St. Ambrose

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St. Ambrose, Bishop of Milan

St. Ambrose, one of the greatest doctors of the Church, a fearless defender of her rights, a terrible scourge to heresy, a most perfect example for all prelates, a miracle of Christian wisdom and eloquence, was the son of a Roman nobleman, who presided in Gaul as imperial governor. One day, while Ambrose was yet in his cradle, a swarm of bees alighted on his mouth without in the least harming the sleeping infant. It is believed that God by this announced the future sweet and yet powerful eloquence of St. Ambrose. After his father’s death, the Saint went to Rome with his mother, brother and sister. There he, one day, saw the people kiss the hand of a bishop, and, on his return home, he offered his hands to some children to kiss, saying: “Kiss my hands; for, when I grow up I shall be a bishop.” These words, spoken in childish jest, were prophetic. Ambrose was endowed by the Almighty with unusual facility for acquiring knowledge. Untiring in his studies, he became so excellent an orator, and so celebrated a jurist, that he was made governor of Emilia and Liguria when he was hardly thirty-two years old. Probus, the imperial chancellor, said to him, before his departure: “Go, and administer your functions, not as a judge, but as a bishop.” He meant by this that Ambrose should not govern by severity but with love and mildness; heaven’s signification of these words, however, was different.  Continue reading