ambrose for bishop!”, Saint Ambrose, though only a catechumen at the time, was baptized, confirmed, ordained a priest, and was consecrated a bishop on December 7 in the year 374.  Saint Ambrose died when he was only fifty-seven.  He died on Good Friday.  He was buried by the side of the martyrs, Saints Gervase and Protase, who were the protomartyrs of Milan.  It was Saint Ambrose who baptized Saint Augustine on April 24, 387.  This was on Holy Saturday, the day before Easter, and the day on which Saint Ambrose and Saint Augustine composed the beautiful hymn known as the Te Deum, an indispensable prayer of the Catholic Church.  The sayings of Saint Ambrose as a Doctor of the Catholic Church are so profound and clear and noble that any one of them, once listened to or read, can never be forgotten.  Saint Ambrose says that the devil keeps an account of our sins, but if we accuse ourselves of these sins before a Catholic priest in confession, no accuser, not even the devil, will appear before us when we stand at the judgment Seat of God.

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Saint Ambrose, by Bartolomeo Vivarini